Local Skype Server??

albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
Hello all,

I am currently looking at implementing Skype into our organisation. I work for a recruitment company and we run an application that simulates a call centre environment for testing purposes. This however is causing a considerable cost as we require phone lines for this and would like to eliminate them which brings us to skype. We have been running tests and seeing how it works but our biggest concern is what will be caused from internet down time. If we lose connection we lose this service and if we have 30 people brought into our office this could be a disaster. So we are looking at other options which has lead me to investigate the possibility of a local server that can host VOIP.

Skpe is just an example but is there anything that anyone is aware of that can be installed on a server which would be able to handle this. This way we would not need to be dependant on the internet being up. I have a feeling there would be systems available but we are just looking for something cheap (skype is free afterall :D ).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My first suggestion would be to not use Skype. It's a security nightmare. Lucent Technologies did a whitepaper some time ago (can't find it now) to see if it would help cut costs for their employees and they decided to stay away from it due to the security problems.

    http://www.tacticaltech.org/skype_security

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=105760&pageNumber=1
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I use it at home, incl. Skype In and Out and love it. But we recently did a review for potential company use and it's not really a great candidate. It lacks corporate class centralised controls, you can load the business control panel but that is primarily for account management (assigning credits for paid services etc.). It is impossible to monitor an individuals use of the system beyond time spent using it, nature of the calls/destinations etc. are hidden. Ingress/Egress control is not reliable either, a standard firewall won't do the trick (you can mandate which port to use via a GPO a and build access lists based on it but that's it, without the GPO or on PCs with users who know how to bypass it you're SOL), some IDS/IPS and Proxies/Webfilters can detect and control Skype traffic but as Skype do not market themselves seriously for corporate use they don't have any real incentive to maintain a standard network fingerprint between versions. You might be able to control version X but lose that ability when X.1 appears, until your filter vendor updates their systems. As for Privacy etc. most of the concerns come down to no reliable 3rd party verification of the integrity of the system they use. I've read a few papers on it and while they toss around industry terms, and do use to an extent, like AES and RSA it seems they don't use them in the usual ways. From my understanding the AES stage involves XOR'ing the data with the generated AES key, not actually encapsulating the data inside AES, to be honest I don't know enough about the bear bolts of AES but afaik one of it's advantages is a dynamic keying structure whereas this is just obfuscating the data with one key vs. full encapsulation with that dynamic keying in place. Still strong even if it does work that way but not quite what you'd expect when AES is used. My understanding of this may very well be flawed and I don't have time to delve deeper so if someone can correct it that's fine with me :). Finally the call-center like tools I've seen are all 3rd party, so not only are you relying on a closed-source relatively unmanageable client but also on an even smaller tertiary developer.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
  • albangaalbanga Member Posts: 164
    Thanks for the feedback all much appreciated.
    They are all good points and i agree that i dont think skype is the best "corporate" approach to the situation. Thats what i was getting at and my question was really pointed at is if there are alternatives to host a similar service that can be managed in-house and hosted on a server. If there is an application available to do the same service as skype but kept on the local network then i am all ears :D

    At the moment we are just in testing phases, but are really against skype. I was just using it as an example. Sorry if i dont make myself clearer at times.
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    What you want is a VoIP PBX Server icon_wink.gif
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