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Take the XiVO Plunge: 4 Months of Free Cloud Hosting

Nobody has to tell us how painful change can be. We oversaw the deployment of over 30,000 IBM PCs only to switch horses and become a dedicated Mac lover. And we’ve invested almost 10 years in another Asterisk® GUI only to be disappointed by the direction of that project. That led to our New Year’s Resolution to find a better mousetrap for unified communications open source development. And, boy, did we find one. So here’s the deal. You either believe in the open source community and want to foster free and open development of software, or you don’t. And, if you don’t, that’s perfectly fine. There are lots of commercial PBX alternatives including the terrific 3CX products from our platinum sponsor. But don’t wrap yourself in the open source flag, brag about free and freedom, and then market a product that is none of the above. If your distro’s license agreement prohibits redistribution thereby discouraging sharing which is the lynchpin of the GPL, then the product has little if anything to do with free and freedom.

The good news is we’ve now found an awesome alternative that is pure open source code with an actual GPL3 license. So come join the party and lend a hand with your suggestions and/or your code contributions. We’ll put your name in bright lights, and the open source community will be forever in your debt. Our challenge is to get you as excited about XiVO as we are. There’s nothing with VoIP and Unified Communications that you can’t do better, cheaper, and faster using XiVO. And XiVO’s Asterisk RealTime implementation has no competition, period. Instead of lengthy delays to process changes, rewrite Asterisk config files, and reload the entire Asterisk dial plan, Asterisk RealTime brings instantaneous configuration updates.

We can think of no better way to introduce you to this terrific platform than offering up a free cloud platform until 2017 to let you kick the tires. It won’t impact your production servers while letting you explore the possibilities offered by a state-of-the-art Asterisk 13 platform with no equal. Believe me. We know every wart and pimple in the old GUI platform, and you won’t have to wrestle with any of the traditional problems that we all assumed were native to Asterisk. Guess what? They weren’t. No, your server won’t blow up when you add a new module. No, Asterisk won’t refuse to start because you chose to upgrade an existing component. No, you won’t be Nickle and Dimed into buying critical platform enhancements. And, no, you won’t be charged hundreds of dollars for "support" only to be told that you need to switch to a more proprietary platform. Yes, the XiVO development team releases seamless upgrades every three weeks at no cost. Yes, uncrippled endpoint provisioning for dozens of phones is provided in XiVO at no cost. Yes, powerful call center and High Availability technology is included at no cost. And, yes, backups of your server are made every night for free.

There’s more good news. VULTR is a relatively new cloud provider that now hosts virtual machines in over a dozen cities around the world. For new subscribers, they are offering a $20 credit when you sign up using our referral link. And, yes, your registration provides a few shekels to Nerd Vittles to keep the lights on. The great news is that $20 buys you a full four months of XiVO cloud hosting service, and you won’t find a better do-it-yourself platform at any price, let alone free.

Building the Debian 8 Platform at Vultr for XiVO

The first step in your XiVO adventure is to sign up for a Vultr account with your $20 credit using the Nerd Vittles referral link. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to build your Debian 8 virtual machine to host XiVO in the Cloud. (1) Choose your favorite city to host your server, (2) pick the Debian 8 64-bit platform, and (3) choose the $5/month server size.

IMPORTANT: Leave the Server Hostname & Label blank!

Once your virtual machine is up and running, log in with SSH or Putty using the root password provided. Do NOT install XiVO from the console, or the firewall will lock you out of your own machine! Change your root password immediately: passwd.

Next, set up a swap file on your virtual machine, or the XiVO install will fail on the $5 platform:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1024 count=1024k
chown root:root /swapfile
chmod 0600 /swapfile
mkswap /swapfile
swapon /swapfile
echo "/swapfile swap swap defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
sysctl vm.swappiness=10
echo vm.swappiness=10 >> /etc/sysctl.conf
free -h
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

Installing Incredible PBX for XiVO in the Vultr Cloud

While still logged into your server as root using SSH/Putty, issue the following commands to kick off the install:

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/IncrediblePBX13-XiVO.sh
chmod +x IncrediblePBX13-XiVO.sh

The initial setup brings your Debian 8 server up to current specs, and then the virtual machine will reboot. After rebooting, log into your server again as root with your new root password. Issue the following command to complete the XiVO and Incredible PBX installation and configuration:


You’ll be prompted to set your time zone, passwords, and choose the optional features of Incredible PBX you wish to install. We strongly recommend you install ALL of the Incredible PBX feature set. Many cannot be added later.

Verify that the XiVO install completed successfully when prompted. Then verify that the XiVO initial configuration completed successfully by once again pressing ENTER. The firewall and Incredible PBX install will then proceed without further prompting. Total setup time: under 10 minutes.

There still are some setup steps required, and these are performed within the XiVO GUI using a web browser. For step-by-step instructions on the Incredible PBX Initial Configuration Procedure, click here. Enjoy your adventure!

Originally published: Monday, July 25, 2016

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Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

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The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!

Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.

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