Digium Review

By Business.com Editorial StaffLast Modified: January 5, 2018

The Digium R800 is an analog failover appliance for IP PBX systems. The R800 provides failover capabilities for POTS (plain old telephone service) lines and supports up to eight PSTN (public switched telephone network) connections.

This PBX phone service system serves as a gateway between legacy analog telephony networks and packet-switched PBX solutions. In addition, it also supports a secondary redundant IP server for ensuring that your organization's connection to outside lines never fails. The R800 has a 1U design and, therefore, can sit on a single rack mount. It is 1.72 inches tall, 5.85 inches long and 15 inches deep. In case you prefer not to mount it on a rack, the Digium R800 also comes with the brackets required to mount it on a wall. The actual hardware weighs a little over 3 pounds. It has eight ports for PSTN circuits, three USB ports and 32 ports for analog telephone connections.

The USB ports on the Digium R800 are for connecting to the main and backup PBX servers. The failover equipment draws its power from these USB ports. To provide a fully redundant PBX phone system, the R800 connects to the primary and standby servers at all times. With lines from public telephone networks connected to the R800, the equipment routes all calls to the primary server but also keeps a secondary connection to the standby server. A software constantly monitors the primary server for signs of hardware and software failure. In the event of a failure, the Digium R800 moves all PSTN connections over to the standby server. The transfer occurs within seconds and ensures uninterrupted business communication.

Both Digium R800 servers run the Asterisk operating system. This is a Linux-based PBX operating system. Although Digium created and still sponsors the operating system, Asterisk is a free open-source telephony software. Resellers may install other Asterisk-based PBX software, such as FreePBX, on the Digium R800.

While Asterisk allows you to modify and add new features to the failover equipment, it also requires that you have the know-how to do so without compromising your entire communication network. Furthermore, although Asterisk runs the servers, you need third-party applications to unlock certain features. For example, third-party applications monitor the health of the primary server and mirror Asterisk configuration files between both servers. This means that you have to add the price of third-party Asterisk applications and long-term support for them to the cost of owning the R800.

The Digium R800 creates a physical layer failover for analog and digital telephony connections. It can keep your business communications system going when a PBX server fails. However, it only works with Asterisk servers, and its automatic failover feature depends on third-party applications.

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Business.com Editorial Staff
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