This is my fourth case / post since I installed this VOIP system about 2 months ago. You would think my client would be the poster child for this system. They have six full time employees with twelve phones total. I installed an SPA 9000, 2 SPA 400s, and 12 SPA 942s. The firm had an AT&T Merlin analog key phone system for the 25 years prior. They never experienced a dropped call. They had no voicemail and 4 PSTN lines. They finally wanted to get a new phone system with the latest technology, I.E. voicemail, AA, etc. I proposed a VOIP system using PSTN lines because their XDSL line isn't the most reliable and I figured with the analog lines it would be rock solid. Certainly not the case. Since the day the hardware arrived all I have delt with was flakey issues. I have worked with Cisco for over 12 years so I chose to go with their system even though it was Linksys gear. However, I couldn't justify a real Cisco Voip solution which would have ran them in the upper thousands.
After finally getting the devices configured and up and running I seem to experience a flakey issue everytime the hardware is touched. BTW I installed a Cisco SLM 224P switch because I figured it would play nice with the devices. Putting aside the issues that make me and Cisco look bad like turning off the devices to clean up the cabling up and instead of ringing the hunt group that worked all along it now ring all the phones, the client has experienced 3-4 drops a day. The provider of the PSTN lines is AT&T and they do not have call waiting enabled. When I first placed a call to tech support versus posting here I was amazed when I was told that there was only one engineer that knew voice and these systems at the help desk. He happened to be in a meeting so I got put on hold everytime the engineer I was working with went to ask him something. Everytime I called back and had to get a new engineer because the owner was off shift, the new engineer would always try to have me wait for them to come back on shift. The last suggestion that could be made to me was to segregate the Voice and Data traffic into different VLANs. Now granted I know this is good practice but we are talking about six PCs on a 100 MB pipe along with the VOIP. So I went ahead and split the traffic into different VLANs. Even after this change everyday the same 3-4 calls drop. The onlything I can trace it to is that once they recieve more than 2 calls bad things happen. Now I can run the debugs to syslog which show nothing wrong but that causes more drops. I've seen many posting out here with the same problems happening on the SPA 400s. BTW I have a seperate SPA for voicemail and a seperate SPA for the PSTN lines. All the postings seem to end in "we got off the PSTN lines and went to a VOIP provider or we threw the SPA 400 out".
That's exactly where I am at. I'm thinking of just throwing out the SPA 9000 and 400s and replacing them with an Asterix appliance. Everytime I talk to my client that say they feel so stressed and unprofessional that they have to call back clients and explain why their phone system dropped them. I feel helpless when my client says there is nothing you can do to fix this issue? They keep asking me why won't the vendor send someone out if they sell this equipment and it's not working correctly. Then I have to explain the whole workings of support, etc. again. To top it off the SLM 224P switch has decided it doesn't want to answer to it's IP address anymore. I ended up having to factory reset it with no luck. I tried the address I changed it to, I tried the factory address, nothing. Since this switch doesn't have a console port it seems I'm out of luck. What a mistake it was to sell this solution.
If anyone has any last minute recommendations for me I'd welcome them. I see Asterisk coming soon if this keeps up. At least the SPA 942 phones should work with the new asterisk system. BTW I worked for a company and we run Asterisk with high call volume and no problems hence why I'm leaning that way. In the beginning my client was a little leary when I talked about that solution. They were more comfortable going with a company like Cisco. Thanks.
If I see your post earlier, I would avoid getting SPA9000 and SPA400. I am now stuck with 2 SPA400 and SPA9000. SPA400 does not work with PSTN yet. I am not sure why cisco sell unreliable product.
I've also been trying to work out lots of glitches in a SPA5xx, SPA9000, and SPA400 setup. I suspect the SPA9000 and SPA400 is soon to be discontinued, and bugs are no longer being investigated or fixed. Unfortunately Cisco pre-sales never mentioned this.
I recently loaded the previous firmware version into the SPA400 and this is now stable - so instead of 22.214.171.124, the SPA400 version is 126.96.36.199.