What am I buying with HAAst?

Features, capabilities, and information about HAAst
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CRM User
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What am I buying with HAAst?

Postby CRM User » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:50 am

I need to create a number of PBX clusters, and am considering my options. I can build almost anything out of open source modules; why would I pay for HAAst? What am I really buying?
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Telium Support
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Re: What am I buying with HAAst?

Postby Telium Support » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:00 am

We agree - you can build almost anything out of open source modules. However, that doesn't mean their functionality or performance is comparable to commercial products. In particular, a variety of open source modules exist with generic functionality like heartbeat, monitoring, etc. But they are generic groups of OS level HA functionality that you must build on (considerably) to achieve any level of HA application functionality. If you have a look at the comparison tab on the HAAst web page you will see the difference between open source modules and HAAst.

In fact, (with the exception of HAAst) every commercial/free HA product for Asterisk uses some combination of the same modules. These modules make a great HA print server, or HA file server, but a terrible HA PBX. Have a look at this discussion http://www.telium.ca/pages/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=112 to see the experience of companies that switch to HAAst from open source / other commercial modules (which use the same open source modules).

There are many ways to describe what you are buying with HAAst, but are just some points:
  1. Sophisticated health detection. HAAst uses 18 sensors internal to the PBX, 25+ external to the PBX, and an unlimited number of user-defined sensors.
  2. Sophisticated PBX control. HAAst can monitor and control not just Asterisk but a range of related/unrelated services.
  3. Intelligent synchronization of settings/data. (Unlike every other product) HAAst does not mirror the disk - it synchronizes specific data and ONLY if the peers are healthy. So you will never move corrupted data from a dying peer to a healthy peer. (unlike DRBD)
  4. WAN and variable latency compatibility. HAAst allows cluster peers to reside on separate continents since it does not use any LAN-centric protocols. Every other HA product breaks down if the boxes are not side-by-side in the same data center.
  5. And lots more (see the features and comparison tabs)

So with enough time and effort I have no doubt that a group of skilled programmers can make their own HA product - just like Telium has. However, after 10 years of constant development the features/performance/compatibility of HAAst are a great value to anyone running a critical / commercial call center. HAAst does not compete with DIY or open source products (which are great for HA file servers, HA printer servers, etc).

If you want a DIY high availability cluster you can certainly start adding open source modules and make something you can call a cluster. (There are even some great youtube videos of how to make your own cluster). But then try simulating real life failure scenarios (not just pull the plug on one peer) and you will start to see what you are buying with HAAst.