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Phantom extensions and phanotm calls (brrr...)


ndemou
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I'm using v4.5 and sometimes(very rarely,4 times in about 10 months) when I try to create a new extension the system complains that the extension already exists although I'm 100% that it doesn't. 3 out of 4 times a pbx restart was enough to fix it -- my memory doesn't help me on what happened with the other 1 out of 4. The 1st time I thought it was a user mistake but since then we had the time to check it over and over again. It seems to happen after deleting an extension then trying to create it again. At least that was the way it happened to us all the times. Still I wasn't able to reproduce it in our backup server. When it happens you can still create an extension with some random number. This is sometimes really annoying because we have to delay simple requests from customers for 24 hours in order to restart the system during the night and it's really hard to make an excuse for ourselves.

 

The other problem is that almost every day we have some phantom calls. With phantom calls I mean that from the user and telephone point of view the call has either completed or has failed but the PBX displays the call on its active calls list and you can't kill them by hitting the red X (the page reloads and the call is still there). These calls may stay at that phantom state for hours (1 to 2 hours is very common). It mainly happens with failed calls but it also happens with calls at any stage (connected or alerting). This is serious because these calls are accounted towards each domains limit and probably towards the total system concurrent calls also (haven't hit that to be sure). We had a customer who somehow had 4 such calls within 5 minutes, reached his domain limit and was blocked.

 

 

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As for the extensions creation, my guess is that this is related to the session which has still a reference to the old extension. Especially when opening several tabs with the PBX, the session easily gets garbled up.

 

The problem with the "phantom" calls is that the call cleanup procedure is more complicated than it might look at first glance. Especially because the PBX has to wait until the final QoS reports are in, there were some race conditions that could cause a clogging of calls. However after 8 hours the garbage collection kicks in and deletes those calls. Yes those calls don't pose a danger for the overall system stability, but they can count against the domain limits. If you are running the PBX in hosted mode you should consider a migration to V5 anyway, as there are several other topics that have also been addressed especially for the hosted PBX.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Switching to TCP doesn't seem to solve the problem with phantom calls.

 

The situation went ugly today: we had a phantom call stuck in the ringing state and this had the side effect that one agent was for 2 hours unavailable to answer other calls. We couldn't restart the system because the other domains had a large volume of calls during that period. We can understand that "the call cleanup procedure is complicated" but at the very least we need to be able to hung up calls from the web interface.

 

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Well it seems that our executable is deeply broken. We also found phantom dial plan entries! Opening a specific dialplan and entering a number to the test area matches an id and a trunk that is not listed in the rules above!! This is getting out of control -- we're fighting to convince the web interface to follow our preferences and commands.

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You can check in the file system the dial plan entries. They are in XML spaghetti, but still readable. Also double check the text mode representation of the dial plan.

 

If the XML database in the file system got screwed up, this is usually because the PBX could not write new records. Most of the time this happens when the file system is full.

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