Asterisk handling a small business

Tod Hansmann plug.org at todandlorna.com
Thu Apr 10 11:00:46 MDT 2014


On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Jared Smith <jaredsmith at jaredsmith.net>wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM, Tod Hansmann <plug.org at todandlorna.com
> >wrote:
>
> > That's why FreeSwitch
> > exists, because Asterisk is architected pretty bad for long-term.
> >
>
>
> I think this more than a bit misleading -- FreeSWITCH was started by
> several software developers who had been working on Asterisk, and wanted to
> do something different.  Sure, there were some architectural issues along
> the way in Asterisk.  That's OK, because there have been some architectural
> issues along the way with FreeSWITCH as well.  They're both software
> platforms that are improving and evolving over time, and in generally
> different directions.  Asterisk is more focused on PBX-like features, and
> FreeSWITCH is more focused on being a soft-switch.  (My apologies to those
> who haven't spent years of their lives in the VoIP/telecom world, I won't
> bore you with the differences between a PBX and a soft-switch). Asterisk
> also continues to be the dominant open source telephony engine.  By some
> estimates, as much as 18% of all new telephone systems being deployed in
> North America are built on Asterisk.
>
> So please, use FreeSWITCH if you like it, or use Asterisk if you like it.
> (I use both platforms both at work and at home, and am technically very
> pleased with both of them.)  But please don't continue to spread the same
> lame propoganda that's been going around for entirely too long now.  Both
> platforms can stand on their own two feet, without the need for bashing the
> other.
>
>
I think my quote here being pulled out context.  If all you want is a PBX,
Asterisk is more than fine obviously,  If you want to integrate it, or if
you want to extend it beyond a mere call routing box, or if you want to
scale it Asterisk is going to hit some problems pretty early on in those
(and FreeSwitch does eventually as well, especially on scaling, welcome to
VoIP).

My sentiment on advocating FreeSwitch in this thread was based on the idea
that in initial requirements it looked like part of the business (half the
users) were going to be involved in a heavy call-flow like a sales team
dialer or a call center or somesuch.  That is likely to become more than a
mere PBX, and hence FreeSwitch being a much safer technology stack to start
with from the get go, as it will aid in integrations and whatnot later.  (I
advocated hosted solutions for the simple PBX setup.  It will be easier
overall in that case.)

And no, this isn't some weird propaganda game.  I have used Asterisk
before, and as said it's a great PBX box.  The way it was written is very
geared towards that end and inflexible towards other ends, like being a
softswitch, or integrating with your attendant console, etc.

For at-home readers, there's an old post from the author of FreeSwitch on
why he wrote it after years of working on Asterisk.  He's a bit of a bitter
kind of guy, you might say, but he does give Asterisk its due in having its
own space in the VoIP world.  Again, it's old:
http://www.freeswitch.org/node/117

Anyway, I hope nobody thinks I hate Asterisk.  There are better things to
hate, like Oracle's Call Center Anywhere, or Cisco's VoIP shenanigans.

-Tod Hansmann


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