Thursday, April 10, 2008

Open source Switch

Open source projects have revolutionized operating systems, web servers, web browsers, and so why not carrier switches? The FreeSwitch open source project released its Release Candidate 1 (RC1) yesterday providing and by early accounts the software rocks.

“We replaced a cluster of 10 Asterisk servers with a single FreeSwitch server,” said Chris Parker, director of systems for a large publicly traded CLEC. Parker says he’s getting several hundred concurrent calls on a single, dual-core box that’s also doing all of the media processing, a computationally intensive task.

The software was first cooked up Anthony Minessale, an early Asterisk developer, who wanted to create an Asterisk 2.0 project back in 2005. When that didn’t gain acceptance he set off to build FreeSwitch. Today, the FreeSwich projects relies on the work of some 16 developers and testers.

The software is a high-speed call switching engine that telcos or businesses can use to switch calls, build a media gateway, or a media server to host IVR application. Commercial softswitches provide those features, but they run tens of thousands of dollars. FreeSwitch is a free download.

Aside from high-speed switching, the software provides built-in IVR, multilingual voicemail, conferencing, and presence. The software will handle SIP and wideband codecs for high-fidelity voice calls.

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