Making IP Telephony knowledge accessible, A pre-study of innovative approaches

Published 1 Dec 2007 by Alberto Escudero-Pascual

bulletDownload: voip4d_making_telephony_accessible_prestudy_nov2007.pdf

One year ago (December 2006), we released the first edition of the VoIP4D Primer “Building Voice Infrastructure in Developing Regions”. It is interesting to see how many things have already changed in one single year in the VoIP arena and we are not far from plug-and-play open telephony systems. VoIP is advancing quickly and setting up a PBX is getting easier and easier for the end user thanks to new user interfaces and dedicated software distributions. There is lots of interest in this area, proof of that is that the primer has been downloaded 150.000 times and included as reference material in several VoIP courses.

While the first edition of the primer focused on understanding the principles of VoIP and illustrating a few scenarios that you can use as a reference to configure Asterisk by editing their configuration files, in this document we will cover some of the projects that want to make the installation and management of Asterisk even more user-friendly.

The goal of this pre-study is to identify which technologies are there that can reduce the gap from newcomers to get started with VoIP and expand the existing community.

In this document we highlight three areas that you have looked into:

  • Specialized Asterisk software distributions including graphical configuration tools (The Asterisk GUI-friendly projects)
  • Installing Asterisk using virtualization (Asterisk & VMware)
  • Specialized PBX hardware - Asterisk Appliances

As any other booming technology you will find difficult to catch up with what is going on and what projects are around. Many of the tools have changed name during the last years and many projects build their solutions based on existing work. During the preparation of this document we have identify a few aspects that limit the dissemination of open telephony (Section: Limiting factor for IP telephony disemmination). One of those limiting factors is to cope with all the technical jargon and have a clear picture of the existing initiatives and the interaction between them. We have included a sort description of some of those projects (Section: The jargon and the projects) so you can start with a better understanding of what is going on.

Keyword(s): Open hardware, VoIP,