Busy Days @ Digium

By Ted Stevenson | Jan 26, 2007 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/unified_communications/Busy-Days--Digium-3656431.htm

It's not as if all has been quiet on the Asterisk front of late. Not only did the long-awaited Asterisk version 1.4 officially debut in the waning days of 2006, the official launch of its sibling, the brand-new, GUI-enhanced AsteriskNOW followed just a week or so later.

But development efforts that have been in progress at parent company Diguim Inc. over the past several months continue to bear fruit.

Yesterday, Huntsville, Alabama-based Digium issued three press releases relating to various pieces of its product families.

Of interest to managers in companies with limited IT staff resources—potential adopters of the aforementioned AsteriskNOW solution—is the news that not only has Digium cemented a partnership with leading telephony hardware producer Polycom, Inc., building into AsteriskNOW (and Asterisk 1.4) support for configuration of Polycom SoundPoint IP desktop phones, it has established a relationship with VoIP equipment distributor NETXUSA to facilitate quick purchase and setup of Polycom's products with a single click from the AsteriskNOW setup GUI. To top it off—creating pretty much a one-stop IP telephony shopping solution—AsteriskNOW's setup interface now provides instant account signup with IP service provider VoicePulse.

These developments—while not limiting customers choices—ensure the quick and reliable setup and configuration of an IP phone system built on proven resources.

For the IT manager that's building a more customized, mix-and-match Asterisk installation, the unveiling of Digium's new VoiceBus™ technology should be of interest. VoiceBus involves a new chip architecture that enhances compatability of the company's telephony interface cards with the PCI bus found in typical PC hardware. VoiceBus technology is now a standard feature in Digium's TDM800P and -2400P analog interface cards, as well as the TE120P digital voice-data interface card and the company's High Performance Echo Canceller (or HPEC) card.

Finally, Digium announced three packages based on the pre-production version of its Asterisk Appliance Developers Kit (AADK). The AADk—of which we saw a prototype at Fall VON 2006—is a nifty, self contained Asterisk system, comprising the Asterisk software and GUI, interface cards, flash memory, cables, and everything else required to produce a functioning VoIP system, in an Asterisk-orange plastic case roughly the size of a (now-obsolete) VHS video cassette.

The packages combine the ingredients named above with three developer training programs, ranging from three days of face-to-face training to a single day, to webinar-based training.

The AADK program is an interesting extension of the basic open-source philosophy, as Digium's senior software engineer Kevin Fleming explained to VoIPplanet.com: Essentially, the company is turning over to the developer community the task—or opportunity—of productizing the potential of a "phone system in a [small] box"—creating finite applications for a real-world market.

As of this week, the necessary tools are available for interested parties.