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Open Source Asterisk 11 Jump Starts Long Term Support

asteriskFrom the 'What's in a number?' files:

Digium this week released Asterisk 11, (though I bet more than a few people missed it since Digium didn't do a particularly good job in promoting the release IMHO, great tech terrible marketing/PR). This is the first major Long Term Support release (LTS) since the 1.8 release that came out two years ago in October of 2010. So yeah, a bit of a number jumble here..

In any event, Asterisk LTS release carry 4 years of support, so those running 1.8 still have two years.

That said, Asterisk 11 offers some pretty interesting new capabilities. At the top of the list is support for WebRTC which delivers WebSockets SIP transport. Basically what this will enable is for web browsers (hurray Firefox!) to directly access Asterisk on the backend to place calls. That's a huge opportunity for the web as a whole and I can imagine all kinds of innovative use case models will emerge for this technology.

WebRTC sessions will be secured with DTLS-SRTP, which is another new feature in Asterisk 11. The browser based sessions will also be supported with ICE, STUN and TURN – basically a set of technologies for tunneling media streams for WebRTC.

WebRTC is something that holds amazing promise, and I strongly suspect that Asterisk 11 will be one of the defining infrastructure technologies that enables that promise to become a reality.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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