Digium Cranks Open Source Asterisk to 10

asteriskFrom the ‘I was a 1.0 user!’ files

I make no apologies for being a huge fan of the Asterisk open source PBX project. I’ve been a user since the 1.0 release, which is coincidentally the first time I ever wrote about the project, all the way back in 2004.

Today Asterisk 10.0 is being released and just like the first Asterisk, it offers a whole lot of practical promise. The big new item is the media codec support with something that Digum refers to as, the ‘wide-band media engine.’ So instead of being focused on telephony alone, Asterisk is now morphing into more of a full fledged unified collaboration and video platform.

On the video front, Asterisk 10 has an HD conferencing bridge called ConfBridge that has video support too.

“Asterisk 10 catapults the platform forward and future-proofs its media handling,” said Mark Spencer, Asterisk’s creator and Digium’s founder and chief technology officer in a statement. “Working with the open source community, we’ve added a wide range of capabilities that enable Asterisk to provide outstanding support for more types of media.”

While Asterisk 10 is now out, Digium and its open source community partners are also still working on the Asterisk Scalable Communications Framework (SCF) . SCF was first announced last year as a way to build a scalable VoIP infrastructure.

“Even 12 years after Asterisk’s release, Digium remains wholly committed to continuing to advance it as user preferences, community requirements and the technology landscape evolve,” Spencer said in a statement.

What’s amazing to me about Mark Spencer’s public statements is how closely they mirror what he told me the first time I met him face to face six year ago. At that time he told me:

Asterisk is driven by customers and developers. Where Asterisk is going is a function of those two things. Either it will go where paying customers want it to go, or it will go where developers want it to go, or both.

It’s fantastic to have so many people that are trying to contribute that it’s overwhelming. You couldn’t ask for much more.

Congratulations Asterisk, it’s amazing for me to see, that even after all this time (and hey I though that Asterisk 1.0 was great) there is still room to innovate.

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