Digium debuts new Asterisk software, hardware appliance

Digium this week released a version of its open-source Asterisk voice over IP (VoIP) server as a hardware appliance, along with an updated version of the Asterisk code.

Announced at the VoN conference in Boston, additions to the new Asterisk Version 1.4 include support for GoogleTalk and Cisco's IP phone protocol, as well as several other protocol and application support upgrades. The Asterisk Appliance Kit is a sneak peek at the hardware-software IP PBX bundle that Digium will make available to enterprises early next year, the company says.

Support for the GoogleTalk protocol allows Asterisk users to connect directly with GoogleTalk users over an IP network. The software also now supports Cisco's Skinny Call Control Protocol, used with Cisco IP Phones and CallManager IP PBX servers.

A unified messaging feature new to Version 1.4 allows users to view e-mail, voicemail and digital fax message images in a single user interface, according to the company. Other upgrades include improved jitter buffering for better call quality and expanded language support for French and Spanish. A "whisper paging" feature has also been added, which allows a third party to interrupt a two-way phone call and control which party on the call can hear the interruption.

The Asterisk Appliance Kit, available for resellers and VoIP service providers, packages Asterisk with hardware and storage into a box for offices with up to 50 users. The Asterisk Appliance is a slim box (about the size of a stackable LAN switch) that will include eight analog ports and five Ethernet ports. Storage for voicemail and e-mail is done in compact flash memory. Hardware for echo cancellation is included. The box itself runs on the embedded uCLinux operating system and includes a licensed version of Asterisk for up to 50 users.

This story, "Digium debuts new Asterisk software, hardware appliance" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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