New feature in Asterisk 1.8: Virtual Communication Clouds

1 abril, 2010
  • Subject: Press release: Virtual Communication Clouds :: New feature in Asterisk 1.8
  • From: “Olle E. Johansson”
  • Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 07:53:34 +0200
  • Asterisk-Users

Digium launches Asterisk VCC (TM) – a new virtual communication platform for enterprises, the public sector and the home.

Asterisk 1.8 will contain a stunning new technology for all Asterisk users world-wide – virtual communication clouds or VCC (TM).  With this technology, call handling will never be the same. In one move, the Asterisk development team leaves the old world of PBX call switching behind and moves the Enterprise telephony server to the cloud.

By combining IPv6, the 3G cell network and cloud services with existing Asterisk technologies  like Dundi and IAX2, Digium moves into the era of cloud computing. The launch includes end-user applications powered by cloud services, moving Digium technology to the palm of your hand.

– “Our new platform is built for the new organization in the workplace, the family and the community – a truly virtual multimedia communication network for the Internet age. By moving our focus away from the traditional PBX, we succeeded in changing the  Digium solution from a server centric view to a service centric view.” says Sokkie Stevens, product manager for the new platform.

The first step was to transform Digium into a virtual service provider. Digium is one of the first companies to get an IPv6 assignment on a global service provider level. After signing peering agreements with major carriers world-wide, the next step was to apply the successful Dundi protocol on top of IPv6.

-“Dundi and IPv6 was a match made in heaven”, says Mick Spenser, the CTO for Digium, “Dundi had a successful peering and discovery infrastructure that is now even stronger with IPv6 multicast and secured by using IPsec.”

VCC will be a binary module distributed with Asterisk 1.8. It will connect to the Digium VCCnet over native IPv6, IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels and directly over layer 2 technologies like Ethernet. All VCC clients will get a native IPv6 address assigned. Enterprises may purchase a full IPv6 network range in the VCCnet to get full access. VCCnet is a network service managed by Digium worldwide.

VCCnet will enable automatic follow-me functionality. When you turn on your VCC-enabled smartphone, the VCCnet client will automatically report your location (from 3G cells or GPS) back to the Asterisk service. Your status will be automatically updated as you move between networks, from WiFi in the office to 3G on the road. One person can have multiple VCC clients – one supporting video, another old-fashioned audio and a third HD audio and video. The new IAX3 protocol used in VCCnet will automatically negiotiate media capabilities and select the right client for the right call, depending on privacy settings and personal preferences.

For VoxSwitch customers, VCCnet will mean that every user can monitor the movement of coworkers in realtime. By using the new APIs, additional data like credit card transactions, fuel consumption in the car, mileage in the air and calories eaten can be reported with a 3D graphical display using HTML5.

As an additional service in the VCCnet cloud, Digium will offer extended capacity for your telecommunications platform. When you need more capacity for video calls, 5+1 hd voice conferences and other coming services, including 3D multimedia conferencing, your existing PBX will be virtually extended by using resources available (and unused) in the cloud. For the system manager, it will look like all these services are produced locally, just like before.

VCC includes clients for all popular platforms, including the soon to be released Apple iPAD. “Many people was asking us for the Digium Phone, but it felt very wrong to implement an old-fashioned device on top of a modern communication network” says Mike Spenser. “The client will be a natural part of the personal computing infrastructure that already exists out there. It will be the personal communication exchange, the Facebook of the multimedia realtime communications world.”

Digium will rename the recently launched Asterisk marketplace to VCCstore and  use that infrastructure for distribution of the VCCblocks – applets that enhance your virtual communication cloud. 3rd party developers may apply for development kits and distribution agreements. Digium is currently negotiating the rights to distribute audio books and radio shows for the new culture-on-hold service while not using the VCCclient for two- or multiparty communication.

While testing, the most popular VCCblock was the TimeShiftBlock that includes the former voicemail service, now enhanced with virtual timeshifting for realtime calls between timezones. The TimeShiftBlock includes ten popular synthetic voices, including the Asterisk Diva Allison Smiths’ attractive voice. In addition to Allison Digium added the voice of the southern gentleman Danny Wyndham and the Swenglish dialect of Asterisk developer and guru Olle E. Johansson, one that was recognized with a strange smile by all Asterisk developers testing VCC.

VCCnet technology includes scalability and security components  licensed by Edvina AB in Sweden. Edvina’s experience of large scale Unified Communication networks was necessary to build a world-wide network-centric platform for this new service.

– “We find it exciting to contribute to this new service. Realizing the perfect match between the open IPv6 protocol and the proprietary Dundi technology was an eye-opener. No NAT issues and the possibility to build a worldwide network with service discovery, security and managed QoS will make this a success story. We’re proud to contribute to this solution.” says Olle E. Johansson, founder of Edvina. “The new IAX3 protocol is also really interesting, as it not only combines media and signalling over one port, but now also adds presence, instant messaging, file transfer, printing, database queries, directory services and network management  over the same port. It’s a one-size-fits-all protocol that will handle all services a user want.”

The VCCnet network is already in operation, The VCCnet PBX interface will be part of Asterisk 1.8 to be launched later this year and part of the VoxSwitch update Q2 2010. The VCCstore opens June 1st. Development kits are available to Digium authorized VCC development partners today. The VCC technology is patented by Digium and will be operated as a private virtual network on top of the Internet and the ISDN network.

For questions and further information, please contact the Digium marketing department at looflirpa@xxxxxxxxxx today. A press conference will be held April 1st, 15:00 GSM+1 in VCCconference room 142857 for media representatives. It will be available for one week on vcc:// for later viewing.

VCC, VCCnet, VCCblock, VCCstore, Digium, IAX3, Dundi and Asterisk are trademarks registered by Digium Inc.

About Digium

Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, created, owns and is the innovative force behind Asterisk, the most widely used open source telephony software. Since its founding in 1999, Digium has grown to become the open source alternative to the traditional communication providers, with offerings that cost as much as 80 percent less than proprietary voice communication platforms. Digium makes Asterisk available to the open source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and uses business-class Asterisk to power a broad family of products for small, medium and large businesses. The company’s product line also includes a wide range of hardware to enable resellers and customers to design their own voice over IP (VoIP) systems. This year alone, more than six billion minutes of calls will be made using Asterisk. More information is available at