[Freeswitch-users] In the spirit of ClueCon: Our FreeSWITCH Story
gmaruzz at celliax.org
Tue Aug 4 06:35:29 PDT 2009
On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 9:17 AM, Seven Du<dujinfang at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello All -
> In the spirit of ClueCon (which we are missing this year, but hopefully
> not next), we wanted to document our "FreeSWITCH Story". We've posted it to
> and it is copied below.
> Thank you all and enjoy a good conference!
> Seven Du (seven)
> Jonathan Palley (jpalley_idapted)
> Idapted Ltd.
> How FreeSWITCH has created hundreds of job opportunities and changed lives.
> We want to share our experience working with FreeSWITCH. FreeSWITCH has
> been a key enabler of our business. We hope this story can be a small way
> to say a very big THANK YOU ALL.
> "Changing lives" is an over-used cliche, but in this case, FreeSWITCH has
> really allowed us to do just that.
> What We Do:
> We are not a telephony business; we are an educational technology and
> service business. In Asia (China, in our case) students must pass English
> examinations to study or work abroad and gain new experiences. However,
> there is limited access to native English speakers and the access students
> can gain is typically very expensive. At the same time, in the U.S., there
> are many professionals looking for work-at-home opportunities - people who
> need jobs and would create great teachers. Through our technology and
> content we empower these people to be effective English teachers. Does it
> work? Yes. The majority of our students are getting test scores that many
> failed for years to get. Just hours ago one student called one of our sales
> agents crying with joy. And for our teachers, they are now working in an
> industry that was previously unavailable to those living in the U.S.
> Why FreeSWITCH Enables This:
> FreeSWITCH has been a key enabler of our business. Recording calls,
> controlling routing, integrating with various web-based interfaces, enabling
> multiple endpoints - these are all key features of what we must do. Most
> importantly, setting up various servers and routes to mitigate cross-Pacific
> and country-specific network challenges is key. Doing what we are doing
> with commercial solutions would have made the business unworkable.
> Our Experiences with FreeSWITCH:
> We started using FreeSWITCH as our VoIP Platform in April 2008, after
> receiving unsatisfactory results with other open source solutions. It took
> one day of reading through the FreeSWITCH source code to know, "this is it.
> This is the VoIP platform we build our business on". It took a few days of
> working with the extremely competent and focused community to re-affirm this
> Our Setup:
> Our teachers use a custom software that integrates a VoIP client with our
> web based platform. Students connect to our teachers "on-demand". Simply
> put, on a web-based comet interface the student enters a phone number (or a
> skype name or a gtalk account) and our platform bridges the best available
> trainer and the student. At the same time a web-based interface is being
> The challenge for us is the connection between teachers and students over a
> cross-continent network. For example, we experienced problems earlier this
> year when a Asis-Pacific communication fiber broken... So, we've learned to
> setup multi servers in multiple datacenters for redundancy.
> We run multi instances of FreeSWITCH so we can always use the cutting edge
> and mitigate the effects of bugs. A main, "stable" FreeSWITCH(FS) instance
> connect to other FreeSWITCHes - Fs-skype only loads mod_skypiax and FS-gtalk
> only loads mod_dingaling. Here is one beauty of FS: We just had to create
> different conf dirs (/usr/local/freeswitch, /usr/local/skype,
> /usr/local/gtalk etc). This allows us to run the same code base over
> different configurations, and call skype and gtalk accounts just like a
> normal PSTN gateway (sofia/gateway/pstn/.... or sofia/gateway/skype/.... or
> sofia/gateway/gtalk/.... ). More important, if one FS (say FS-skype) behaves
> abnormally or crashes, we can easily change to another FS-skype server (we
> run other servers located in various places in China and HK for
> FS --|
> |---PSTN gateways
> |--- FS-skype
> |--- FS-gtalk
> |--- FS-skype2
> |--- more ...
> The community's commitment cannot be undervalued. The insightful, modular
> design of FreeSWITCH allows anyone to contribute, whereever their skills
> lie. It also allows us to easily make modifications to the underlying code
> to suit our specific use-cases We want to highlight a few key people and
> modules in the FS ecosystem:
> mod_sofia: SIP is how we connect to our PSTN gateways and to our teachers
> clients. PSTN is zero-conf for the user and mitigates troubles with the end
> users network/microphone, etc (which is significant with our user base).
> However, cheap providers fail randomly and FreeSWITCH's ability to control
> routing, use multiple endpoints all while clearly seeing what is going on is
> Most importantly, anthm and the core team have been super helpful in getting
> SIP to work with us. Back in the pre 1.0 days anthm made significant
> changes to mod-sofia to enable clients behind nats without STUN. Its
> important to point out that he didn't just make the changes -he forced us to
> really make a compelling case as to why the changes were important for
> FreeSWITCH. This is a good thing.
> skype (mod_skypiax): Due to the facts that users prefer skype, we configured
> skypiax. It was unstable at the beginning and that's one of the reason we
> started running that separate FS instance. To be fair, it has caused a lot
> of trouble - but we know this, its new software that takes a big risk and
> implements a complex hack. What is important is that the author of
> skypiax(Giovanni Maruzzelli) has been a huge help. He's been very active
> fixing bugs and logging in to our box to help trouble shoot. We owe him a
> *big* thanks.
> To make Skypiax more useful, we also created some patches including the ANY
> and RR interfaces for sequential and round robin line hunting, some bug
> fixes and other features like continue-load-on-fail and auto-skype-user
> which haven't been merged into trunk yet. Thanks a community that gives us a
> platform where we can all benefit and contribute.
> erlang (mod_erlang_events): Another key enabler of the next release of our
> system is the erlang interface. We have a complex realtime queue routing
> system has it handles input not just from freeswitch, but numerous other web
> interfaces and sockets. Erlang was the perfect technology to implement this
> in and luckily an Erlang module for FreeSWITCH was already written.
> THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
> FreeSWITCH is a great piece of software that has enabled new technologies
> and business models. The design has allowed (and the core team has
> nurtured) a vibrant and exciting community that has made the software even
> better. Every day we go to work excited to push the boundaries of what can
> be done with telephony technology and are confident this is the platform of
> the future.
> Thank you all.
> Du Jinfang (Seven) - Technical Operations/VoIP Manager
> Jonathan Palley - CTO
> Idapted Ltd.
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