[Freeswitch-users] In the spirit of ClueCon: Our FreeSWITCH Story

Diego Viola diego.viola at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 17:54:34 PDT 2009

Very cool, and yes, FreeSWITCH does rock =D

Both the software and the community ;)

2009/8/4 João Mesquita <jmesquita at gmail.com>

> If this is good for me to hear, I would imagine to the core team.
> Despite of this not being a group support meeting, I have to say that:
> Thank you for sharing, Seven.
> jmesquita
> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 4:17 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 the wiki(
>> http://wiki.freeswitch.org/wiki/FreeSWITCH_Testimonial_on_Idapted.com)
>> 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.
>> http://www.idapted.com
>> 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
>> commitment.
>> 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
>> updated.
>> 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
>> redundancy).
>> 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
>> key.
>> 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.
>> Beautiful.
>> 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.
>> Sincerely,
>> Du Jinfang (Seven) - Technical Operations/VoIP Manager
>> Jonathan Palley - CTO
>> Idapted Ltd.
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