[Freeswitch-users] Hello, and stuff.

Michael Collins msc at freeswitch.org
Fri Aug 28 11:54:25 PDT 2009

Welcome! Sadly, your experience is not unique...

On Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Christensen Tom <paveraware at hotmail.com>wrote:

>  As a background, I ran an asterisk consulting company for about 3 years
> that I gave up on 2 years ago after repeatedly failing to achieve any sort
> of stability on any sort install over about 30 phones, I gave up.

The consensus I've seen is that the larger the install, the more likely one
is to have inexplicable issues.

> Maybe that was wrong, I am open to the possibility that I just didn't know
> enough and I was building things wrong, but I worked inside the asterisk
> code (which I feel is a hopeless mess), I implemented a few small custom
> features, anyway...

Any software that openly admits that a function is "pure nastiness" but
doesn't change it from version 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, or 1.6 has questionable
leadership IMHO. (grep the Asterisk source tree for "nastiness" and you'll
see it.)

> I'm coming back into the VoIP space now, and I'm wondering what sort of
> issues can I expect in trying to pick up and learn freeswitch?  From what
> I've read on the website, it appears to have a much more sane architecture.
> I've used Cisco, Broadsoft, and asterisk in the past.  By far the least
> stable and worst general call quality was asterisk.  I constantly contended
> with strange call quality issues in asterisk, lots of echo (even with
> hardware echo cancellation cards), lots of jitter, lots of call break up
> (even on small systems with 10-20 users, using QoS on the network, and in
> general doing everything I could to prioritize voice over anything else).

Again, your experience isn't unique...

> When I used Cisco call manager and broadsoft, the voice quality issues were
> basically non-existant, as long as the network was running QoS echo,
> stutter, calls breaking up, just didn't happen.  So, I guess my question is,
> does freeswitch show a marked improvement over asterisk in this department?
> As long as you configure QoS and have hardware echo cancellation does it
> actually work reliably?

We receive lots of reports that FreeSWITCH is a vast improvement over not
only Asterisk but proprietary solutions as well. The FS architecture is, as
you mentioned, not insane. It is well thought out and therefore highly
flexible, extensible, and scalable. I'm not aware of anything - OSS or
proprietary - that can match FS in these three areas.

> Thanks for any additional information about freeswitch you can provide as
> well.  I am a software developer primarily by trade, but I do lots of
> consulting type work in the SME space and I've had a couple projects thrown
> to me that require some integration with a phone system, and I just can't in
> good conscience recommend asterisk anymore.

Are you comfortable with the lack of a super slick GUI? :) Some GUIs are in
development but the power users are quite happy with doing the emacs (or
vim) shuffle with the XML config files. Furthermore, the ways that FS allows
you to connect and control are fantastic: mod_xml_curl for dynamic
configurations, event-socket for external control (think of it like AMI not
sucking and being turbo-charged), mod_xml_rpc for RPC goodness... Anyway,
the list is impressive.

I can honestly say that every week we get new people looking at FreeSWITCH
and saying, "Wow, this is incredible." I can definitely, in good conscience,
recommend you investigate FS more deeply. I'm confident you'll be happy with
the return on your investment.

Hope it all works out for you! Join us in #freeswitch on irc.freenode.net if
you want to chat in real-time.
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