I admit to really only very peripherally followed the growth of FreeSWITCH, so I was intrigued to attend the "FreeSWITCH Boot Camp" session this morning here at ETel. It was a tough call given that Stowe Boyd was also speaking, but I wanted to understand what FreeSwitch was all about. It was an interesting talk, although I'm left with the following observations:
- I'm still struggling to fully understand what problem the FreeSwitch community is trying to specifically solve versus what Asterisk, sipX, OpenSER, etc. are solving.
- The answer from the FreeSwitch developers was that it is really complementary to those other projects and focus on scalability and stability. It is NOT focused on the PBX space but really at the carrier space and looking at large-scale implementations. Several people also mentioned using it as a Session Border Controller (SBC).
- So is it an open source SBC?
- One carrier representative involved with the project indicated that in their testing they are getting 2,000 to 3,000 simultaneous calls up with media streaming... and at least 10,000 simultaneous calls with point-to-point media.
- Perhaps that is the focus... but I would say that the FreeSwitch folks need to refine that message bit so that it's a bit easier to understand.
- Management is still pretty much all through config files. Web GUI is still "in the works".
- Looks to have a pretty comprehensive list of protocols, codecs, application interfaces, etc.
- What was perhaps most interesting was their web-based interface to a conferencing system. Pretty nicely done.
Overall, my impression was that it's an interesting toolkit to let folks play with telephony on potentially on a large scale. It will be quite interesting to see what evolves out of the FreeSwitch developer community. I'd be interested to know if anyone reading this is using FreeSwitch and what they are doing with.