Friday, October 9, 2009

I don't "do" testimonials

I was (admittedly) getting a little bored at the office today when I realized that one of my favorite activities to pass time is checking the recent changes page of the FreeSWITCH wiki. Think about that for a minute...

If that doesn't make me a FreeSWITCH fanboy, I don't know what does. I guess I just have to finally admit it:

I am a FreeSWITCH fanboy.

How I got here I'm not really quite sure. What I do know is that I despise fanboys of all sorts (in no particular order):

- Linux
- Apple
- Microsoft (how?)
- Asterisk
- FreeSWITCH (self-loathing and denial are very powerful forces)

I've been using FreeSWITCH for over a year and it's the closest thing to a whirlwind romance I've ever had (nerdom solidified, thank you). While I'm sure the honeymoon period will end eventually at the moment I'm still smitten. I sat down and started to write a testimonial on the FreeSWITCH wiki when I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to return to blogging. I'm back and I want to talk about FreeSWITCH. Here's what I have to say (complete with an obligatory car analogy):

Star2Star has over 12,000 (business) endpoints in the field and we currently use FreeSWITCH for:

- SBC (multiple applications - customer and provider facing)
- Conference services

We're very quickly moving to IVR and (ultimately) voicemail.

What is most impressive about FreeSWITCH are the small details that make working with it an absolute joy:

- Sofia profiles (multiple unique SIP identities Just. Like. That.)
- XML flexibility (static, custom module, mod_xml_curl)
- Dialplan (conditions, PCRE, etc)
- Channel variables (access to remote media IP address and anything else in a CHANNEL VARIABLE!)
- proxy_media
- bypass_media (beautiful, just beautiful)
- RICH SIP/RTP support (SIPS, TCP, UDP, SCTP, SRTP, PAI, RPID). Yeah, I can talk to anything any way I need to.)
- Codec support. Resampling. Repacketization. It's just getting ridiculous.
- Event socket. Inbound/outbound. Async. API commands. Events.

It is still *amazing* to me that I can make FreeSWITCH into the ultimate signaling-only SBC just by adding bypass_media=true or that I can send PAI to a destination with sip_cid_type=pid. Just about every component of FreeSWITCH I've come across is very well thought out, completely logical, and completely predictable. It's like driving a German car - if you take driving seriously everything just works and everything just works exactly as you expect it to.

It's as if Anthony, Brian, Michael, and everyone else on the FreeSWITCH team are constantly sitting around, agonizing every detail of this awesome piece of software just as Hanz, Fritz, and Karl are in Munich agonizing over every detail for the next BMW 7 Series. While there are several differences in this analogy perhaps the biggest difference is that it doesn't cost $100,000 for one of the most well engineered products I've ever come across (obviously I'm not talking about the BMW).

Did I mention that in addition to this rich feature support it actually scales? All the features in the world are completely useless to me in my environment unless they can scale. We've seen again and again - FreeSWITCH scales. With OpenSER/OpenSIPS at our core and FreeSWITCH serving various edge and endpoint roles I can't identify a single point where we couldn't (ultimately) scale to meet growth or demand.

Star2Star is very unique. We have a unique product, unique approach, and unique architecture. While the architecture has generally evolved and scaled over the years with the number of users, the introduction of FreeSWITCH in a given role has always been accompanied by an excitement for what we'll be able to do for our company and our customers with our new favorite piece of software. It's a very exciting time.

The future at Star2Star is powered by our (quickly) growing customer base, FreeSWITCH, and our efforts to relentlessly deploy it where we can.


Michael Collins said...


Thanks for the "un-testimonial" :)

We all love it, too. Please keep telling us about how you put FreeSWITCH into production.


Anonymous said...

Great article. Are you liking OpenSIPS or Kamailio more for integration with FreeSWITCH?

Gavin Henry said...

I've just fallen in love with the event socket and IVR too!

how to ollie said...

Excellent post and writing style. Bookmarked.