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Digium’s new version of Asterisk

If you missed the news yesterday, Digium (www.digium.com) has released version 1.8 of Asterisk, rolling in more than 200 new features into the software. Highlights of the shiny-new release include new security features – explains all the security content at Astricon next week – integration with IPv6 (see previous re: Astricon), and “extensive” additions to ISDN-BRI functionality.

Asterisk 1.8 is designed as a Long Term Support release (i.e. not going away tomorrow) and indicates that Digium will provide at least four (4) years of support.

Security features in the new release include secure RTP support and a “security event framework” for logging and distributing security events with Asterisk. It also looks like they’ve cleaned up SIP implementation/security since the company is touting a “substantial increase” in the speed of registrations, TLS improvements and more flexible NAT handling.

Germans developers are supposedly happy about all the new shiny ISDN support, including call completion services, connected party identification, ETSI advice of charge (AOC), message waiting indicator (MWI), call rerouting and call deflection. I’m a little bit “euh” about ISDN support; European carriers – like anyone else with two cents of common sense these days – want to get rid of switched infrastructure and migrate everyone onto broadband sooner rather than later.

UC-esque bells and whistles include support for Microsoft Exchange, CallDev, and iCalendar, plus new conference call support, including default de-noise and no more need for DAHDI kernal for call conferencing.

“Additional” HD voice codec support includes support for flavors of Polycom’s Siren family, as well as signed 16 KHz media streams.

Scaling should be easier since XMPP is integrated now.

Another “feature” – but frankly, this is more of a Digium process change than a software embed – is Agile development.  Under Agile, specific features are worked on in one month sprints and Asterisk users (supposedly) get newer features faster and insight into a road map as to what will come out when.

Along with Agile is a new automated testing process for better code quality.

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