13 October 2006
Here's your network's dirty little secret: Your private branch exchange (PBX) is old and outdated, and if you want to bring it into the modern era with IP telephony and voice over IP (VoIP), you're going to have to spend a bundle. Specialized switches and hardware and proprietary systems don't come cheap, and they might not even offer all the telephony features you're looking for.
But there is an alternative, as thousands of businesses and network administrators have discovered. The open-source Asterisk PBX has been gaining a big following, offering surprisingly powerful telephony features on inexpensive hardware. Not only has it been saving companies money, but it has also been able to integrate telephony with network applications in ways that previously might not have been possible.