PBX in a Flash Asterisk Distro Launches

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PBX in a Flash Asterisk Distro Launches

PBX in a FlashWard Mundy over at Nerd Vittles informs me that tomorrow Nerd Vittles will officially launch PBX in a Flash, a new Asterisk-based distribution that bundles in the best parts of Asterisk along with some cool third-party applications. PBX in a Flash includes Asterisk 1.4.13, FreePBX 2.3.1, Apache, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, SendMail, Perl, Flite, and more. Ward sent me a preview of the news that he plans to share tomorrow. Ward hinted in a previous post that PBX in a Flash would be coming in November - well starting on Wednesday you'll be able to download and install it. The rationale behind yet another Asterisk distro? Well, Ward explained his reasoning as follows:
As some of you know, we just haven’t been thrilled with the direction of the trixbox project lately. Without boring everyone with a lot of detail, suffice it to say that it’s just gotten a little too proprietary, too closed, and too commercial for our open source, puritanical tastes. So today, with a bunch of help from some really sharp folks, we embark upon a new open source project that we hope will become the best-of-breed Asterisk-based development platform. Our design goals are simple: a very modular system that meets the needs of Asterisk experimenters as well as those looking for a reliable, scalable, IP-based business telephony solution with all the bells and whistles.

I'll save the Asterisk politics for another day and stick to the news. Like Asterisk@Home and it's successor trixbox, PBX in a Flash is a simple bootable .iso image. The .iso download gives you a CentOS 5 Linux implementation which will install the latest, greatest collection of add-on’s. According to Ward, "Once the install completes, you’ll have a high-performance turnkey Asterisk PBX that’s easy to upgrade with a simple migration path to either managed PBX service or hosted PBX service. You never have to migrate if you don’t want to, and the stand-alone product will always have virtually identical functionality minus the peace of mind that comes with managed or hosted PBX service. In short, the stand-alone product isn’t ever going to be crippleware to entice you to migrate. We’ll have more about the managed and hosted options in coming weeks."

The plan is once they have a stable base platform, you’ll be able to choose from dozens (if not hundreds) of scripts to add all of the Nerd Vittles goodie bag: AsteriDex, Weather Reports, News Feeds, Email by Phone, TeleYapper, Telephone Reminders, Podcasts by Phone, and on and on. There will also be fax support, turnkey phone scripts, hosting providers with free DIDs and minutes to get you started, and loads of new stuff from developers who already are working on compatible add-on’s.

Wow! This Asterisk distro is Fully Loaded! Say, wasn't that a Lindsay Lohan movie?

Ward stated that you can easily add features you want and skip the bloatware. Not sure if that was a dig on traditional Asterisk or trixbox. I know in trixbox you can pick and choose which modules to install via an easy to use GUI. Anyway, he also pointed out that you can add your own feature requests to the growing Wish List on the Nerd Vittles Forum.

For those that don’t have a dedicated Linux machine, they've got a VMware version of PBX in a Flash that you can run on Windows XP, Vista, or as a virtual Linux server using VMware. Nerd Vittles will have the full scoop tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled!

Psst. Shhh. You didn't hear it from me, but if you can't wait till the launch tomorrow to get your hands on the .iso images, just head on over to http://pbxinaflash.net/.

You can grab the .iso images NOW!


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