The last time I was here at the Gaylord National, Rich Tehrani was in the middle of a video interview
with Parature's Gary McNeil when the U.S. scored in injury time to defeat Algeria. You can't miss the roar of the crown about half way through.
Today, I'm back at the venue as AstriCon 2010 kicks off, with a standing room only crowd at the opening session, Asterisk 1-2-3, where Jared Smith, Fedora project leader at Red Hat, began with a discussion of all the things Asterisk is, including a product for carriers and service providers.
"Carriers won't often admit it, but they love it," says Smith. "Some of the ways they use Asterisk include as a feature server, least cost routing solution, VoIP gateway, peering server, unified messaging server, calling card & international callback server, and much more."
But, perhaps more interesting was his short commentary on what Asterisk is not, including refuting several common misconceptions:
- Asterisk is not a consumer product
- Asterisk is not a VoIP provider in a box
- Asterisk is not a SIP proxy
- Asterisk is not as hard as it looks
Smith did admit that, when he first began using Asterisk, he was overwhelmed because he didn't have a great understanding of the system. But, as he learned, he realized it is actually quite easy to work with. His goal for the session is to have attendees leave with a foundation for easily working with Asterisk.
The name Asterisk was chosen, in fact, because of its wild card nature. It can mean so many things, perhaps the most commonly recognized is within search functions. Read more about Smith's discussion of what Asterisk is here