The rage these days seems to be that of communications appliances as installing software seems to be so last year and plug-and-play seems just so 2007. To that end Trixbox has a new – you guessed it – appliance for the masses. Formerly Asterisk@Home the Trixbox appliance is based on Asterisk open-source PBX software and as I just discussed, Trixbox marketing tells us this device makes installing an open-source PBX both fast and simple.
Now you may be confused about all these different open-source PBX companies – many of whom are based on Asterisk and at least one is indeed Asterisk. Chris Lyman the CEO of Trixbox likes to explain his products versus the competition as follows:
Asterisk is the raw materials – the hammers, nails and wood if you will. If you are a construction company this is how you go about building your dream house.
Trixbox is for those non-construction companies out there. Chris likens Trixbox to Home Depot. The way to build a house for the rest of us if you will. To continue the analogy – this is great for the handyman allowing you to build a house quickly.
PBXtra is Fonality’s commercial product and Chris likens it to a prefabricated house.
Chris continues by saying all three products are critical to the construction and open-source telephony markets. He went on to say Fonality has 2,000 Asterisk deployments to date with over 50,000 phones sold.
To continue with analogy-palooza, Chris says he wants his company to be the Red Hat of the Asterisk space. To that end he backs up his ambitions comments with numbers like the million downloads Trixbox has had. In addition he claims 65,000 downloads last month and 80,000 from the month before.
Moreover Chris went on to say that based on an article in Forbes where Mark Spencer the CEO of Digium was interviewed — Trixbox has double the downloads of Asterisk.
As appliances seem to be all the rage these days, it is worth noting Trixbox has thrown its open-source hat into the ring and has introduced a 3U Trixbox appliance which is strikingly green in color. The system includes the Asterisk GUI from Asterisk Now.
They differentiate their appliance from the likes of Digium and Linksys by saying they believe their device can scale to 500 users. Chris says that since Asterisk is CPU intensive and 1 GB is not enough voicemail storage for more than 25 users, Trixbox has dual redundant hard disks as their voice mail store and a Pentium-based architecture.
You can opt for 2 power supplies of you so choose and there are no power switches to accidentally hit. Continuing with this batter safe than sorry design methodology, there are no buttons on the front to accidentally hit and change the configuration of the device.
The appliance consists of cards from Sangoma which the company says are an excellent choice due the echo-cancellation afforded by this solution.
The open-source PBX space is generating more and more interest among resellers and corporations alike. It seems the move from software to appliances is a good one and I expect the uptake of open-source communications products to be greater than ever.
Also see Asterisk Appliance.