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Understanding Asterisk

Brian Capouch, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Saint Joseph's College

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Monday, July 23
Time: 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Portland 253

Asterisk, an open source telephony applications server, continues to increase in power and sophistication, and is now a well-known product in the open source community.

Because of its scope and power, learning to configure and administer an Asterisk server can prove a challenge. Its rapid evolution makes the various forms of documentation that exist subject to rapid obsolescence.

This tutorial will begin with a brief overview of legacy telephony concepts and terms, fundamentals of analog to digital conversion of sound, and the challenges of transporting real-time information over packet-switched networks.

A conceptual overview of Asterisk begins with its primary conceptual underpinnings: interfaces, channels, drivers, and contexts. A series of use cases provide a range of configuration and administration functions. Home, SOHO, remote office, and "road warrior" scenarios will be demonstrated.

The bulk of the tutorial stresses the relationship between configuration, administrative, and operational scenarios. Use of the Asterisk CLI, logger, and manager interfaces provides a means of verifying configuration and identifying problems and exceptional situations. Attendees are invited to pre-load an Asterisk server and softphone that can be used to follow along with the presentation content.