[asterisk-users] Press release: Virtual Communication Clouds :: New feature in Asterisk 1.8

Olle E. Johansson oej at edvina.net
Thu Apr 1 00:53:34 CDT 2010

Puerto Escondido, Mexico, April 1st, 2010:

Digium launches Asterisk VCC (TM) - a new virtual communication platform
for enterprises, the public sector and the home.

Asterisk 1.8 will contain a stunning new technology for all Asterisk users world-
wide - virtual communication clouds or VCC (TM).  With this technology, call 
handling will never be the same. In one move, the Asterisk development team 
leaves the old world of PBX call switching behind and moves the enterprise 
telephony server to the cloud. 

By combining IPv6, the 3G cell network and cloud services with existing Asterisk
technologies  like Dundi and IAX2, Digium moves into the era of cloud computing. 
The launch includes end-user applications powered by cloud services 
- moving Digium technology to the palm of your hand.

- "Our new platform is built for the new organization in the workplace, the family
and the community - a truly virtual multimedia communication network for the
Internet age. By moving our focus away from the traditional PBX, we succeeded
in changing the  Digium solution from a server centric view to a service centric view." 
says Sokkie Stevens, product manager for the new platform.

The first step was to transform Digium into a virtual service provider. Digium
is one of the first companies to get an IPv6 assignment on a global service
provider level. After signing peering agreements with major carriers world-
wide, the next step was to apply the successful Dundi protocol on top of

-"Dundi and IPv6 was a match made in heaven", says Mick Spenser,
the CTO for Digium, "Dundi had a successful peering and discovery
infrastructure that is now even stronger with IPv6 multicast and secured
by using IPsec."

VCC will be a binary module distributed with Asterisk 1.8. It will connect
to the Digium VCCnet over native IPv6, IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels and directly
over layer 2 technologies like Ethernet. All VCC clients will get a native
IPv6 address assigned. Enterprises may purchase a full IPv6 network range
in the VCCnet to get full access. VCCnet is a network service managed
by Digium worldwide.

VCCnet will enable automatic follow-me functionality. When you turn
on your VCC-enabled smartphone, the VCCnet client will automatically report your
location (from 3G cells or GPS) back to the Asterisk service. Your status
will be automatically updated as you move between networks, from
WiFi in the office to 3G on the road. One person can have multiple
VCC clients - one supporting video, another old-fashioned audio
and a third HD audio and video. The new IAX3 protocol used in VCCnet
will automatically negiotiate media capabilities and select the right client
for the right call, depending on privacy settings and personal preferences.

For VoxSwitch customers, VCCnet will mean that every user can monitor
the movement of coworkers in realtime. By using the new APIs, additional
data like credit card transactions, fuel consumption in the car, mileage
in the air and calories eaten can be reported with a 3D graphical display
using HTML5.

As an additional service in the VCCnet cloud, Digium will offer extended
capacity for your telecommunications platform. When you need more capacity
for video calls, 5+1 hd voice conferences and other coming services, including
3D multimedia conferencing, your existing PBX will be virtually extended by using
resources available (and unused) in the cloud. For the system manager, it will 
look like all these services are produced locally, just like before.

VCC includes clients for all popular platforms, including the soon to be released
Apple iPAD. "Many people was asking us for the Digium Phone, but it felt very
wrong to implement an old-fashioned device on top of a modern communication
network" says Mike Spenser. "The client will be a natural part of the personal computing
infrastructure that already exists out there. It will be the personal communication
exchange, the Facebook of the multimedia realtime communications world." 

Digium will rename the recently launched Asterisk marketplace to 
VCCstore and  use that infrastructure for distribution of the VCCblocks 
- applets that enhance your virtual communication cloud. 3rd party developers 
may apply for development kits and distribution agreements. Digium is currently 
negotiating the rights to distribute audio books and radio shows for the new 
culture-on-hold service while not using the VCCclient for two- or multiparty communication.

While testing, the most popular VCCblock was the TimeShiftBlock that includes
the former voicemail service, now enhanced with virtual timeshifting for realtime
calls between timezones. The TimeShiftBlock includes ten popular synthetic voices,
including the Asterisk Diva Allison Smiths' attractive voice. In addition to Allison
Digium added the voice of the southern gentleman Danny Wyndham and the 
Swenglish dialect of Asterisk developer and guru Olle E. Johansson, one that
was recognized with a strange smile by all Asterisk developers testing VCC.

VCCnet technology includes scalability and security components  licensed by
Edvina AB in Sweden. Edvina's experience of large scale Unified Communication
networks was necessary to build a world-wide network-centric platform for 
this new service. 

- "We find it exciting to contribute to this new service. Realizing the perfect
match between the open IPv6 protocol and the proprietary Dundi technology
was an eye-opener. No NAT issues and the possibility to build a worldwide
network with service discovery, security and managed QoS will make this
a success story. We're proud to contribute to this solution." says Olle E. Johansson,
founder of Edvina. "The new IAX3 protocol is also really interesting, as it
not only combines media and signalling over one port, but now also adds
presence, instant messaging, file transfer, printing, database queries, directory
services and network management  over the same port. It's a one-size-fits-all 
protocol that will handle all services a user want."

The VCCnet network is already in operation, The VCCnet PBX interface will be part
of Asterisk 1.8 to be launched later this year and part of the VoxSwitch update
Q2 2010. The VCCstore opens June 1st. Development kits are available to
Digium authorized VCC development partners today. The VCC technology
is patented by Digium and will be operated as a private virtual network on top
of the Internet and the ISDN network.

For questions and further information, please contact the Digium marketing department at
looflirpa at digium.com today. A press conference will be held April 1st, 15:00 GSM+1 in 
VCCconference room 142857 for media representatives. It will be available for one 
week on vcc://digium.com::conference:142857 for later viewing.

VCC, VCCnet, VCCblock, VCCstore, Digium, IAX3, Dundi and Asterisk are
trademarks registered by Digium Inc.

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