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The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

Add SUSHI to Your Asterisk Server for Rock-Solid, Secure VoIP Telephony

When we began the PBX in a Flash project last November, one of our primary goals was to provide a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and Asterisk®-based, open source telephony server which could be easily upgraded without starting all over each time a new release of CentOS, or Asterisk, or FreePBX hit the street. We think we got it about right with our three utility programs: update-scripts, update-fixes, and update-source.

Update-scripts provides a refresh of the current set of utility scripts on your server. Update-fixes patches every known bug in all of the applications on your server. And update-source does just that. It brings the Asterisk source code up to date and optionally does the same thing with the CentOS operating system.

In keeping with our "No Tricks" pledge, all three applications rely upon "pull" technology which means you run the apps whenever you decide that you wish to update your system. And our latest Kennonsoft User Interface provides an on-screen RSS Feed to alert you in the event of a serious security issue, something the trixbox team could/should have put to good use to address a serious root exploit on virtually all trixbox systems just last week.

As you can see from the screenshot to the left, PBX in a Flash 1.3 is just around the corner with support for lots of new hardware including Intel’s new Atom motherboard which looks to be a real winner as a platform for VoIP telephony in the small business space.

What we wanted to do today is lay out our new SUSHI (Software Update Service – Hyperlinked, Interactive) program for some feedback. Previously, we have written about the financial dilemma that plagues most open source projects. As much as we enjoy working for less than 5¢ per hour, there comes a time when a modest pay raise is necessary. And that certainly applies to my two partners, Joe Roper and Tom King, who have tirelessly worked to make PBX in a Flash the very best, most flexible VoIP telephony server out there.

So here’s the deal. PBX in a Flash is and will always be free, current, and a GPL2-compliant open source project. When you download and install PBX in a Flash from the ISO, you typically get a system which is within days of being up to date with the current version of Asterisk 1.4 or 1.6 in either 32-bit or 64-bit flavors. No one else provides that flexibility much less a weekly code refresh. None of that will change!

Beginning later this year, we will introduce SUSHI, a completely optional, commercial Software Update Service incorporating update-scripts, update-fixes, and update-source for those that wish to subscribe. Simply stated, a lot of work and technical expertise goes into these three applications, and we believe it is only fair that people that continue to take advantage of the Software Update Service should contribute to the project and reimburse the development team for the one component that really sets our existing installs apart from all of the other aggregations. It also brings some much needed revenue into the PBX in a Flash project to fund future research and development.

Here’s the plan I’d like to propose to my partners. For those wishing to use the SUSHI applications, there would be an annual license fee of $30 per server. That’s $2.50 a month, about the same as a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Of that $30 annual fee, the PBX in a Flash Development Team would retain half to meet project needs. The balance of the money would be evenly split between the CentOS, Asterisk, and FreePBX projects. Stated another way, $15 would go to the PBX in a Flash Development Team, and we would contribute on your behalf $5 each to the CentOS, Asterisk, and FreePBX projects for every server signed up for the Software Update Service.

We’d love some feedback from the user community before we move forward, but we do plan to implement something later this year. So save your breath if your current mindset is that everything should always be free. When groceries, gas, housing, and automobiles are all free, we’re willing to reconsider. In the meantime, help us make this as equitable as we can possibly make it. Here’s a link to the discussion on the PBX in a Flash Forum. Feel free to register and add your $.02. Or you can post a comment here.

Today’s Best Read: Open Source VoIP: Asterisk or FreeSwitch by David Greenfield


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