It’s that time of year again, to update on the latest trends in the Asterisk community and the Asterisk market. In comparison to previous year conventions, this years motto was, at least according to our view: “Asterisk is now a main stream option”. We all knew that Asterisk was getting more and more recognition by the technical communities – however, this is the first time the business community had showed that it is accepting Asterisk as a valid solution in the market.

While previous Astricon’s were mainly dominated by the regular players (Digium, Sangoma, Xorcom, NetxUSA), this years Astricon showed new faces – specifically one that I personally was surprised to see – Cisco. Over the years, Cisco would either exhibit in its own closed crowd shows or at the really large events, such as 3GSM/MWC. The Cisco booth showed some new developments into the world of SIP enabled IP phones (yes, we all know these as LinkSys), however, the impressive fact was that Cisco USA was presenting at an Asterisk show – thus, actually acknowledging the fact that Asterisk is now a main stream solution.

So, Asterisk 10 was announced – which is now a final release. The more interesting stuff was going on in the Asterisk SCF meetings, where the internal of Asterisk SCF were displayed and discussed at a broader spectrum beyond Digium employees. For those of you not familiar with Asterisk SCF, think about it as a highly scalable, highly redundant, highly programmatic Class-4 switching framework. Now, Asterisk SCF is still far away from being usable at the end user level, however, it’s current feature set and its associated milestone roadmap shows great promise.

Digium introduced a new product to enable E1/T1 fail over capabilities between Asterisk servers. The product, due to be available to the general market within a short time following Astricon, enables an administrator to build two identical Asterisk systems, then switch the E1/T1 circuits connected to these from one Asterisk server to the other, upon a failure of one. In addition, the solution doesn’t require highly complex wiring and configurations, thus, provides a fair solution for most business needs.

Asterisk dominance of the SMB market is well exhibited by richness of presenters and companies presenting at the conference. 2012 will surely be the year of Asterisk SCF, when it will materialize into the product it is ought to be.