What is Asterisk

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Asterisk is an open source framework for building communications applications. It turns an ordinary computer into a communications server. Asterisk powers IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, conference servers and other custom solutions. It is used by small businesses, large businesses, call centers, carriers and government agencies, worldwide. Asterisk is free and open source. Asterisk is sponsored by Digium.

Today, there are more than one million Asterisk-based communications systems in use, in more than 170 countries. Asterisk is used by almost the entire Fortune 1000 list of customers. Most often deployed by system integrators and developers, Asterisk can become the basis for a complete business phone system, or used to enhance or extend an existing system, or to bridge a gap between systems.

 

Asterisk is a framework for building multi-protocol, real-time communications applications and solutions. Asterisk is to realtime voice and video applications as Apache is to web applications: the underlying platform. Asterisk abstracts the complexities of communications protocols and technologies, allowing you to concentrate on creating innovative products and solutions.

 

You can use Asterisk to build communications applications, things like business phone systems (also known as IP PBXs), call distributors, VoIP gateways and conference bridges. Asterisk includes both low and high-level components that significantly simplify the process of building these complex applications.

 

Since Asterisk supports the industry standard SIP protocol, it is inter-operable with numerous SIP end points (IP phones, Mobile apps), gateways and servers on the market. 

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Who creates Asterisk?

Asterisk was created in 1999 by Mark Spencer of Digium, today a division of Sangoma Technologies Corporation.  Originally designed for Linux,  Asterisk runs on a variety of operating systems, including NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, macOS, and Solaris, and can be installed in embedded systems based on OpenWrt.