A Free Virtual PBX?

Updated: January 07, 2011

OK, this is a completely radical idea spawned from this great series of posts on the Voxilla site about their implementation of Asterisk in the cloud running on Amazon's Elastic Compute CLoud (EC2). The only problem of any kind with this great solution is that Amazon wants its money - EC2 is completely pay to play on Amazon's (admittedly great and very robust and scalable) infrastructure.

It occurred to me that by now there really ought to be some open source versions of cloud software out there and that someone could then replicate Voxilla's detailed instructions on that platform (tailored to the new cloud software of course) to build a completely open source and maybe even free virtual PBX running out there somewhere on the internet.

It turns out that there is - sort of. I read about Eucalyptus - an open-source cloud computing infrastructure that duplicates the functionality of Amazon's EC2, even using Amazon's command-line interface. The sytem does require Rocks 5 - a clustering solution for Linux boxes. The Eucalyptus team is working on extending the solution and making it easier. But for now it should be possible for anyone running a set of Linux servers to set up and install a cloud computing infrastructure running Asterisk and offering virtual open-source PBX to the world.

Just not quite there yet with the free part though...

Featured Research
  • The New SMB Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    Does your small or medium-size business need a new phone system? Then you're in luck! Our new, updated comparison guide helps you cut through superfluous information and narrow down your list of solution providers. Get the latest data on phone system features, pricing, and performance metrics in an easy-to-use format. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more

  • [Infographic] Switching Phone Systems

    There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more

  • Business VoIP on a Budget

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems represent the next innovation of telephone connection and communication by making it possible to conduct calls over a broadband internet connection, rather than an analog phone line. more

  • [Infographic] The Advantages of Unified Communications

    Did you know that according to 8x8, the tangible ROI of a unified communications solution for a 10,000-person enterprise is approximately $15.5 million? This isn't the only way unified communications can improve your business. more