A Talk In The Clouds: Asterisk on EC2

asterisk-on-awsOver the past year there has been a building of interest in running Asterisk on cloud infrastructure such as Amazon’s EC2. Here’s a compilation of sources on the topic:

There’s a considerable information in the combination of these sources. It now appears that running Asterisk on a cloud platform is moving from experimental to useful, even desirable in some circumstances.

In truth, it’s not really my cup of tea, a little beyond my SOHO scope. But it does seem to be a source of great enthusiasm in some circles.

Update 2/18/2009: Eric from rf.com has create a complete Asterisk image (AMI) on Amazon EC2 including timers. Here are the details.

P.S. – The title of this post is a reference to “A Walk In The Clouds” which is one of my mother-in-laws favorite films. We both like Keanu Reeves.

  • Indeed, it does seem to be gaining momentum. The Twilio platform is rumored to operate on EC2 and Asterisk. Anyone seeking an infrastructure that can rapidly grow and shrink depending on demand: EC2 seems to be the right thing. This is great for people doing advertising, inbound or outbound call centers that are “bursty” (like for political campaigns), any kind of app that gets big spikes of traffic.

    Now, if we could get a few SIP trunking providers to do a deal with Amazon to offer private interconnects and zero-cost bandwidth, that would be even more interesting, and it would remove some burden from Amazon’s network as well by eliminating that transit traffic…

    JT

    • From all that I’ve read it seems as you describe, appropriate in circumstances where instant scalability is imperative. To me that implies a sort of niche position, but possibly an important one. It’s very interesting to see folks like Nir Simionovich taking it beyond the theoretical, or simple test case, and actually ramping it up with significant call volumes.

  • Oliver

    Hello mjgraves-
    Any updates on the best way to use amazon’s web services to send faxes? Asterisk? Twilio? I have heard the quality of voip faxes can be sketchy. Is this still an issue? I am trying to decide between buying my own server and going with amazon’s web services. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Oliver

    • This is not an area where I have an experience to offer. I know that some people are using cloud services to run Asterisk. Also, that asterisk can do faxes. However, the matter of T.38 support is critical to getting faxes to be reliable. This still comes up on the mailing list quite a bit.