D.I.Y. Asterisk Appliances: A Question Of Scale

Selecting hardware appropriate for a particular Asterisk installation has been a topic of discussion ever since the emergence of Asterisk. This typically centers around choosing hardware to handle n users or x concurrent calls. Often the focus is on how to scale up to the greatest number of users for a given server. However, there can be different but related considerations as we consider ever smaller applications.

In various circles I’ve lately witnessed a minor spike in interest in small form factor Asterisk systems. I have found it curious to survey the various hardware platforms that people are considering when creating their own DIY Asterisk Appliances. To establish some perspective on this I recently posted my own history of using Asterisk my own little Asterisk retrospective.

There are quite a range of small computing platforms available to the enthusiast seeking to tinker with Asterisk. It seemed to me that an overview of such hardware and related resources would be helpful.


For my purposes I’ll only consider generic platforms suitable for a DIY project , not the commercially offered embedded Asterisk devices, of which there are many. These small host platforms tend to be in the $50-$300 range which makes them approachable for hobbyists, home users and some small businesses.

Continue reading “D.I.Y. Asterisk Appliances: A Question Of Scale”

Compulab Introduces The Fit-PC2i

I am just such a sucker for little embedded systems platforms. It started with the Soekris Net4501, but I’ve also used the Soekris Net4801, ALIX boards and HP thin clients in appliance-like roles. Most recently I bought a FIT-PC2 to use as a little Astlinux server.

Continue reading “Compulab Introduces The Fit-PC2i”

Inspirational Hardware: The FIT-PC Slim & FIT-PC2

My roots in VoIP are closely intertwined with embedded systems. I really like the idea of small, quiet, lower-power hardware that just runs…and runs…and runs. That’s what drove me to my 2006 article about Astlinux on Soekris hardware and was in part the genesis of this blog.

When I saw the original FIT-PC I thought that it could be an interesting platform for Asterisk. However, with its 400 MHz Geode CPU it wasn’t that much different than the Soekris platform that I was using, so there was little motivation to make the migration.

fit-PC Slim-500

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Fit-PC Slim (pictured above) is now available on sale on Amazon for a mere $159.

Continue reading “Inspirational Hardware: The FIT-PC Slim & FIT-PC2”