VoIP and Asterisk

8 May 2013, 7:30 p.m. MIT E51-145


The near-universal provision of voice services and their terminals (called "telephones") predates the Internet. While on some level, voice traffic via TCP/IP is just another protocol, there are challenges in making it "just work" like the traditional phones that we are all used to. There are the technical issues of the nature of the data, interfacing with the still robust telephone network, and of course the UI expectations and experience.

That means that the protocols involved - SIP and the related suite - were developed in the setting of a preexisting, mature, and complex switched network. I found that from the perspective of a systems administrator or network engineer there are complications, terminology, and conventions that aren't necessarily obvious.

This talk will provide insight into the these technologies from that perspective to allow you to grasp the protocols and the context in which they interoperate, using an example implementation of Asterisk.


The presentation will be available as a:



Configuration files: these are excerpted in the presentation. Note that these files contain some of the comments and guidance from the distributed samples - in general, other than the introductory information, most of the comments were deleted.


K. M. Peterson contact, resume

See also: A Technical Introduction to Bacula, BBLISA, 14 March 2012; Lightning Talks, Using AWS for SMS Paging and SSSS, BBLISA 10 April 2013.