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Book:   VoIP Hacks
Subject:   Nothing Short of Genius
Date:   2007-02-09 10:21:05
From:   Patrick Young
Rating:  StarStarStarStarStar

I've been in telephony and networking for nearly 30 years. Started in R&D at a PBX manufacturer in 1979, then did a stretch with the, at that time, worlds largest Ethernet company. Then I worked on a Fiber Optic Voice and Data MAN (IEEE 802.6) and have been manufacturing telecom products for the past 14 years. I think that gives me the qualifications to critique this book even without having to mention the Ethernet board I designed for IBM was featured on the cover of PC Week Magazine in 1987.

This is a very good book. If you are a VoIP systems integrator or do anything with Asterisk , this book is a must have. There are major problems with the current state of the VoIP industry. The two biggest problems are security and the unavailability of a decent broadband connection with QoS and an SLA below $400 per MegaBit. Yes $400, but we're talking guaranteed availability and less than 0.5% packet loss,and 50mS or less latency with real penalties for not meeting the SLA. Before reading this book I would not have considered putting an IP-PBX on an ADSL link. The author's idea of putting a Sangoma ADLS modem in the Linux box with PPPoE client software and controlling the modem queue is nothing short of genius. Then to top it off with the AstShape QoS scripts and the QoS monitoring tools, this book is an absolute bargain. With these tools I'll not only know if the ADSL connection is capable of supporting VoIP service, but I'll know exactly why. Much better than cutting over to the VoIP system and later discovering the problems. The whole book is just full of great ideas. There is something in this book for everybody from the Skype user to a single VoIP phone owner, Asterisk, or enterprise PBX administrators. Just check out the Table of Contents.

While the book is an asset for seasoned VoIP integrators, it is also a very good resource for someone completely unfamiliar with VoIP with a desire to learn. You can start out with free software for a Windows PC, progress to purchasing a single VoIP phone, then to a Linux PC. If you are leary of Linux, either get over it or you should probably stay out of VoIP altogether.