Very early on, I knew that someday in some “perfect” future out there over the horizon, it would be commonplace for computers to handle all of the necessary processing functionality internally, making the necessary external hardware to connect up to telecom interfaces VERY inexpensive and in some cases trivial.
—Jim Dixon, “The History of Zapata Telephony and How It Relates to the Asterisk PBX”
By this point, you must be anxious to get your Asterisk system up and running. If you are building a hobby system, you can probably jump right to the next chapter and begin the installation. For a mission-critical deployment, however, some thought must be given to the environment in which the Asterisk system will run. Make no mistake: Asterisk, being a very flexible piece of software, will happily and successfully install on nearly any Linux platform you can conceive of, and several non-Linux platforms as well. However, to arm you with an understanding of the type of operating environment Asterisk will really thrive in, this chapter will discuss issues you need to be aware of in order to deliver a reliable, well-designed system.
In terms of its resource requirements, Asterisk’s needs are similar to those of an embedded, real-time application. This is due in large part to its need to have priority access to the processor and system buses. It is therefore imperative that any functions on the system not directly related to the call-processing tasks ...