[VoiceOps] Old code vs bold code

Carlos Alvarez carlos at televolve.com
Thu Dec 17 12:24:39 EST 2009

On 12/17/09 9:29 AM, David Hiers wrote:
> I've been snooping around our production systems, and the base code
> version for everything that we run in the call path is between 2 and 3
> years old.  It is patched to a fare-thee-well, and the stuff runs
> quite well.

That's interesting to hear, because people look at me like I have three 
heads when I say our main production switching is still on Asterisk 1.2. 
  I can't see upgrading production systems with any major revs (we have 
applied patches because of security/stability fixes).  I haven't found a 
compelling business case for buying new servers just to load up the new 
version until recently.

Right now we are migrating to Asterisk 1.6.2 because we want to move to 
database-driven rather then config files, as well as integrate fax and 
video phones within the same servers.  We've been working with the 1.6x 
software for nearly a year on semi-production systems with the gracious 
help of some of our more beta-friendly customers.  This week we've just 
started migrating some other customers to it, and hope to be in full 
production by year end.

> How 'bout you guys?  How long do you let a codebase steep before
> you're happy with running it in production?

Upgrading servers "because it's new" is never a good idea.  I can't say 
I have a fixed schedule, but I look at cost:benefit:risk and make the 
decision based on that.  Although 1.6.2 is very new, there's a huge 
amount of benefit in using it, and we've mitigated the risk by doing 
long-term pre-production testing.  The cost of the upgrade will be the 
same now or later (all labor of course, we're using free Asterisk).

A lot depends on the vendor, also.  Asterisk has a long history of buggy 
releases, but in the last couple years Digium has made a very strong and 
effective effort to put quality ahead of everything else.  I now feel 
confident that new releases from them are going to be very stable, and 
we get honest opinions from their development team on whether it's 
usable for our production environment.

Carlos Alvarez

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