I am constantly getting questions on how our Notify! project works. What are the capabilities of the system and more?
The Asterisk Days:
In the early days, we actually used asterisk to do our calling. Asterisk is a great project and taught us some interesting lessons on how the system should work. Asterisk was missing a few needed functions for us to make an outstanding product for our customers. We ended up developing fuzzy logic based answering machine detection directly into asterisk. Our system became quite unique and updating asterisk to fix other problems would sometimes break our test systems (We put everything in test before it goes to production). After months of testing we found that asterisk was limiting us and also more geared towards a PBX then a Notification Platform. We had signed some large clients and the asterisk boxes were only handling about 80 calls per box (This is due to excessive sound file playing from the hard drive).
Our Windows Test:
After some time, we realized that we should try to write a complete system from scratch in windows. So, we started writing everything into a windows service. This service would query our central databases asking for a call to dial. If there was nothing to dial, that particular service sat dormant only asking at a particular interval. We ported over our fuzzy logic answering machine detection system and quite a bit of other “Secret” stuff that makes our system work fantastic. After some preliminary testing, we found that our first version was doing 300 calls per box vs. the 80 calls we got out of asterisk. After further tweaking, we got the system to do a bit more calls than that.
Our current capacity is over 4000 simultaneous calls spread over 3 geographically dispersed data centers. We have multiple databases that stay in sync. Our sound files are also stored in these databases.
Depending on demand, we have enough bandwidth to get the simultaneous calls over 8000+. That is enough to overwhelm phone systems down in most cities (Which is not something we try to do).
Another thing that took us quite some time was to find carriers capable of carrying the amount of traffic our system puts out. This is not an easy task and you cannot expect those cheap carriers to handle any amount of burst traffic.
While most of these questions have been asked of me by people wishing to make their own systems, you will find that CDYNE makes your life a lot easier by just using our Notify service. Once you went through all the hassle to build that system, you will find that our prices are extremely reasonable. We can cut costs for this amount of notifies based off the fact that we are combining more than one client.