Video Conferencing Certification OARNet Dr. Bob Dixon Megan Crabb, Arif Khan, John Langkals, Gabe Moulton Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio January 8-9, 2002
Presentation Rules: Interruptions are REQUIRED ! Why are the slides big and bold and boring? And why are some of the slides “different”?
Course Syllabus Tuesday - Bob talks. Megan, Arif, John, Gabe kabitz. You interrupt. Tuesday evening - Bob, Megan, Arif, John, Gabe help you “Make it so!”. Wednesday - Megan, Arif, John, Gabe talk. Bob kabitzes. You interrupt.
The Internet2 Commons • A large-scale, Distributed Collaborative Environment for the Research and Education Community • A vision: • for enabling one-to-one, one-to-group, and group-to-group collaboration • in support of personal communications, meetings, conferences, and teaching and learning • for Internet2 members (primary and sponsored) and their international counterparts
The Internet2 Commons • Levels of Participation • Non-Internet2 Organizations • Internet2 Member Organizations • Internet2 Member Sponsored Organizations • Requirements for Participation • Member organization to fill out Web-based form • If organization has gatekeeper, fill out ViDeNet form • Follow relevant standards • Provide any performance-critical network upgrades • Designate a site coordinator
The Internet2 Commons • Initial Commons Management Team • Team Leader: Ted Hanss, Internet2 • Operations: Bob Dixon, Ohio State University • Research and Development: Tyler Johnson, University of North Carolina • Outreach: Mary Trauner, Georgia Institute of Technology • International Coordination: Egon Verharen, SURFnet • DV-Videoconferencing Subcommittee Chair: Larry Amiot, Northwestern University
About this course….. This course cannot cover all you need to know In 2 days. But it covers MOST things. By completing this course satisfactorily, you will be a certified OARNet site coordinator. But you are still responsible for learning the remaining topics on your own.
Site Coordinator Requirements Officially defined on Internet2 web site. Have personal hardware client Have adequate assigned time for duties Have required knowledge and experience Be or work with the VideNet Zone Administrator Support ALL campus users Provide campus training and advice Certify all local users and equipment Participate in email list (s) Maintain user directory Schedule multipoint conferences Keep records Contact the NOC for support
Video Conferencing Video Broadcasting vs Video Conferencing Like a telephone call Two - Way Call up or Answer Video Broadcasting Like watching Television One - Way Tune In or enter URL Streaming Webcasting
Internet Unicast Video Broadcasting Minnesota New York Internet Colorado Ohio
Internet Multicast Video Broadcasting Minnesota New York Internet Colorado Ohio
Minnesota New York Internet Colorado Ohio Internet Point-to-Point Videoconferencing
Minnesota New York Colorado Ohio Internet Multipoint Videoconferencing Internet MCU
Use in special room; rare Use anywhere; ubiquitous Uses ISDN telephone lines Uses Internet High installation cost Low installation cost High usage cost No usage cost Scheduled in advance Impromptu Do-it-yourself Professional operator Centralized control Decentralized control Two Types of Video Conferencing Traditional Internet Usage at plateau Usage growing rapidly H.320 standard H.323 standard
Requirements for Good Quality Desktop Internet Videoconferencing 1. Fast PC. 300 MHz minimum. 450 MHz best. 2. Good quality video conferencing equipment. Forget “web cameras”. Forget software like Netmeeting. 3. GOOD Internet connection. Most large university networks are good. Forget 56K modem dial-in. Cable modems and DSL are possible.
Video Conferencing Products 1. Software-based Generally slow and non-standard; not very satisfactory. Examples: Microsoft NetMeeting, White Pine CUSeeMe. 2. Hardware-based, plug into PC USB Port. Newest approach; will become ubiquitous Examples: Polycom ViaVideo, VCON ViGo. 3. Hardware-based, PCI-bus cards install inside PC. Added features and controls, beyond USB systems. Examples: Zydacron Z340, VCON Escort 25. 4. Hardware-based, standalone, no PC involved. Easiest to use, best quality. Examples: Polycom Viewstation 128, VCON Falcon
Recommended Equipment for Video Conferencing Desktop and Laptop: Polycom ViaVideo - cost $400 Also requires PC Classroom and conference room: Polycom Viewstation - model 128 - Cost $4000 Also requires TV monitor or projector
Where to buy Video Conferencing Equipment Scott Dalton SKC Communication Products 8320 Hedge Lane Terrace Shawnee Mission, KS 66227 800-882-7779 firstname.lastname@example.org
H.323 Video Components Local H.320 Video Room VIU Gatekeeper Gateway Existing PC Codec Card Internet Multipoint Control Unit Remote H.320 Video Rooms ISDN Telephone Lines
Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) 1. Allows more than two people to be in a video conference. 2. May be physically located anywhere on Earth. 3. Functions as an Internet server for video conferencing. 4. Every person’s audio is always heard by all others. 5. Video from the person who talks loudest is seen by all. 6. Various brands have various capacities and features. 7. Multiple MCUs may be cascaded together for larger video conferences. Or used separately for more simultaneous video conferences.
Hardware vs Software Multipoint Control Units: Hardware (Dedicated, Real-Time Operating System) Generally work well. RADVision (and aliases Madge and CISCO) Lucent Accord Software (Windows NT Operating System in a PC) Usually do not work well. White Pine PictureTel
Important Administrative Topics Continuous presence Video switching algorithms Testing endpoints in advance
MCU Control Functions Defining a conference speed number of users multiple windows Operating a conference dial out dial in Monitoring a conference Monitoring an MCU Cascading MCUs
Recommended MCUs RADVision MCU-323 9 ports at 384K. $18K Small and simple; includes gatekeeper. RADVision ViaIP 50 ports at 384K $150K Powerful and reliable; ECS gatekeeper Accord/Polycom NGK 48 ports at 384K $450K Many advanced features; no gatekeeper
Commons MCU Test Facility All three recommended MCUs are available for testing and discussion. Both remote and on-site testing. Useful for evaluations and your own purchases.
Live Demonstration of all three MCUs Web interface Telnet interface PC Interface
What is a Gateway • A gateway connects an end point using one network and/or protocol to an end point using a different network and/or protocol. • Examples: • ISDN to IP or ATM (H.320 to H.323 or H.321) • ISDN or IP to MPEG (H.32X to MPEG)
Gateway (GW) 1. Joins H.320 ISDN video calls with H.323 Internet video calls. 2. Calls may be initiated from either side. 3. May be physically located anywhere on Earth. 4. Various brands have various capacities and features. 5. Multiple gateways may be used for more simultaneous calls.
Gateway (GW) Specific example: RADVision L2W-323 1. Up to 4 simultaneous video calls; 384K each. 2. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional remote control and monitoring. 3. Customizable voice response. 4. PC remote configuration software. Provides parameter settings and software updates. 5. Cost about $5K plus $1500/2BRI and $800/2V.35
Examples of Gateways • Build-It-Yourself Gateway • Gateway In A Box • Gateway Feature of the MCU
Build-It-Yourself Gateway audio MPEG codec I2 or IP H.323 ATM MPEG H.323 codec (could be ISDN H.320, etc.) video
Build-It-Yourself Gateway • Pros • Cost savings for low usage, uses codecs that may be already available. • Can be on a router or patch bay so codecs can be easily repurposed for classroom use when not performing gateway functions. • Useful for non-H.32X networks such as MPEG
Build-It-Yourself Gateway • Cons • Needs operator for outgoing calls. • No far-end camera control translation, hangup, etc. • No T.120 translation, must use alternative, such as web conference to collaborate.
PSTN ISDN ATM IP Gateway In A Box H.324 H.320 Gateway H.323 H.321
Gateway In A Box • Pros • Protocol interworking of control and media streams between an H.Series end point with another H.Series end point or voice band end point. • Incoming and outgoing call support using Gatekeeper to translate phone number. • Far end camera control may be supported. • T.120 supported if end points support, else use web. • GK and GW are often in the same box for easy management.
Gateway In A Box • Cons • Limited products available supporting translation to non-H.32X networks, such as MPEG or analog. • Non-H.32X often requires a custom chassis configuration, as used on Wisconsin’s K-12 Motion-JPEG network to gateway to H.32X.
PSTN ISDN ATM IP Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding H.324 H.320 MCU H.323 H.321
Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding • Pros • Operator or automated support for incoming and outgoing calls. • Simplified management of multipoint conference with end points using different H.32X codecs. • T.120 supported if end points support, or else use web conferencing.
Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding • Cons • May need to replace legacy MCU • Or upgrade existing MCU to support gateway and/or transcoding functions.
OARNet Gateway Services H.323 Internet H.320 ISDN H.321 ATM
Video Interface Unit (VIU) 1. Connects an existing H.320 video conferencing room to the Internet, as an H.323 station. 2. Must be located in or near the video conferencing room. 3. Multiple VIUs can be used with multiple room systems.
Video Interface Unit (VIU) Specific example: RADVision VIU-323 1. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional remote control and monitoring. 2. PC configuration software. Provides parameter settings and software updates. 3. Maximum speed 384K. 4. May be a unique product, available nowhere else. 5. Cost about $3.7K
Gatekeeper (GK) 1. Controls all MCUs, gateways, VIUs and clients in its “zone”. A zone is any collection of H.323 devices you choose to work closely together. The devices may be physically located anywhere on Earth. 2. All H.323 devices must “register” with a gatekeeper, before they can do very much. 3. There can be only one active gatekeeper in a zone. 4. May be physically located anywhere on Earth. 5. May be physically located in an MCU, a gateway, a router, or a PC. But it is independent of them. 6. Multiple gatekeepers may be “neighbors” of each other, in different zones.
Gatekeeper (GK) (continued) 7. Provides calling with “telephone numbers” and nicknames, instead of IP addresses. A gatekeeper is analogous to a domain name server, in this sense. 8. Provides optional control of what each user can do: bandwidth and speed limits access to gateways, VIUs and MCUs 9. Note that calls DO NOT go THROUGH a Gatekeeper.
Gatekeeper (GK) Specific example: RADVision embedded gatekeeper 1. Runs in a RADVision MCU or gateway. 2. PC configuration software. Provides parameter setting, remote monitoring and user definition and control. 3. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional monitoring and remote control. 4. 100 simultaneous registrants and 30 simultaneous calls. 5. Free !
H.323 GK • Necessary for operation - but not mandatory in H.323 • Required functions: • Address translation and/or redirection • Call admission/authorization • Some (coarse) bandwidth management • Centralized point for resource reservation
Basic Operation • Endpoints register with gatekeeper to provide mapping between physical address and alias/E.164 address • Endpoint asks gatekeeper for permission to place call to another endpoint • Endpoint signals call with other endpoint • Endpoints exchange media • Endpoints disconnect, notify gatekeeper
Gatekeeper Functionality • 'Services Definition' describes the various services (multipoint conferences, h.320 gateways, call forwarding, etc.) that are available on the network. • 'Zone Definition' provides a mechanism for describing users on the network in the local zone. • 'Neighbor Gatekeepers' provides a way to define other distant gatekeepers (for example, at other campuses), so that users can make 'long distance' calls. • 'Network Topology' provides a way to describe topology on the local zone. For example, a local zone may include several high bandwidth LANs interconnected with lower speed T1 circuits. • 'Network Control' provides functions for setting global network parameters, such as overall network bandwidth dedicated to H.323 conferencing.
Network Control Functions: • Can anyone teleconference or only users that have established accounts? • Does the network use DHCP, forcing authentication by alias? • What is the maximum bandwidth allowed for each user? • What is the maximum total bandwidth on the network?