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Site Coordinator Training: VC by VC January 22, 2009


Virtual Room Videoconferencing System (VRVS) DVTS - Hundreds of Collaboration Tools ... Continuous Presence (CP) Many different layouts. Operating a conference ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Site Coordinator Training: VC by VC January 22, 2009

Site Coordinator TrainingVC by VCJanuary 22,
  • Bob Dixon, OSCnet and
  • Ohio State
  • Nicholas Thompson, Ohio State

Training Agenda
  • 1250
  • 110
  • 220
  • 255
  • 320
  • 330
  • 340
  • 350
  • 400
  • 410
  • 420
  • 430
  • 440
  • 455
  • 500
  • Introduction
  • Network
  • Gatekeepers
  • MCUs
  • Gateways
  • Break
  • Streaming Archival
  • H.323 Endpoints
  • Environmental Considerations
  • Videoconferencing Etiquette
  • Site Coordinator Duties
  • How to become a certified coordinator
  • The Internet2 Commons
  • University of Iowa use of the Commons
  • Adjourn

IntroductionBob Dixon
Peanut Gallery
  • This session is only as good as you make it,
    please chime in with your stories, experiences
    and questions
  • There are no bad questions!

What is videoconferencing?
  • A real-time, two-way exchange of information
    between two or more geographically disperse
    locations using audio, video and sometimes data
  • It is not web conferencing, video chat, web
    casting, or streaming

Different Technologies
  • Standards-based
  • H.320 videoconferencing on ISDN lines
  • H.321 videoconferencing using ATM connections
  • H.323 videoconferencing over packet-based
    networks i.e. IP
  • SIP multimedia multicast transmissions over IP
  • Currently used more in Voice over IP
    transmissions, but slowly moving into the
    videoconferencing world

Different Technologies
  • Not Standards-based
  • Access Grid (AG)
  • Virtual Room Videoconferencing System (VRVS)
  • DVTS
  • - Hundreds of Collaboration Tools
  • Some of these technologies have created or are
    creating interoperability with H.323

Conferencing vs. Broadcasting
  • Conferencing
  • Live
  • Like a telephone call
  • Two-way
  • Call up and answer
  • Broadcasting
  • Live or on demand
  • Like watching television
  • One-way
  • Tune-in or enter URL
  • Streaming
  • Webcasting

  • The United Nations
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
    ratifies standards for communications
    technologies, such as H.323
  • Multiple parties and vendors get input on how the
    standards are ratified and what gets included

H.320 ISDN vs. H.323 IP
  • H.320 ISDN
  • Special Room
  • High installation cost for connectivity lines
  • Expensive connectivity costs
  • Charges to maintain lines
  • Professional operator
  • Centrally scheduled and administered
  • H.323 IP
  • Any room with high speed Internet connectivity
  • No connectivity cost once you pay your ISP
  • Simple, user-friendly to operate
  • Decentralized control

The H.323 Standard
  • H.323 is an umbrella standard that encompasses
    standards for
  • Audio
  • G.711, G.722, G.722.1, G.723.1, G.728, G.729
  • Video
  • H.264, H.263, H.261
  • Data
  • H.239, T.120
  • Others Call Control, Directories

A Note on Video Algorithms
  • H.261 is the oldest of the standards
  • Most H.323 and H.320 endpoints can handle this
  • H.263 is newer
  • Most newer H.323 and H.320 endpoints can use this
  • H.264 is the newest
  • Only the newest H.323 endpoints use this algorithm

Why is this important?
  • With each new video codec/algorithm comes a
    better means of processing the video
  • Each new codec provides better quality video at
    lower speeds
  • This means that a 768 kbps call using H.261 video
    looks as good as a 384 kbps call using H.264
  • This can make a satellite-based videoconference
    look just as good as land-line

A note about H.239
  • H.239 is the standards-approved means of doing
    duo-video or peoplecontent
  • This allows for VGA content to be transmitted
    through the videoconference at native 1024x768

Pieces of an H.323 System
  • Network
  • The backbone of any H.323 call
  • Gatekeepers
  • A control device for H.323 components
  • Multipoint Control Units (MCUs)
  • Special network devices that allow more than two
    sites to connect at the same time

Pieces of an H.323 System (cont.)
  • Gateways
  • Devices that convert other standards to H.323
  • Terminals/Endpoints
  • This is how any site joins an H.323
  • Streaming/Archival
  • Bringing content to those that cannot attend
    either due to time constraints or no H.323

  • A firewall is a network node that acts to enforce
    an access control policy between two networks,
    e.g., between a university intranet and the
    commercial Internet.
  • Used to secure IT resources against external
    attacks and break-ins.
  • Network-layer firewalls typically make their
    decisions based upon port numbers and
    source/destination addresses.
  • Application-layer firewalls act as proxies.

  • H.323 uses the IP ports
  • Statically-assigned TCP ports 1718 1720 and
    1731 for call setup and control.
  • Dynamically-assigned UDP ports in the range of
    1024 65535 for video and audio data streams.
  • Firewalls dont allow unrestricted ports. Typical
    modern firewalls and H.323 dont get along so

Firewalls Solutions for H.323
  • bad non-scaleable Allow unrestricted ports for
    specific, known, external IP-addresses.
  • better, but still not so good Use feature of
    some videoconferencing clients to confine dynamic
    ports to a specific, narrow range.
  • OK, but extra admin work Use an H.323
    application proxy.
  • best Use a firewall that snoops on the H.323
    call set-up channels (static ports) and opens
    ports for the audio/video (dynamic ports) as

The End-to-End Performance Problem
  • Obstacles
  • Different groups, schedules, and priorities.
  • No one engineer has a complete understanding of
    the entire network path.
  • No one engineer can gain access to all the
    network nodes (routers, switches) along the path
    to inspect for trouble.
  • Communications are inconsistent from engineer to

The End-to-End Performance Problem
  • Solutions
  • Articulate the E-2-E problem to network
    management and engineers on all campuses.
  • Establish reliable communication tools, and
    insist that engineers utilize the tools.
  • Hold regular meetings bring all engineers
    together in one place and time to share
  • Have good network documentation for all networks.

E2E Recommendations
  • Develop a close relationship with the network
    engineers and NOC. Make sure they understand
    whats being done with videoconferencing and the
    network sensitivity of IP-based video.
  • Articulate the End-to-End Performance Problem to
    network engineering and operations management.
    Champion ways to reduce the problem.

E2E Recommendations
  • Have engineers in the videoconferencing support
    group trained to understand networking issues and
  • Be sure to open trouble tickets with your NOC so
    that a problem history is maintained.

H.323 is Network Sensitive!
  • The big problems are
  • Half/Full-duplex mismatches
  • Packet loss
  • Jitter
  • Substandard horizontal wiring or station cables
  • Multicast leaks
  • High broadcast rates

Videoconferencing Over a Satellite Network
  • Satellite networks are inherently highly latent
  • You cannot beat the speed of light
  • Your connection is traveling over 50,000 miles
  • Be prepared to speak and wait and to ask others
    in your conference to do the same
  • While initially difficult to communicate, you and
    the other site (or sites) will become accustomed
    to the delay after a few minutes of conversation

Networking Recommendations
  • Use switched Ethernet.
  • Watch out for duplex mismatches.
  • Keep an eye on utilization of WAN links, packet
    loss, and jitter.
  • Make use of CAT5e cable or better.
  • Make sure wiring is up to the task.
  • Test. Before the conference. To have enough time
    to troubleshoot and correct.

Gatekeepers, Multipoint Control Units (MCUs), and
  • Putting it all together

H.323 Videoconferencing
  • Bringing control to your fingertips

What is a gatekeeper?
  • Physically it is a server that can be located
    anywhere on the network
  • Functionally very similar to a DNS server that
    does Address lookup
  • Adds some control functionality
  • Creates an H.323 zone

H.323 Zone
  • Definition
  • A single gatekeeper and all of the end points
    (clients, MCUs, and gateways) that register with
    the gatekeeper.
  • Typically is a community
  • E.g. University or organization

Gatekeepers Provide
  • Admission Control
  • Call Authorization
  • Address Translations
  • Bandwidth Management
  • Zone Management
  • Call Signal Routing
  • Management Functions

Typical Gatekeeper Components
  • Gatekeeper Core Functionality
  • Web Server Management
  • SNMP Services

Basic Operation
  • Endpoints register with gatekeeper
  • This is a one time administrative task
  • Endpoint asks gatekeeper for permission to place
    call to another endpoint
  • Endpoint signals call with other endpoint
  • Endpoints exchange media directly
  • Endpoints disconnect, notify gatekeeper

Technical Description
  • Uses TCP port 1720, UDP Port 1719, 1718
  • 1720 for Q.931 call control
  • 1719 H.225 Registration, Admission, and Status
    messages (RAS)
  • 1718 GK discovery
  • Deals with H.225, H.245, Q.931
  • H.225 RAS as above but also call control and
    call setup messages
  • H.245 Media control and Transport signaling

Gatekeeper Functionality
  • Services
  • Setup for point-to-point calls
  • Provides access to multipoint conferences and
  • Neighbor Gatekeepers
  • Provides inter-zone communication
  • Network Topology
  • Allow administrator to employ traffic shaping

Gatekeeper Functionality
  • Endpoints
  • Live list of registered users
  • Call Control
  • Live list of active calls
  • Handy when you consider doing upgrades

Client Authorization
  • Open Gatekeepers
  • anyone can register
  • Predefined Endpoints
  • LDAP Authenticated Endpoints

Configuration Considerations
  • Neighbors
  • Can neighbor with everyone individually
  • Join a dialing plan
  • Choose a registration mode
  • Open, predefined, authenticated
  • Choose a routing mode
  • Direct, Call Setup, Call Setup and Call Control

Gatekeeper to Gatekeeper Communication
  • Like with telephones, it is possible to call
    out of your local system if your system is
    connected to the outside world
  • Initialy we used neighbor tables and individual
    exit codes for each gatekeeper that we had
    defined in our gatekeepers
  • As more and more organizations installed
    gatekeepers, neighbor tables became larger and
    more difficult to manage

Gatekeeper to Gatekeeper Communication
  • Then the Trans European Research and Education
    Networking Association (TERENA) came up with a
    plan to use a hierarchy of gatekeepers
  • Zone prefixes and extension numbers are defined
    by the national managing agent - usually the
    National  Research Network (NRN) in that country
  • ViDe also joined in the adoption of this plan

Global Dialing Scheme (GDS)
  • A structure for peering between gatekeepers, such
    that any endpoint associated with a ViDeNet zone
    may dial an endpoint in any other ViDeNet zone
  • ViDeNet Version 3 Dial Plan
  • A numbering plan for global video and voice over

Four parts of a GDS Number
  • International Access Code (IAC) always 00
  • A Country Code (CC)
  • Follows the ITU international access code system
  • An Organizational Prefix (OP)
  • In North America, ViDeNet lets you chose between
    E164 space and Super Space (more later)
  • Some countries use area code/exchange prefix
  • An Endpoint Number (EN)
  • A unique number assigned to each endpoint
    following organization practices
  • GDS numbers are dialed IAC CC OP EN (without the

North American Numbering Scheme
  • The North American node of the Global Dialing
    Scheme utilizes an enhanced version of the North
    American Numbering Plan (NANP) to distribute
  • The address space is divided into two
    parts North American E.164 Space and North
    American Super Space
  • E.164 Space correlates to existing telephone
    number assignments
  • Super Space utilizes unused NANP address space
    starting with 0 or 1 to create an address space
    that is separate from existing telephone
    numbering addresses

E164 Space
  • Based upon the ITU-T e.164 telephone number
    assigned to the current subscriber of a range of
    telephone numbers
  • For example, if a university held 1.919.226.6100
    through 1.919.226.6199, then that university
    would be eligible for the GDS prefix 00191922661.
    That university could assign the remaining two
    digits to endpoints 00-99
  • Aside from maintaining direct inward dial (DID)
    capability for endpoints, there is no reason to
    limit endpoint numbering to two digits

Super Space
  • Prefixes in North American Super Space (NASS)
    addresses are of the form PX9
  • P is a 0 or 1
  • No North American area code starts with a 0 or a
  • X is a variable length string of digits
    consisting of any digit between 0 and 8
  • 9 is used as a delimiter
  • Internet2 Commons 189
  • Ohio State Free Love 1109
  • Northwestern University 1169

Internet2 Commons Specific Settings
  • Adopted Global Dialing Scheme (GDS)
  • Only need two neighbors
  • North American Root main
  • North American Root alternate
  • GDS serves as Dial Plan
  • Open registration mode
  • Direct routing mode

GDS at The Internet2 Commons
  • The IAC is 00, CC is 1
  • For the OP, Internet2 requested Super Space, and
    was assigned 189
  • For the EN, we use your ten-digit telephone
  • If you have more than one videoconferencing
    station and only one telephone number, follow the
    ten digits by another integer
  • Gabe and my telephone number is 614-292-8443 and
    the GDS dial number of our office endpoint is
  • 00 1 189 614 292 8443 (spaces for readability
  • Endpoints register with all 16 digits with the

Internet2 Commons specific settings
  • Services are 001189 XXX YYYY
  • XXX digits to identify MCU and conference
  • YYYY digits for a specific users conference
  • Have not adopted LDAP or H.350
  • Currently is a Radvision ECS
  • 500 concurrent calls, 3000 concurrent

Northwestern University Short Cut Dialing
  • Endpoints (clients) register as a 1 followed by
    the last five digits of their telephone number
    (plus possibly another digit if you have multiple
    clients and one telephone number)
  • Someone registered with the NU gatekeeper calls
    me as 176885
  • Someone outside of NU dials me as 00111689176885

Benefits of GDS
  • Provides a static address in a dynamic world
  • If you have a DHCP IP address, your GDS number
    can stay the same
  • If you travel, your GDS number can travel with
  • All Internet2 Commons Conferences have GDS Dial

Making a GDS Call
001189 Internet2 Commons GK
Gatekeepers Available on the Market
  • Standalone Gatekeeper
  • (e.g., RADVISION ECS)
  • System Blade
  • (e.g., RADVISION ECS on a blade of a SCOPIA 1000)
  • Embedded in an Endpoint
  • (e.g., A gatekeeper embedded in a RADVISION
    SCOPIA MCU or gateway or Codian MCU)
  • Backup Gatekeeper
  • (e.g., RADVISION Alternate Gatekeeper)

Gatekeepers Available on the Market
  • Other Gatekeepers
  • Polycom PathNavigator
  • Cisco (RADVISION code running on Cisco IOS)
  • Tandberg Gatekeeper
  • Codian MCU-based Gatekeeper
  • GNU Gatekeeper (Based on Open323)

Multipoint Control Units (MCUs)
  • Bringing many together at once

Multipoint Control Units Hardware vs Software
  • Hardware
  • Dedicated, real-time operating system
  • Generally work well
  • Polycom (Accord)
  • Tandberg
  • Codian
  • LifeSize
  • Software
  • Most based on Windows or Unix OS on a server
  • Processor speed catching up to make them more

MCU Control Functions
  • Defining a conference
  • Ongoing conference or scheduled
  • Connection Speed
  • Number of connections allowed
  • Voice Switched (VS) or
  • Continuous Presence (CP)
  • Many different layouts
  • Operating a conference
  • Dial In versus Dial Out

MCU Control Functions
  • Monitoring a conference
  • Check to be sure it is fully attended
  • Mute unruly participants
  • Monitoring an MCU
  • MCU Status reports
  • Cascading MCUs
  • MCUs calling MCUs for really big conferences

MCUs available in the market
  • RADVISION ViaIP (Legacy?)
  • Up to 100 ports at 384k VS
  • Powerful, reliable ECS Gatekeeper
  • Gatekeeper required for dial in, but not dial out
  • Radvision Scopia
  • Chassis-based system or stand alone box
  • HD capabilities
  • Scopia Desktop
  • Tandberg

MCUs Available in the Market
  • Polycom
  • MGC (used to be Accord)
  • RMX
  • Codian
  • MCU 4200 (SD)
  • MCU 4500 (HD)

  • Newest MCU offerings from RADVISION
  • Blade-style technology in multiple chassis form
  • The combination of blades in the system will
    determine the capacity in standard and high
  • Built in web server for configuration

Polycom MGC
  • 3 Flavors, 25, 50 and 100
  • Capacity varies by configuration
  • Support for H.264
  • Can support ISDN, IP and ATM
  • Separate Software control
  • Priced by configuration
  • Built-in reservation capability

Tandberg MCU
  • 16 users, 3 simultaneous conferences
  • Support for H.264
  • Embedded Encryption
  • Supports ISDN and IP
  • Embedded web server for control and configuration
  • Small 1U form factor, 19 Rack-mountable

Codian MCU 4200
  • 6, 12, 20, 30 and 40 port Standard Definition
  • 12, 20, 30, and 40 port High Definition
  • Embedded web server for control and configuration
  • Built-in streaming available for conferences
  • Direct IP-based dialing and Gatekeeper-based
  • For IP-based dialing you need to take Far end
    camera control or use DTMF tones
  • Small 1U form factor, 19 Rack-mountable
  • 2U for HD

  • Radvision, Codian, Tandberg and Polycom all have
    HD support on their MCUs
  • Some will require new hardware or software to run
  • Definition of HD videoconferencing depends on
    the manufacturer, usually 720p with 30 fps (720p
    1280 x 720 pixels)
  • The Commons Polycom MCU is HD-capable

Commons MCU Testbed
  • Three MCUs are available for testing and
    discussion http//
  • Polycom MGC 100
  • Codian 4240
  • The Commons will support remote or onsite (you
    come to Ohio) testing
  • Useful for assisting in evaluations for your own

  • Getting two different technologies to talk to
    each other

  • Take one technology and make it work with another
  • ISDN to IP (H.320 to H.323)
  • ATM to IP (H.321 to H.323)
  • SIP to IP (SIP to H.323)
  • Any combination of the above technologies

Gateways available
  • Standalone box
  • Special card for blade-style MCUs/Gatekeeper
  • Build it yourself
  • Dual function endpoint

Stand Alone Gateways
  • Typically a rack mount box with inputs for
    different types of lines (ISDN, ATM or IP)
  • Web interface for administration
  • ISDN Gateways can take either BRI or PRI lines
  • BRIBasic Rate Interface or 64 kbps per line
    usually coming in pairs
  • PRIPrimary Rate Interface or 2364 kbps per line
    typically transmitted over T1 line

Blade Style Card
  • Will take up space that could also be used for
    other technology
  • ISDN Blades
  • Most take a PRI line

ISDN Gateways
  • Expensive
  • The equipment either needs to be dedicated or set
    up each time they are needed
  • ISDN lines carry expensive line charges and
    connection fees
  • ISDN lines provide the capability to allow people
    (on travel) to dial into a multipoint
    videoconference from a telephone and interact via

  • Radvision Scopia 100 Gateway
  • Codian ISDN GW 3200 (1 to 4 PRIs)
  • Tandberg Gateway (see also CodianGateway)

Streaming and Archival
  • Delivering content to those without H.323 or for
    later review

  • The one-way delivery of digital content from a
    streaming server to a streaming client in a
    continuous, paced, and controlled flow
  • Alleviates the need to download an entire media
    clip as a file
  • Live events dont exist as a file yet
  • Allows playing to start before download is

Streaming a Videoconference
  • Streaming a videoconference makes it possible for
    any number of people to view a conference
    either live or recorded for on-demand access
  • Viewers use desktop computers with standard media
    players such as Real, Windows Media, or QuickTime

What Can I Do With Streaming?
  • Key individuals participate by videoconference
  • A larger audience views the live stream
  • Save the proceedings of a meeting
  • Make a class or lecture available on-demand for
    later student review

How to Stream a Videoconference
  • All-in-one solutions
  • Videoconferencing endpoints with built-in
    H.26x/G.7xx multicast streaming
  • Combination of videoconferencing terminal and
    standard streaming encoder

All-In-One Box
  • Can exist anywhere on the network
  • Repackage the H.323 content into a stream that
    can be interpreted by QT, Real, or WMP
  • DO NOT optimize for streaming
  • Examples
  • Virtual Rooms Videoconference Service (VRVS)
  • Codian MCU or IPVCRhas H.239 support

Terminals with Built-In Streaming
  • Some high-end terminals such as
  • Polycom FX
  • Tandberg 880
  • Can multicast the H.26x/G.7xx audio and video in
    QT, Real and/or WMP
  • No ability to record for VOD
  • Can be a burden on the local network of the device

Combo Endpoint and Encoder
  • Two standard devices
  • H.323 videoconference endpoint
  • Streaming encoder
  • Are interconnected
  • A/V out of H.323 endpoint into A/V input of
  • Encoder can be just about anything
  • Real, Windows Media, QuickTime or MPEG-1,-2,-4
    unicast or multicast
  • Video can be recorded and stored for VOD on

Combo Endpoint and Encoder
  • Combo Endpoint and Encoder can be complex to
  • Have to schedule and manage the encoder
  • Videoconference scheduling systems dont support
    viewing the pair of devices as a single logical
  • MediaSite has a device that can be combined with
    an endpoint that can capture both the VC and
    H.239 if that is part of the conference.

Streaming Quality
  • Combo Endpoint and Encoder uses
    optimized-for-streaming encoding formats
  • Both All-In-One Box and Endpoints with Built-In
    streaming repackage video and audio which is not
    optimized for streaming

H.323 Endpoints
  • An end-users view of videoconferencing

Three basic types of endpoints
  • Room systems
  • Desktop systems
  • Software-based systems

Room Systems
  • Most will need a display device
  • Monitor, projector, etc
  • Mostly set-top boxes
  • Some can be rack-mounted
  • Some take multiple inputs for video
  • Multiple cameras
  • VGA/Scan converter
  • Document camera

Room Systems
  • All come with an intuitive GUI Interface
  • Almost all use remote controls or some other
    external interface
  • Most have one or more external microphone
  • Most hide the administrative features from the
    end user
  • Many will password protect the administrative
    interface to avoid users changing settings

Room System Examples
  • Polycom
  • VSX line
  • HDX line
  • Tandberg
  • Set-top Series
  • Edge Series
  • LifeSize
  • 261 Support
  • VTEL IPanel

Desktop Endpoints
  • Have built-in processors to handle some of the
    video encoding
  • Most will rely on your PCs monitor or will have
    a built-in monitor
  • Some with the built in monitor can take the place
    of your current monitor or be used for dual
  • Best to use only if you have one to three people
    at your site
  • Very few have external inputs for VGA, external
    cameras, etc.

Desktop Endpoints
  • Many have strong arm focusing which can be
    difficult to get the focus exactly correct
  • Becoming less popular and expensive compared to
    software endpoints on todays faster processors
  • Most desktop endpoints with built in monitor are
    aimed at the Executive level

Desktop Endpoint Examples
  • Polycom
  • VSX 3000
  • V700
  • HDX 4000
  • Tandberg 1000

Software Endpoints
  • Most work only with Windows OS
  • Rely on your monitor for displaying video
  • Use USB or Firewire webcam for capturing video
  • A decent USB webcam will cost about 100
  • Most software packages run in the 150 per
    endpoint range and offer a free trial period

Example Software Endpoints
  • Polycom PVX
  • Xmeeting
  • http//
  • Runs on Mac OSX
  • Tandberg Movi
  • http//

Environmental Considerations
  • Getting you and your space ready for

Setting Up for a Videoconference
  • Clothing
  • Lighting
  • Back Drop
  • Audio setup
  • Large Conference Room considerations

  • Solid color shirts
  • Busy outfits blur when on camera
  • Simpler patterns aid the video compression

  • Soft white frontal light
  • Standard overhead lights can cast
    shadowsespecially if the user wears glasses
  • Think of TV studio lighting
  • Camera can not focus in low lightkeep this in
    mind if you use a projector

  • No hard lines or complicated patterns
  • Can use a dry erase board, but be aware of glare
  • Solid darker color is ideal
  • Avoid red backgrounds they can be hard on the
    viewing site
  • Give audience one thing to focus onYOU
  • Good ideause a sign to indicate your location

Bad Backdrop
Good Backdrop
Audio Setup
  • Keep the microphone away from where the speakers
    are located
  • This can cause audio loop back
  • Test audio levels ahead of time
  • Make a test call
  • Use built-in features of the endpoint to test

Audio Setup
  • Make sure microphones are away from extraneous
    noise generators
  • Air conditioners
  • Laptop/Projector fans
  • May need to add echo canceling hardware
  • This is less common as endpoints become MUCH
    better at handling audio

Large Room Considerations
  • Position the camera to see the primary speaker
    and audience
  • May want to add additional cameras
  • Good lighting
  • Designate locations for QA with microphones
  • Avoid panning the camera too much
  • Use endpoint presets

Other Considerations
  • Plasma burn-in
  • Many endpoint use icons while in a call
  • These icons can lead to burn-in on the plasma
  • Projectors
  • Newer, brighter projectors (3000 lumens) are
    plenty bright to have room lights on during

Videoconferencing Etiquette
  • Make every conference an enjoyable one

Plan Your Videoconference
  • Send the agenda and handouts in advance
  • Allow a few minutes for call setup and shut down
  • Stick to the time limits
  • Unplug room telephone or turn off the ringer

Be Considerate
  • Can you hear me, can you hear me?
  • Remember to mute your microphone when you are not
    talking to the group
  • Use a location banner and name tags in case you
    are not on a first-name basis with the others in
    your conference
  • Take turns speaking and allow time for audio delay

Be Considerate
  • Dont Multi-task on camera
  • Be aware of possible audio distractions if your
    microphone is not muted
  • Coughing
  • Paper rattling
  • AC units, Laptop and projector fans
  • Dont bring food unless all sites will be eating

Tips for Getting Started
  • Provide an overview workshop for new users to
    learn basics
  • Share rules of etiquette
  • Get experience using the remote control
  • The importance of muting

Tips for Getting Started
  • Publish and distribute print materials or create
    a website describing basic equipment use and
    listing the site coordinators contact
  • Emphasize simple practices like having a clear
    meeting agenda, muting the microphone, and how to
    use the remote control

Test, test, test
  • Test with every location thoroughly
  • Testing will help address equipment and
    networking issues in advance
  • Testing provides experience and creates a
    positive end experience
  • Murphys Law If something can go wrong, it will

Why We Test
  • A student had a thesis defense
  • Moved from the planned, tested location just
    prior to a videoconference
  • Original testing went fine
  • Far site moved their unit just moments before the
    conference was to begin
  • Nervous presenter waited while new problems were

Site Coordinator DutiesBob Dixon
  • What is expected of you

Be Your Organizations Videoconferencing Liaison
  • Work with the people in your group to assist with
    scheduling and testing
  • Establish relationship with your users and best
    practices for your group
  • Work with other site coordinators at other
  • Work with users in conferences you schedule to be
    sure they can connect
  • Make nice with your organizations network
  • They can be your best friend in making H.323
    really work for your organization

Troubleshooting Point to Point Videoconferences
  • Make sure the network is up to the task
  • Eliminate Firewall or NAT as troublemaker
  • Make sure both endpoints are turned on and have
    valid IP addresses
  • Some endpoints have built-in hub and if the
    Ethernet cable is plugged in here, it will not
  • Most will give an indication that they have a
    valid IP address, but they can be wrong
  • Make sure you have link lights

Troubleshooting Multipoint Conferences
  • Number 1 support call I cant get into the
  • Make sure all sites have followed the directions
  • Make sure you have the time and date correct
  • Make sure all sites are registered to a GDS
  • Double check your speed and what you dialed

Follow Directions
  • Commons Dialing Directions come with a date and
    time (with time zone) reminder and directions
    similar to this example
  • Register with a GDS Gatekeeper, if you need to
    borrow space go here http//commons.internet2.ed
  • Make sure you are connecting at 384 kbps
  • Dial 001189 700 1234 (no spaces)
  • Call 614-292-xxxx for technical support

Timing is everything
  • Time zone confusion can be problematic
  • Dont be surprised if your Tuesday conference is
    empty on Wednesday, or simply wont let you in!

Registering with a Gatekeeper
  • Many new users have never done this
  • Typically an administrative chore and requires
    administrative access to the endpoints settings
  • This does take a few minutes and can require some
    rebooting, so be prepared
  • If your campus is already GDS, make a note of
    that on the cheat sheet in VC room

How to register with the Commons Gatekeeper
  • In your videoconferencing endpoint unit, navigate
    to the H.323 settings menu
  • Enter your email address as your endpoints H.323
  • This gives administrators some idea of who is
    registering and from where

How to register with the Commons Gatekeeper
  • Assign yourself an E.164 number in this format
  • 001189 your 10 digit phone number
  • If your phone number is (111) 555-0000, your GDS
    number would be 0011891115550000
  • Your endpoint's system may need to be rebooted.

How to register with the Commons Gatekeeper
  • Navigate back to the H.323/Gatekeeper setting
  • Enter the following IP address
  • Again, your endpoint may need to be rebooted
  • Congratulations! You should now be registered
    with the Internet2 Commons Gatekeeper

Global Dialing Scheme
  • The Global Dialing Scheme (GDS) provides a
    structure for peering between gatekeepers, such
    that any endpoint associated with a ViDeNet zone
    may dial an endpoint in any other ViDeNet zone.
  • See

Again, why should I use GDS?
  • Achieves a static address or number in dynamic
  • If you move your system around from room to room
    on DHCP network, you can always be called using
    the same number
  • Allows for long distance dialing without having
    to change Gatekeepers
  • Facilitates use of MCUs by people in different
    organizations or countries

Check your speed!
  • Some MCUs will not let you in if you dial at an
    incorrect speed
  • Some will only give you partial connection
  • Only audio
  • Only video
  • Frozen image
  • Faster is not always the best way to go!

Check your digits!
  • One added or missing number may put you in a
    completely different place
  • Some MCUs have predefined meeting rooms where a
    mistyped dial string will cause failure to
  • You do not enter the spaces in a GDS dial string,
    the spaces are for readability like the
    parenthesis and dashes in telephone numbers

Is your Polycom lying to you?
  • Polycom ViewStations have a really great feature
    that will tell you your IP address is good
  • THEY LIE!!!
  • If you have a hard-coded IP address, it will
    automatically tell you that it has an IP address
    even if no network cable is plugged in
  • Sometimes theyll lie if theyre set up for DHCP

Solutions to the lying Polycom
  • Be sure a network cable is plugged into the
    correct jack and look for link lights
  • Make sure the jack you are using can give you the
    IP address you want
  • Try DHCP, registering to a Gatekeeper, or
  • Be sure to record the current settings for later

Do you have a Firewall or NAT?
  • Firewall H.323 Bad
  • NAT H.323 Bad
  • Firewall NAT H.323 Bad

Still cant get in?
  • Some endpoints require you to specify for them to
    dial by IP or LAN
  • Is your endpoint ISDN or ATM?
  • You will need a gateway to convert your signal to
    IP and back
  • Check to make sure the Ethernet cable is plugged
    into the right place
  • Some of the older Polycoms have an Ethernet jack
    AND a hub port

Okay, now Im in but it looks terrible!
  • Do you have enough bandwidth?
  • A dedicated T1 for video might not be enough
  • Say you have 4 endpoints all videoconferencing at
    384 kbps
  • 4 384 kbps 1536 kbps which is your WHOLE T1
    and that doesnt allow room for overhead
  • Network congestion can cause a poor
    videoconferencing experience
  • Did you check your duplex settings
  • Duplex mismatch is the silent killer of

Another word on etiquette
  • Remember to mute your microphone
  • Try to stay in the frame of the video for the
    other ends pleasure
  • Theres nothing more distracting that looking at
    the top of someones head or out their window
  • Cut down on visual and audio distractions in the
  • Air conditioners, fans, and poor mic placement
  • Busy backgrounds and clothing

And never forget
  • Test
  • Test
  • TEST!!!

How To Become a Certified Site CoordinatorBob
  • What youve all been waiting for!

Take the Final Exam
  • Go to http//
  • Fill out the form there
  • The Commons Tech Support Team will receive the
    form, send you an email, and ask for some more
    information that is not on the form (on purpose)
  • You will then be certified and be on the
    Internet2 Commons site coordinator web list

Who Can Be a Site Coordinator?
  • Anyone who has taken this course
  • OR, anyone who currently works with
    videoconferencing in their organization and wants
    to self-certify
  • For a list of required knowledge to self-certify
    see http//
  • You DO NOT need to subscribe to The Internet2
    Commons to become a Certified Site Coordinator

Some excellent resources
  • Look for the ViDe Videoconferencing
  • to sign up for the
    Megaconference Mailing List
  • http// and Site Coordinator
    Mailing List
  • You will be signed up to that list when you take
    the final exam

The Internet2 CommonsBob Dixon
  • How to put it to use for your organization

What is The Internet2 Commons?
  • A production H.323 video conferencing bridging
    service, and related services
  • A test bed for new videoconferencing and
    collaboration tools

The Internet2 Commons Mission
  • Promote and facilitate remote collaboration
    throughout the Internet2 research and education
    community by means of innovative and integrated,
    standards-based Internet technologies
  • Build on useful technologies to create
    collaboration services that are sustainable,
    scalable, and affordable
  • Push developers to interoperate and listen to our

Internet2 Commons Philosophy
  • We are here to HELP people, not to run a
  • We believe in the power of video conferencing
  • to promote world togetherness.
  • We use a shared, decentralized support model,
  • to decrease costs and increase collegiality.
  • We encourage vendors to donate equipment
  • and services, to decrease costs and provide
  • exposure and recognition for them.

Current Internet2 Commons Services
  • Scheduled video conferences
  • Ad-hoc video conferences
  • Technical help from the OSCnet NOC and OSU
    professional staff
  • Video streaming and archiving
  • Access to collaboration tools
  • IOCOM, Microsoft Conference XP, Vidyo

Current Internet2 Commons Services (cont.)
  • Unlimited free gatekeeper registration for anyone
  • Operation of Gatekeepers
  • Western Hemisphere World Gatekeeper
  • both of the redundant North American
  • both of the redundant Commons Gatekeepers
  • the historic Free Love Gatekeeper
  • Free support of many events, such as
    Megaconferences (NOV 6!), Megaconference Juniors,
    Gigaconferences, Collaboranzas, Internet2-related
    conferences (such as this one), etc.

I2 Commons Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing
ServiceLes Finken
  • How to use it!

I2 Commons Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing
  • Definition
  • Example
  • Application

Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing-
Definition -
  • Fixed meeting parameters
  • Total number of connections
  • Connection speed
  • Dialing sequence procedure (dial in/out)
  • Video display
  • Voice Switched (VS) or Continuous Presence (CP)
  • Layout, e.g.,
  • Result H.323 virtual room
  • Managed by the Site Coordinator

Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing-
Definition -
  • Fixed meeting parameters
  • Total number of connections
  • Connection speed
  • Dialing sequence procedure (dial in/out)
  • Video display
  • Voice Switched (VS) or Continuous Presence (CP)
  • Layout, e.g.,
  • Result H.323 virtual room
  • Managed by the Site Coordinator

Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing- Example -
  • Maximum connections 8
  • Connection speed 384 Kbps
  • Dial procedure Participants dial in
  • Dialing sequence 001189130xxxx
  • Video display Continuous Presence
  • Layout

Ad Hoc Multi-point VideoconferencingApplication
University of Iowa
College of Nursing students participate in
multiple Master and PhD classes using H.323 video
Ad Hoc Multi-point VideoconferencingApplication
University of Iowa
College of Nursing students participate in
multiple Master and PhD classes using H.323 video
Ad Hoc Multi-point Video Conferencing-
Advantages -
  • Same dialing instructions for each video
  • Test calls are easier to schedule
  • Responsiveness to late requests

Instructors begin submitting requests for
multi-point conferencing
First day of classes
New Trial Internet2 Commons Services
  • Site Coordinators run the Commons MCUs
  • Live monitoring of video conferences
  • Guaranteed gatekeeper support and assistance
  • Video streaming and archiving, NOT associated
    with a video conference
  • These are all optional additional services, with
    additional costs.

Who can join the Commons?
  • Any non-profit or educational organization
  • You need not be an Internet2 member
  • You need not be connected to Internet2.

As a Commons member, who can I conference with?
  • ANYBODY anywhere in the world who has H.323
  • They need not be Internet2 members
  • They need not be Commons members
  • They need not be connected to Internet2

Why Should I Join The Commons?
  • You have need of bridging multiple H.323 sites
    for distance education, bringing in branch
    campuses, town meetings, etc
  • You have your own MCU or bridging service and you
    want overflow or back-up service
  • You need streaming video and archiving of your
    video conferences
  • You need technical assistance
  • You would like to try out the collaboration tools

How To Join the Commons
  • Take this class
  • Go to http//
  • Fill out the membership application form
  • Pay the basic membership fee (2000 for 300 port
  • Videoconference away!

Current Commons Members
Boston College Carnegie Mellon (Qatar) CILC CIC
(Big 10) CLARA (Latin America Network) Clemson Con
current Technologies Duke Green Building
Alliance Harvard Internet2 Jackson
State MAGPI Michigan (3)
Northwestern Ohio Supercomputer Center Ohio
State OSHEAN Rutgers San Diego Supercomputer
Center Alabama - Birmingham Connecticut Iowa Minne
sota Univ Puerto Rico (2) St Thomas Wisconsin Wash
ington Univ
Internet 2 Commons Port Hours Used in 2007
U Iowa
What does the Commons get you?
  • Mature technology, accepted standards, multiple
  • Advanced features in multiple MCUs
  • Help! when you need itand before
  • MCUs, streamers and gatekeepers have unlimited
    bandwidth connectivity to the Internet.
  • All equipment is remote controlled, and located
    in a secure, environmental and power controlled

Requesting Use of The Commons
  • Only subscribers can request Commons services
  • Right now requests are handled either by the
    submission of the form or over the telephone

Request Using the Web Form
  • http//
  • Password protected
  • Password sent upon completing subscription
  • Form is automatically emailed to the Internet2
    Commons NOC at OSCnet
  • You will receive a confirming email with
    connection information

Email the Request
  • Send to
  • Include
  • Date, start time, end time, time zone
  • Your contact information
  • Connection speed
  • Number of sites
  • Select VS or CP and layout
  • Streaming request

Most commonly used layouts
Special FREE TRIAL period
The month immediately following the Site
Coordinator Training, all services are FREE to
everyone. A limit of one conference at a time,
and a limit of 50 port hours will be set
up. Note, only certified site coordinators can
request services, so be sure to complete the
certification process.
New Services coming in 2009
The Commons Management Team meets twice a month
to discuss operational issues for the Commons.
We plan on rolling out some new features in 2009.
One new feature will be a monitored conference.
We also have plans to add an HD MCU. We are also
in process of re-engaging our Commons
Corporate Members. Watch our website for further
Thank you
  • We expect our inbox to be flooded with Site
    Coordinator forms!