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Streaming Video Solutions White Paper Streaming Video Solutions White Paper Document Transcript

  • IVCI'S STREAMING VIDEO SOLUTION TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. IVCI'S STREAMING SOLUTION TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER TABLE OF CONTENTS Feature Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Easy to Use Presenter Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Questions & Answer Sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Immediate Archival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Ease of Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Slide Show Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 High Resolution Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Real-time Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Enhanced Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Video Mail Creation & Campaign Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Integrated Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Intelligent Edge Caching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 H.32X Endpoint Agnostic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Software and IP-centric Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Presentation Layer - Content and User Management System . . . . . . . .6 Business Logic Layer - Validation and Application Rules . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Data Access Layer - Security and Automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 IP-based Product for the Internet and Intranet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Sophisticated Content Creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Intelligent, Distributed Conferencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Conferserv Distribution Node . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 H.323 Simple Cascading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Bandwidth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 System Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Data Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 System Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Firewall Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Legal and Contact Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 2
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. INTRODUCTION IVCi's streaming solution by Conferserv is a new, powerful multimedia collaboration tool that enables non-technical business professionals to easily record meetings and presentations and create interactive presentations from in-house conference rooms with the same high quality results as professional media studios. It combines high-end video with synchronized slides and interactivity to produce compelling messages that inform, educate, and drive action. IVCi provides a completely integrated collaboration environment that manages content, tracks who receives it, who views it and drives real time communications and decision-making. The platform is built on Microsoft .NET and other leading industry standards to ensure a robust and secure operating environment. The platform supports applications such as live and video on-demand (VOD) product announcements, employee training, video mail marketing campaigns, sales news & success stories, company meetings, and customer training - applications that provide competitive advantage! IVCi can provide a choice of solutions ranging from a service on the public internet to hosting and managing the streams in the secure IntelliNet environment to providing the solution in a customers own infrastructure. The choice depends on how much security and performance is required along with a preference to have unlimited access compared to pay by the minute. The following information provides a summary of features and technology. FEATURE SUMMARY Easy to Use Presenter Interface A simple to use and easy to navigate interface for content producers to create content. Using standard videoconferencing remote controls, producers can preview slides, push slides, send web pages and polls, gather detailed audience viewing parameters, and answer audience questions all without the need of an auxiliary PC. Customizable Web Viewer (Client) The client runs on any standard Internet browser and does not require client-side software to be installed. Features supported by the web viewer include: • High-quality live and VOD audio and video • PowerPoint Slides • Q&A chat • Author chapters • Personalized bookmarks • Custom links to web pages or other presentation supporting materials • VCR control over content 3
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. Question & Answer Sessions The Q&A feature allows viewers of the videoconference to participate by communicating with the moderator via back channel text communication. They no longer require an H.32x endpoint for communication and are not limited to one-way communication. Immediate Archival Automatic archiving of live meetings, presentations, and Webcasts. Once the Webcast is concluded, the content is immediately available as VOD. With competitive systems, the production time required to convert live Webcast content to VOD is most often measured in days and weeks; the IVCi solution ensures a VOD version of the Webcast is available for viewing within minutes of the event's conclusion. Storage capacity will scale to meet the most demanding content archival requirements. The baseline storage configuration can be determined based on anticipated usage. For example, assuming a 400Kbps payload (streaming content and data elements), one hour of streaming content will consume approximately 180MB of available storage capacity. For enterprises that have a greater need for increasingly sophisticated storage features and total capacity, the server is easily configured to support fiber-based network and storage devices. Ease of Administration Administration is from a web-based user interface in any java enabled browser from anywhere on the Internet, enabling the administrator to create content producer and end user accounts as well as administer all live and archived videoconferences. Each customer is provided with three powerful tools used for accessing and managing their account and content: 1. Content Creation Port - A network connection to the server where video and other content is captured and synchronized for encoding, streaming, and storage 2. Administration Portal - Web page where company administrators configure the account, manage content, add/modify users, create groups, assign access rights, and privileges 3. Content Portal - Web page where all users access live or on-demand content such as meetings being streamed, archived meetings or interactive presentations Customers use their existing video conferencing systems to connect to a Network Content Creation Port using either IP or ISDN. Once connected, they are required to enter a password for authentication and then connected to their existing database where they are able to access all Conferserv services, such as recording meetings or Webcasting presentations. The administration portal allows each company to manage its own account and content through a simple, easy to use web page available from any standard Internet browser. When an administrator logs into the system, they are presented with only the information about their company's account, users, and content, just as if they were accessing their own server on their own network. 4
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. The Content Portal provides a convenient and powerful web interface that allows enterprise viewers to log-in from a standard Internet browser and easily access the content for which they have been granted privileges. The Content Portal also allows content to be organized in meaningful ways, such as by department, division, or type of content. Slide Show Tool The presenter can present slides throughout the conference, enhancing their presentation. High Resolution Video Support is provided for 320X240 native video that can be shown full screen with the click of a button (up to the max PC screen resolution). Real-time Monitoring This is enabled with a robust suite of content management and monitoring services. The reporting applications are a move beyond basic SNMP data gathering to a more detailed and integrated set of network and end user monitoring and analysis tools that provide a centralized view of all activity across an enterprise. Enhanced Security Access is controlled to Networks, Channels, and Content by authenticating a content producer's or participant's user ID and password. When creating a Webcast, the content producer has access to detailed security control parameters which allow for a targeted content viewing and distribution profile to be created and enforced. All administrative functions are supported with native SSL. Video Mail Creation & Campaign Management Presenters can leverage the system to record a video mail message and/or presentation. With the use of simple templates, presenters can create, address, and send HTML email messages - your users simply click on the embedded video link to view your video presentation. All viewer actions are recoded for comprehensive campaign reporting. And since the actual video file is not sent with the mail message, you never have to worry about your message be blocked by firewalls or subjected to mailbox storage limits. Integrated Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU) Whether as part of the public service or the private IntelliNet hosted service there is a choice of MCU options built in. Intelligent Edge Caching The next generation of intelligent content distribution technologies are enabled making major steps forward in the area of media redirection and network load balancing. Like early generation load balancing components, the system can parse URL's, HTTP Headers and perform content checks. In addition to these supported rules, there are a suite of rich capabilities that enable SNMP checks, scriptable content, geographic location, complex formula based redirection and more. In addition rules are created by developing an XML based language where scripts can be located anywhere on the Internet yet run within the distributed platform. Edge caching is not available as part of the public internet service. 5
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. H.32X Endpoint Agnostic Significant interoperability testing has been done to ensure that the majority of H.32X-protocol endpoints in use today for content creation are supported. SOFTWARE AND IP-CENTRIC SOLUTION The solution is designed to run on Microsoft Windows NT and 2000 servers. Network performance has been optimized for each platform and structured as a software solution that can take advantage of incremental hardware improvements. Conferserv is designed as an n-tier, database-driven, web-based application comprised of several tightly integrated, patent-pending software components. Each component was designed to tightly integrate Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows SQL database, and Microsoft Windows Media. Application modules can be divided into the following areas: Figure 1 - Conferserv Software Architecture Presentation Layer - Content and User Management System The user interface (UI) is a browser-based, database driven front-end that has been developed using Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET programming environment. The user interface leverages the MS.NET Framework and the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web-server, IIS 5.0 to host web pages written in HTML, Flash, asp, apsx, and XML. Business Logic Layer - Validation and Application Rules Business rules have been abstracted from both the presentation layer (so they can be easily re-used on many different pages) and the data access layer (so that they can be modified without affecting the structure of the database). The business logic layer consists of re-usable components, modules, and .NET Web-services provide the application with input validation, database communications, user authentication, Webcast notification, e-mail notification, PowerPoint upload, and JPG conversion and other capabilities that result in sophisticated functionality and automation. The business logic layer, in conjunction with the application UI and the SQL database, provides a powerful and logical security model to define end-user access and capabilities in a familiar user/group model. Moreover, the business layer provides several different levels of administrative privileges providing fine-grain content, user, data, and application control. 6
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. Data Access Layer - Security and Automation While the Web-UI provides the user front-end, all of the component technologies are tightly integrated via a sophisticated relational database running on Microsoft SQL 2000. There are hundreds of custom developed, stored procedures used by the application to interact with the creation and management schema, which is comprised of over 70 tables logically distributed among four (4) separate databases. This fully normalized relational schema is the heart of the platform, and allows for great flexibility and scalability in the way the solution is deployed, whether in an Enterprise or service provider or hosted scenario. IP-based Product for the Internet and Intranet The system is an IP-centric solution that solves the problems associated with packet networks and integration into the Web-based, distributed client/server paradigm. It is optimized for packet networks and leverages advanced IP technologies to address network saturation. SOPHISTICATED CONTENT CREATION The solution features a powerful content creation application making it possible for authorized users to create very high-quality video/audio/text from virtually any analog A/V source (camcorder, VCR, DVD, production studio or videoconferencing end-point). These content creation components, or tools, allow for synchronized delivery of live and/or on-demand streaming media with additional information supplied and controlled by the creator in the form of slides (from PowerPoint), audience Q&A, audience polling and webpage co-browsing. The encoding methodology accommodates both Internet and intranet audiences. The content creation sub-system is tightly coupled with industry standard H.323/H.320 videoconferencing codecs, enabling any authorized user to connect via ISDN or IP to create high- quality video/audio from virtually anywhere in the world. The encoding sub-system employs Windows Media Video 7 and AClep Audio CODECS. In rare cases, when these CODECS are not pre-installed, the Microsoft Windows Media Player will automatically request them from Microsoft. The encoding sub-system automatically publishes three (3) streams for every live Webcast to accommodate three (3) different connection speeds: low (target bit rate = 30K), medium (target bit rate = 80K) and high (target bit rate 256K). These files are automatically archived (with synchronized data elements such as PowerPoint slides, URL "pushes", and polling questions and answers) and used for on- demand applications such as Video Mail and video on-demand. Figure 2 - Conferserv Encoding Object 7
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. INTELLIGENT, DISTRIBUTED CONFERENCING The solution supports and promotes a distributed conferencing model with distributed server linking, taking into consideration the major factors that affect bandwidth use and network performance in the IP environment. When distributing content across a wide area network, multiple, distributed Conferserv Distribution Nodes can be deployed to balance the conferencing load on the network - routing audio, video, and data streams from distributed endpoints through appropriate local paths. Through the use of static or dynamic server linking or cascading, coupled with intelligent content routing and caching, administrators can create a Conferserv Enterprise topology that minimizes the distribution of multiple copies of media across lower bandwidth-capable segments of a WAN or the Internet. Conferserv Distribution Node The Conferserv Distribution Node helps organizations reduce bandwidth cost by accepting a single ingress video and/or streaming source stream, and on egress, splitting that single source stream into multiple individual content streams. For example, a Distribution Node deployed on a corporate LAN will accept a single ingress stream and simultaneously split and distribute upon egress said content to hundreds or event thousands of individuals. The Distribution Node's benefit in this situation is that it eliminates the corporation's requirement to "pull" high bandwidth streams across the corporate border gateway thus saving the enterprise substantial "upstream" bandwidth costs. H.323 Simple Cascading Simple cascading (H.243) is supported, which allows connection to other external MCUs to extend a conference. In this mode, Conferserv is viewed as a single endpoint; and likewise the other MCUs directly connected are viewed as a single endpoint. What this means is that the connected MCUs will decide which audio and video stream to send to Conferserv and users connected will only see this composite data. Bandwidth Management To ensure the best possible end user streaming experience, Conferserv features a compatibility measurement utility called M.A.G.I.C., which stands for Multimedia Algorithm to Guaranteed Internet Compatibility. MAGIC is a highly evolved measurement application that operates in conjunction with the Enterprise Web server and database to automatically determine if the end viewer's PC has the prerequisite streaming applications (OS, resolution, browser, player, security settings, and network speed). Moreover, once the PC's compatibility is verified MAGIC then tests for the optimal bandwidth between the user and the server. Using a mathematical algorithm, MAGIC then presents the viewer with the optimal viewing rate for that viewer at that moment. Additionally, the system negotiates bandwidth limits with clients when they connect. Dynamic adjustments are made to allotted bandwidth based on network traffic congestion that is detected and reported by clients. Audio is given first priority to assure minimum latency of audio delivery, even during congested high-usage periods. 8
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. In video applications, the bandwidth management engine intelligently prunes video streams - eliminating intra-frames and key frames to individual endpoints as necessary. Each viewer receives a coherent stream based on its bandwidth consumption capabilities. Performance for higher bandwidth clients is not scaled down to the sending or receiving capabilities of lower bandwidth users. In addition, data that cannot be used by lower-bandwidth recipients is not sent over the network. Authentication Access is controlled to Networks, Channels, and Content by authenticating a content producer's or participant's user ID (email address) and password. When creating a Webcast, the content producer has access to detailed security control parameters which allow for a targeted content viewing and distribution profile to be created and enforced. All administrative functions are supported with native SSL. The current product release does not support SSL for the distribution of content, principally because of the CPU overhead associated with media encryption. Additionally, it can be configured to allow or disallow any routable IP address or subnet from an individual conference. System Security Access to the content, data, and user information is governed by the security model - only authorized Administrators can access the Administrative and Channel Portals. Each authorized Administrator's user's login credentials (e-mail and password) will configure and present the Administrative Portal with only the capabilities granted to that administrator, according to that user's highest administrative role (the same administrator can have several different administrative roles for different Networks and Channels). There are three (3) administrator roles: • System Administrator • Network Administrator • Channel Administrator System Administrator is the highest ranking administrator of the Conferserv system. Only one System Administrator per Conferserv system can be configured. The System Administrator is the only account that can create, inactivate, or permanently delete a Conferserv Network. The System Administrator cannot login to any Channel Portals, and hence cannot watch video, nor can the System Administrator upload synchronized slide presentations; this includes the ability to upload a default channel presentation from the Administrative Portal. Network Administrator privileges are granted by System Administrators; there can be any number of Network Administrators per system. Network Administrators have unfettered access to view and modify any content within all Channels in a given Network on the Conferserv system. Only Network Administrators can create, modify, and delete Channels. Network Administrators can modify and delete content belonging to any User, in any Channel, associated with the Network Administrator's Network. A User could be designated as a Network Administrator in one Network, but have no rights in another Network. 9
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. Channel Administrator privileges are granted by the System or Network Administrators; there can be any number of Channel Administrators per system. Channel Administrators have unfettered access to any content within a given Channel within a given Network on the Conferserv system. Channel Administrators can create and delete content belonging to any User in the designated Channel. A User could be designated as a Network Administrator in one Network, a Channel Administrator in another and a public user in a third. Data Security The security model used in the system is similar to a traditional Microsoft model. It is important for administrators to periodically remind users not to share passwords. It is also important that the physical server(s) are kept secure (physically and electronically) from unauthorized access. System Monitoring This is enabled with a robust suite of content management and monitoring services. The monitoring sub-system is a move beyond basic SNMP data gathering to a more detailed and integrated set of network, hardware, and application monitoring and analysis tools that provide a centralized view of all activity across an enterprise or service provider network. The monitoring system has the intelligence to notify a Network Operations Center, IT department, customer care, or security personnel of content, server, network, core systems, and applications' standard operating conditions, as well as problem or failure occurrences. Such notification is proactive (notification of potential issues that can be reacted upon prior to an actual failure ex. fan failures) and in real time. Monitoring enables organizations to: • Gain insight into usage patterns with real-time tracking of system usage and performance that enables enterprises to improve system effectiveness • Reduce management overhead with centralized administration tools • Proactively diagnose and prevent network problems from anywhere in the network using a Web-based console • Set and enforce QoS levels based on bandwidth availability, hardware performance, audience location, or stream quality • Improve response time, content quality, and save bandwidth by pre-loading popular contentclose to the intended audience Firewall Support Monitoring enables organizations to: The system uses standard Microsoft Windows Media streaming media and video conferencing ports for system and end user communications. Assuming an Internet to intranet deployment scenario, the following ports and associated protocols should be configured to allow communications properly throughout the network and for viewers to be able to access content. 10
  • INTERNATIONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCING, INC. H.323 Port Type Description Client Server Node 80 Static TCP HTTP X 1720 Static TCP H.323 Call Setup X 1755 Static TCP & UDP MMS X X 8080 Static TCP HTTP X X 1024-65535 Dynamic TCP H.245 Call Parameters X 1024-65535 Dynamic UDP RTP (Audio & Video Data Streams) RTCP Control Information X ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol X X • RTP: Real time transport protocol for audio and video data • RTCP: The RTCP protocol defines packets for disseminating sender information, synchronization across media and data monitoring • MMS: Streaming protocol used by the Microsoft Media Server. MMS is used to access unicast content from a Windows Media Server to a Windows Media Player • ICMP: ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) supports packets containing error, control, and information messages and is used by services such as PING to test a network connection • H.323: H.323 is an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendation that sets standards for multimedia communications including audio and video conferencing • H.245: Specifies messages for opening and closing channels for media streams, and other commands, requests and indications LEGAL AND CONTACT INFORMATION ©Copyright 2003, IVCi, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Conferserv is a registered trademark of Conferserv, Inc.; all other products mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. This paper is for informational purposes only. IVCi, INC. MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT. Subject to change without notice. For more information contact: IVCi 180 Adams Avenue Hauppauge, NY 11788 Tel: +1 631 273 5800 Email: info@ivci.com 11