Whitepaper: Video Conferencing in the Classroom
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Whitepaper: Video Conferencing in the Classroom Whitepaper: Video Conferencing in the Classroom Document Transcript

  • Super-Size Bandwidth and Two-Way Video in the Classroom Internet2 and its Impact on Video Conferencing Author: Alan Greenberg Wainhouse Research July, 2004 Connect. Any Way You Want.
  • Table of Contents Executive Summary..........................................................................................................................................................2 Overview..........................................................................................................................................................................3 Organization and Mission.............................................................................................................................................3 Technology....................................................................................................................................................................3 Applications.................................................................................................................................................................9 Inter-Organizational Partnerships and Distance Education..............................................................................................5 The Video ‘Stuff’ of Internet2.........................................................................................................................................6 Internet2 Commons....................................................................................................................................................6 The Megaconference................................................................................................................................................6-7 ViDe and the Video Conferencing Cookbook..............................................................................................................7 Beacon H.323 Test Software.....................................................................................................................................7-8 IPv6.............................................................................................................................................................................8 Applications.....................................................................................................................................................................8 Two-Way Video............................................................................................................................................................9 Streaming Video...........................................................................................................................................................9 Tele-Immersion.............................................................................................................................................................9 Remote Instrumentation...............................................................................................................................................9 Conclusion — Super-Size Bandwidth’s Impact on Video in the Classroom...................................................................10 About the Author........................................................................................................................................................10 About Wainhouse Research.......................................................................................................................................10 About Polycom, Inc.....................................................................................................................................................10 Appendix A – Acknowledgments...................................................................................................................................11 Figures Figure 1 Abilene Network Design................................................................................................................................3 Figure 2 Megaconference 2003 Global Map................................................................................................................7
  • Executive Summary For a time after it was founded in 1996, The focus of this white paper is on one specific Internet2 (Internet2) was perceived among application area, digital, two-way video in the many as “that other network,” an exotic luxury classroom. Video is an ideal application for Through the Sponsored that was limited in value to all but a few Internet2: it ‘likes’ bandwidth, and it does not Educational Group research institutions. This is evolving, howev- perform well when carried over the lower- er, and Internet2 is now rapidly becoming a speed, ‘under-provisioned’ public Internet. Participant (SEGP) pro- “mover and shaker” that is changing how gram, some 30,000 K-12 researchers collaborate and how educational In addition, Internet2 already has begun to pro- schools in 34 states in institutions reach out to one another. mote the increased use of video conferencing in the U.S. alone already are the classroom, specifically through initiatives connected to Internet2. Internet2 is a consortium of over 206 universi- and projects such as the K20 Initiative, Internet2 ties (as of April 2004), as well as over 50 corpo- Commons, the Megaconference, the ViDe rate members, 40 affiliate members, and 40 Cookbook, and early, test bed deployment of the international ‘partners,’ many of which come ITU-T H.350 standard. from various consortia and governmental agen- cies. Its stated goals are threefold: Through the Sponsored Educational Group • To enable a new generation of applications Participant (SEGP) program, some 30,000 K-12 • To create leading edge research and educa- schools in 34 states in the U.S. alone already tional network capabilities, and are connected to Internet2. • To transfer technology and experience to the “global production Internet” This will only increase in time, even as Internet2 also goes global through an increasing number The result is that Internet2 has become what it of inter-networking agreements. was intended to be: a test environment for pushing the envelope on networking and net- Wainhouse Research believes the massive worked computing technologies, while also capacity provided by Internet2 will have a domi- serving as a home for creating new applications no effect on distance education, and in particu- for these technologies. lar on the use of two-way, interactive video in the classroom. As educational organizations Internet2 backbones typically operate at 2.4 seek to increase their partnerships, improve Gbps (OC-48) to 10 Gbps (OC-192) capacities learning in the classroom, and enhance ties today; its GigaPoPs (points of presence) provide between their own communities and communi- regional high-performance aggregation points; ties elsewhere, there will be an exponential and for member institutions, typically local cam- increase in use of two-way video. This trend pus networks provide no less than 100 Mbps to mirrors the global economy in which we all the desktop. At the backbone level, this is min- live, and will help drive a greater ability for pub- imally more than 1,000 times the bandwidth of lic and private institutions to discover applica- an E-1 line, and more than 19,000 times the tions together. bandwidth of a standard 128KB ISDN line. The technique being used to provide ample band- width is through over-provisioning, so that no one ever runs out of bandwidth. This creates almost endless possibilities for what can be delivered over or achieved using this amount of bandwidth. Advanced applica- tions include distributed computation, virtual laboratories, digital libraries, distributed learn- ing, streaming video, remote instrumentation, and tele-immersion. 2
  • Overview For a time after it was founded in 1996, Technology Internet2 is a predecessor to an even more Internet2 (Internet2) was perceived among In practical reality, Internet2 is a collection of audacious effort, National LambdaRail (NLR). many as “that other network,” an exotic luxury multiple groups of organizations and institu- Like Internet2, NLR is not a single network, but that was limited in value to all but a few tions and networks that meet certain minimum a rich set of facilities, capabilities, and services research institutions. This is evolving, howev- criteria for advanced network capabilities. that will support a set of multiple experimental er, and Internet2 is now rapidly becoming a Internet2 backbones typically operate at 2.4 and production networks for the U.S. research “mover and shaker” that is changing how Gbps (OC-48) to 10 Gbps (OC-192) capacities community. At this point in the early design researchers collaborate and how educational today; its GigaPoPs (points of presence) provide phase, NLR has at its foundation a dense wave institutions reach out to one another. Contrary regional high-performance aggregation points; division multiplexing (DWDM)-based national to popular opinion, Internet2 is funded primarily and for member institutions, typically local cam- optical footprint, being deployed on roughly by universities and private enterprise, though pus networks provide no less than 100 Mbps to 10,000 route-miles of fiber. Using Cisco some of its initiatives are government-funded the desktop. At the backbone level, this is min- Systems’ 15808 optical electronic system with a and the organization is working in parallel to imally more than 1,000 times the bandwidth of capacity of 40 channels (wavelengths) per fiber (and often in partnership with) the government- an E-1 line, and more than 19,000 times the pair, each wavelength will be able to support funded Next Generation Initiative (NGI). bandwidth of a standard 128KB ISDN line. The transmission of 10 Gbps. With four wave- possibilities for what can be delivered over this lengths expected to be installed and available Organization and Mission amount of bandwidth are endless. on the first day of operation, that will provide In reality, Internet2 is a consortium of over 206 quadruple the network bandwidth of the universities (as of April 2004), as well as over 50 To put the two Internets into perspective, the Abilene network. Some aspects of NLR are corporate members, 40 affiliate members, and Internet, though powerful, could be described complementary to Internet2 and it is worth men- 40 international ‘partners,’ many of which come as the equivalent of a local dirt path in compar- tioning primarily because it will function to from various consortia and governmental agen- ison to what is possible with Internet2 – the Internet2 much as Internet2 functions to the cies1. Its mission is no less lofty sounding than equivalent of a national highway system production Internet: a harbinger of things to that of any other forward facing, futuristic (Internet2). One way in which Internet2 offers come. Details are at www.nationallamb- group: To develop and deploy advanced net- such a rich network is by providing a “super- darail.org. work applications and technologies, accelerat- sized” Meta network. The super backbone in ing the creation of tomorrow’s Internet. Its stat- the U.S. is called the Abilene network: a collec- Returning to the topic of Internet2, though ed goals are threefold: tion of 101 participants that are connected at super-sized bandwidth is important, it is far • To enable a new generation of applications the full 10 Gbps. While those who connect to more valuable to think of Internet2 not only for • To re-create leading edge research and edu- Internet2 may not all be directly connected to its bandwidth, but also for the applications it is cational network capabilities, and Abilene, they benefit from the bandwidth driving and the inter-organizational partnerships • To transfer technology and experience to the enabled by the network. and change for which it is an agent. “global production Internet” (in other words, the Internet we all know and love so well). The result is that Internet2 has become what it was intended to be: a test environment for pushing the envelope on networking and net- worked computing technologies, while also serving as a home for creating new applications for these technologies. In many respects it has been borne out of multiple forces which at times conflict and at times coalesce into shared, mutually beneficial goals. And emulating the creation of the original Internet, it is based on a unique partnership of governmental, education- al, and corporate entities. Figure 1 Abilene Network Design 1 3 The actual number of institutions which are benefiting from Internet2 through affiliate memberships, as discussed later in this white paper, is even larger.
  • Overview (cont.) Applications What all this bandwidth makes possible are some very advanced applications that make Internet2 already has Star Trek seem like yesterday’s news. These begun to promote the include separately or in combination: increased use of video • Distributed computation conferencing in the class- • Virtual laboratories • Digital libraries (super-charged and made room, specifically through more broadly available) initiatives and projects • Distributed learning such as the K20 Initiative, • Streaming video Internet2 Commons, the • Remote instrumentation • Tele-immersion Megaconference, the ViDe Cookbook, and early, Some of these applications are described in test bed deployment of greater detail later in this document. Suffice to the ITU-T H.350 standard. say, each of these could be subject of a white paper unto itself; in this case our focus is on digital, two-way video in the classroom. Video is an ideal application for Internet2: it ‘likes’ bandwidth, and it does not perform well when carried over the lower-speed, non- Quality-of-Service enabled public Internet. In addition, Internet2 already has begun to pro- mote the increased use of video conferencing in the classroom, specifically through initiatives and projects such as the K20 Initiative, Internet2 Commons, the Megaconference, the ViDe cook- book, and early, test bed deployment of the ITU- T H.350 standard. 4
  • Inter-Organizational Partnerships and Distance Education Wainhouse Research believes the massive bers at a fraction of the cost of full membership. with the objective of working together on both capacity provided by Internet2 will have a domi- According to Louis Fox, Director of Internet2 K20 connectivity and applications. Internet2 does no effect on distance education, and in particu- Initiative, some 30,000 K-12 schools in 34 states not specifically provide connectivity directly to lar on the use of two-way, interactive video in in the U.S. alone already are connected to those countries, but many of them do in fact the classroom. The process by which this will Internet2 via what is known as the Sponsored connect to the United States (often with support transpire is multi-faceted and complex, but put Educational Group Participant (SEGP) program. from the U.S. National Science Foundation). simply, as universities continue to create Details on Internet2’s international activities GigaPoPs, they will be looking for regional The SEGP program supports the aggregation of can be found at www.internet2.edu/internation- groups interested in connecting to those educational organizations brought together in a al/ . For information about which networks con- GigaPoPs. statewide network or other wide-area network nect to the United States, visit the StarTap Web within a state. Examples of these aggregations site at www.startap.net/. In effect, the universities behind the GigaPoPs are statewide K-12 networks, community col- will act as Internet2 ISPs for smaller universities lege networks, and similar collectives of educa- Because Internet2 does not provide direct con- and colleges, as well as some of the larger pri- tional organizations. These networks are nectivity to international networks, it works mary and secondary school networks, such as engaged in applications development and other hard (as if to compensate for this lack) by sup- various statewide networks or large metropoli- projects designed to enhance their use of porting peering between international networks tan school networks. advanced networking infrastructure and ser- and the Abilene network. Peering with Abilene vices. Details about Internet2 K20 initiative and is made possible via international connection specifics about its participants are available at: points (also referred to as exchange points) http://k20.internet2.edu/segp/currentpartici- which facilitate peering among US and interna- Wainhouse Research pants.html tional research and education networks. believes the massive Peering can also be done via international links A state or regional education network interest- such as TransPAC or via other networks con- capacity provided by ed in connecting to Abilene must find an nected to Abilene, e.g., CALREN-2 or GEANT. Internet2 will have a Internet2 primary member to sponsor the con- The bottom line for organizations outside the domino effect on distance nection. The entire state network will then be U.S. is that it can cost surprisingly little to par- education, and in particu- connected to the Abilene backbone via one of ticipate in a domestic or regional high-speed the 20 or so network GigaPoPs. Once connected, network, but the trick is to ensure that such a lar on the use of two-way, this state network will be known as an Internet2 network is already involved in peering with interactive video in the SEGP. All network traffic destined for another Internet2. A visit to http://international.inter- classroom. SEGP or Internet2 member is routed over net2.edu/index.cfm describes the essentials of Abilene at little or no cost to the SEGP. The how to harness the current international activi- sponsoring Internet2 member generally covers ty in this space. the cost of the SEGP traffic. The interest on the part of many organizations will be to connect to universities and have Every state in the U.S. has one or access to the wealth of information, applica- more statewide networks that are a combina- tions, and technologies available only through tion of higher education, governmental agen- Internet2; on the part of others, the interest will cies, and primary and secondary school systems be on two-way video and links with the broader “riding” that network for video (and often data) world – as discussed later in this white paper. services. We can only expect that the actual number of SEGP’s will continue to increase, pro- Not so widely known is that Internet2 is already viding educational opportunities domestically reaching many organizations not specifically and internationally. described as one of its primary or affiliated members. This is partly the result of the K20 This is because the next wave of Internet2 Initiative, meant to enlarge the reach of growth will come from increasing connections Internet2 through promotion to K-12, smaller for collaboration around the world. Many colleges and universities, and not-for-profit national (or regional) research network efforts organizations such as libraries and museums. In similar to Internet2 exist around the world, and effect, the K20 Initiative enables smaller insti- Internet2 has signed memoranda of understand- tutions to join as connected, secondary mem- ing (MOUs) with over 40 such organizations 5
  • The Video ‘Stuff’ of Internet2 Internet2 Commons The Commons also serves as a way to deliver been established, such as the use of H.263 Internet2 Commons is a concept that arose out two-way video capabilities in alternate ways. video and 768 kbps connections, but these have of one of Internet2’s many working groups, in As an example, it has implemented desktop col- not limited the 200 or so participants who now this case the digital video working group. As an laboration technologies such as Polycom’s take part in each event. IP-centric network, the focus of Internet2 from WebOffice™, the Virtual Rooms video confer- the start (in terms of two-way video) has been encing Schemes (VRVS — a web- and reflector- The following drawing demonstrates the on the ITU-T H.323 standard. As a result, the based, software MCU that arose for video con- complexity, sheer size, and global nature of the Commons has become a focal point for IP-based ferencing and collaboration among the High Megaconference. Listing the bridge locations video conferencing. The goal is to foster two- Energy and Nuclear Physics communities), does not tell the entire story, as some of the way video between anyone in the broader Wave Three Session Software, IMFirst, and identified number of participants on each bridge Internet2 membership, such as SEGP’s, as well other tools. may have been connecting other bridges as sub-groups within the larger member institu- as well. tions. Thus Internet2 Commons provides multi- The Megaconference way video conferencing services with capabili- The Megaconference events are the world’s ties such as simultaneous streaming, archiving, largest H.323 video conferences, bringing high-bandwidth support, continuous presence together participants from locations literally video layout options, and encryption. Hosted all over the world. Held at various times after physically (as are many video-related projects Fall Internet2 Member Meetings, and programs) by the Ohio Supercomputing Megaconference participants discuss their pro- Center and Ohio State University, the Commons grams from a content perspective and with an is less an advanced network than a set of ser- eye toward ‘Best Practices.’ These are not vices meant to make two-way video (and other technical presentations; only end users who applications, such as Web conferencing, actually use the technology in their own work streaming, and archiving) available to groups are allowed to present. that otherwise would not have access to these capabilities. It is available in two flavors: • The Prime Subscription, available for a $2,000 annual fee that makes available 300 MCU The Megaconference port hours, with additional time available at events are the world’s affordable increments. largest H.323 video • The Alliance Subscription, available for a conferences, bringing $1,000 annual fee that provides the Commons MCU’s as a backup for a group’s own bridging together participants from service. It includes 100 MCU port hours and locations literally all over calls for a reciprocal MCU agreement. the world. The Commons has led to some unique educa- tional initiatives that might not otherwise have taken place, including a distributed nursing The brainchild of Dr. Bob Dixon of Ohio State informatics course that regularly brings togeth- University and OARNet, the Megaconference er 11 sites with 6 instructors; the Network for represents the ‘democratization’ of the video Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) that conferencing community (somewhat in emula- connects 15 to 20 sites some two to four times tion of the traditional Internet — with an orga- a month; and the teaching of lesser taught lan- nized disorganization that lends itself to spon- guages. When only one instructor of the Native taneity, interactivity, and subsequent partner- American language Ojibway exists, as an exam- ing). Each Megaconference — of which there ple, Internet2 can foster cooperation between had been five as of fall 2003 — has consisted universities and lead to linguistics students of a series of presentations, chats, and group keeping alive the language. sessions meant to instruct, inform, and foster post-event contacts and partnerships. The most recent Megaconference included musical mini- concerts. Certain technical guidelines have 6
  • Figure 2 Megaconference 2003 Global Map Events like the Megaconference have put pres- ViDe and the video conferencing Cookbook combination of IP telephone, wireless IP phone, sure on some of the traditional ‘closed off’ ViDe (the Video Development Initiative) is a col- desktop video conferencing, or classroom tech- statewide networks that traditionally were laboration of 13 universities and other members nologies. Information about ViDe can be found ‘islands’ unto themselves (as a result of legacy of the international advanced networking com- at http://www.vide.net. technologies that lacked gateways or program- munity. Though not specifically an Internet2 matic and funding decisions that limited open- program, its participants are members of ViDe also provides a popular video conferencing ness to external networks). As Internet Protocol Internet2 and have close ties with the organiza- resource known as the “Cookbook.” Now on its continues to grow, as an example, more and tion. The ViDe participants are working togeth- Version 4.0, the Cookbook is an online tool for more legacy networks (such as fiber-optic and er to advance the state of networked digital understanding the dynamics of H.323 video con- ATM networks) will find ways of connecting to video and voice-over-IP (VoIP), sponsoring work- ferencing, containing tips, networking funda- the Megaconference and to Internet2. Events ing groups that are exploring such areas as mentals, best practices, and other valuable like the Megaconference Junior (designed for video-on-demand, Quality of Service, Session information. It can be found at primary and secondary students around the Initiation Protocol (SIP), and the MPEG-4 video http://www.vide.net/cookbook. world -- http://megaconferencejr.cciu.org) and standard. Among other projects, ViDe provided the Keystone K-12 Conference (www.k12video- an early test bed for H.350 directory services H.350 Directory Services conf.org) will lead to increased exposure for (see below), enabling vendors to see how their The H.350 story is an excellent example of the Internet2 and video in the classroom. early implementations of H.350 deployed and synergies that have developed between Megaconference details can be found at enabled users to trial initial versions of this Internet2 members and video as an application http://www.megaconference.org. important directory standard. The ViDe.Net (as represented by the Vide.Net). Ratified by environment allows users to communicate with the ITU in September 2003, H.350 resulted from other ViDe.Net sites around the globe using any an Internet2 video middleware working group 7
  • The Video ‘Stuff’ of Internet2 (cont.) (some of whose members were also members at Wainhouse Research is that it is somewhat and with the proliferation of wired and wireless of ViDe). The H.350 standard provides a uniform akin to a ‘ping’ or ‘TraceRoute’ command, only it devices, IPv6 will offer 128-bit Internet address- way to store and locate information related to provides significantly more diagnostic informa- es (versus the 32-bit IPv4 addresses), which will video and VoIP in directories that are linked tion and features a superior user interface. End dramatically increase the number of available IP seamlessly to enterprise directories. H.350 users, network engineers, and conference oper- addresses. There are many other enhancements uses LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access ators can debug H.323 application performance to IPv6, including improved security and more Protocol) to store users’ voice, video and col- problems from the network to the host (from efficient packet handling. Why is this important laborative multimedia information in a way that end-to-end) using the Beacon software. to video conferencing? For several reasons: integrates with directory and identity manage- first, because improved data transmission effi- ment systems already in place at large enter- Developed by Internet2 and the Ohio Internet2 ciency will ultimately result in improved video prises. Many of these enterprise systems also Technology Evaluation Center of the Ohio transmission. Second, IPv6 will set the stage use LDAP; the new H.350 standard will enable Supercomputer Center, the H.323 Beacon was for many new applications, including areas like enterprises to scale up video and VoIP opera- introduced to the advanced networking commu- wireless video conferencing. Many universi- tions to very large-scale deployments. Account nity in fall of 2003. After a rigorous test period ties, businesses, and government research labs configuration details, authentication and autho- in conjunction with the Megaconference, the have taken leading roles in identifying and solv- rization are linked to the enterprise directory Beacon was selected for use by Internet2 ing the challenges to improving IP. Internet2 is using LDAP. H.350 improves security by provid- Commons and was recommended for perfor- very active in this area. More details are avail- ing standardized management and storage of mance troubleshooting by various vendors. able at http://ipv6.internet2.edu. authentication credentials. Additional information is available at www.ite- cohio.org/beacon. Applications The practical impact of H.350 cannot be over- Thus far this document has described some stated when it comes to broadening the ability The H.323 Beacon is one example of the End-to- of the initiatives and programs of Internet2, to find other organizations interested in video End Performance Initiative (E2EPI). This is a and their potential impact on two-way conferencing. H.350 enables networks to regis- specific Internet2 initiative designed to create a video conferencing. ter their video users with other networks – in predictable and well-supported environment, effect creating super-directories of users. making it possible for Internet2 campus network While we’re not likely to see one individual users to have routinely successful experiences directory services provider anytime soon, we in their development and use of advanced Internet2’s video applications eventually will see numerous super-directories Internet applications. The E2EPI is focused on encompass everything from sprouting up which will enable communities of improving Quality of Service (QoS), understand- Internet-based video confer- interest to find one another more easily. ing that ‘super-size’ bandwidth alone does not encing to on-demand con- Vendors are already embedding H.350 support solve all problems. As of this writing, E2EPI is tent to remote control of in their management and bridging software developing a distributed, scalable system to products; the IETF is likely to approve it as a monitor, test, and report end-to-end perfor- microscopes and other standard in addition to the ITU; and it will play mance. The system, called the E2EPI instrumentation. a role in further deployments of VoIP as well as Performance Evaluation System (piPEs), will be video. All of this will go a long way to address able to indicate performance capabilities and the problem that was faced by adopters of video locate problems along the path between two conferencing in the past: whom are we going to computers connected by a backbone network, The fact is, two-way video is only one of the call? participating campuses, regional networks, and areas in which Internet2 is ‘pushing the enve- GigaPoPs. When piPEs is completely deployed, lope’ on digital video. Internet2’s video applica- Beacon H.323 Test Software it should significantly improve the opportunity tions encompass everything from IP video con- Other tools also have arisen out of Internet2’s for advanced Internet applications to operate at ferencing to on-demand content to remote con- push into video. An example of one is the H.323 peak performance. More information about trol of microscopes and other instrumentation. Beacon, a software tool that is the result of an E2EPI can be found at Internet2 Digital Video Initiative (http://dv.inter- Internet2 End-to-End Performance Project. The http://e2epi.internet2.edu. net2.edu) is one effort involved in developing a H.323 Beacon is a client that loads onto servers wide range of advanced digital video capabili- located on Internet2, as well as on PC’s. It IPv6 ties for the national research community. Over allows users to create a kind of “fake” video As version 4 of the Internet Protocol (IPv4) ages, time, many of these applications will filter their conference, in effect measuring, monitoring, vendors, research consortia, and advanced way into other communities of interest which and troubleshooting possible performance of a users are preparing for the onset of the next participate in or benefit peripherally from call even before it is established. Our analogy version of the protocol: IPv6. With IPv4 Internet2. addresses reaching their quantitative limits, 8
  • Applications Two-Way Video interests with other community and business cept is not new, with companies like Telesuite Already many K-12 practitioners throughout the interests to “go international” in search of part- and others having attempted similar, though world are beginning to seek to network more nerships for content, education, and business. lower bandwidth, efforts at recreating the expe- and more with one another or with institutions rience of being together. Internet2 networks of higher education and research – whether Streaming video offer a high performance test bed for this through standard ISDN or Internet connections, ResearchChannel is pioneering new methods of research, which demands high bandwidth and or by taking advantage of access to Internet2. Internet-based distribution of HDTV and better- low latency to support real-time interaction The examples are so numerous that those men- than-broadcast-quality video through ongoing between remote users and shared virtual tioned here could be considered the tip of collaborative technology experiments. This is a objects. The work being done on projects like the iceberg. nonprofit consortium of leading research insti- Tele-Immersion will likely have an impact on tutions focused on building high-quality future applications for video conferencing in Internet, cable, and satellite-based channels to many other environments as well. facilitate the communication of research infor- The examples (of practition- mation. http://www.researchchannel.com Remote Instrumentation ers throughout the world While many have been expecting telemedicine Meanwhile, a Public Television: Next to lead the way in remote operation of equip- seeking to network) are so Generation Interconnection Pilot, run by the ment, other interesting applications are under numerous that those men- University of Wisconsin and Washington State development using Internet2 as the test bed. tioned here could be consid- University, is working on a thorny public televi- North Carolina State University, for example, is ered the tip of the iceberg. sion (PTV) challenge. Currently stations are con- running a project exploring real-time tele-oper- nected by a one-way satellite system. The PBS ation of the Tele-vator. This is a computerized stations at University of Wisconsin and excavation backhoe that can be remotely oper- Washington State University, along with a con- ated over high-performance networks. Because California schools, as an example, connect over sortium of other university PTV stations, have of its size and potential criticality of operation the state’s non-profit Corporation for Education been using Internet2 networks to begin devel- (e.g., in hazardous rescue situations), the Tele- Network Initiatives in California (CENIC)’s oping new applications for the next-generation vator requires a high-level of sophisticated two- infrastructure and through initiatives such as interconnection system. Using broadband IP way feedback, including adequate depth of the Digital California Project, a statewide initia- video connections from their host universities, vision provided via high-definition stereovision. tive providing K-12 schools with access to the the PTV-Internet2 project members are testing Guaranteed QoS – such as network bandwidth, high-speed advanced services network, CalREN. station-to-station, broadcast-quality (MPEG-2) latency (delay) control, and jitter control – are This opens up both high-speed intra-state activ- video streaming, server-based broadcast video- essential to ensure the quality of the 3D image, ities, as well as access through CENIC’s on-demand, video segment search and fulfill- audio, and equipment control channels. Visit Internet2 connections to the any other institu- ment at MPEG-2 levels, and collaborative http://CARL.ce.ncsu.edu for more information. tion on the globe. The Imperial County Office of program editing. Information on this initiative Other video-related projects are underway by Education, as an example, connects using can be found at various members of Internet2, exploring areas Polycom ViaVideo®, ViewStation®, VSX™ 7000, http://ra.doit.wisc.edu:8888/vid.html. like collaboration technologies, distributed and MGC™-100 units for regular meetings, stu- learning, and digital libraries. dent activities, and even for international links, Tele-Immersion such as frequent connections to China. The The Tele-Immersion Project is exploring how to State of Oklahoma’s OneNet reaches 80% of conduct realistic, life-sized, 3D tele-immersion the state’s K-12 schools; these schools use to create what could be described as the most Polycom ViaVideo, ViewStation, VS 4000™, ‘complete’ interactive experience imaginable. It VSX 7000, and ClassStation™ packages to hold is a project of Advanced Network & Services, frequent links with others throughout the U.S., Brown University, the University of North in Latin America, and Europe. While video con- Carolina, and the University of Pennsylvania. ferencing traditionally was found in rural loca- Project collaborators envision an Office of the tions, it increasingly is making its way into Future where computer vision, networking, and urban districts that are seeking to leverage computer graphics techniques are used to cap- investments in network and technology, as well ture a dynamic 3D model of one office — as their own educational resources. Many large including walls, furniture, objects, and people metropolitan districts are merging educational — and then re-create a virtual representation in a similarly equipped remote office. This con- 9
  • Conclusion — Super-Size Bandwidth’s Impact on Video in the Classroom Conclusions — Swim in the Research without Drowning It should be clear by now that the sum of super-size bandwidth, a term which this analyst used somewhat indiscriminately to connote the idea of what Internet2 is all about, is going to be neither greater nor lesser than its parts. In other words, bandwidth itself is one great sum; but the parts themselves, the projects and programs underway to promote video conferencing technologies, are also great sums that add up to something larger than what seem at first glance. Every time a Megaconference occurs, it has a viral impact on the sensibilities and outreach behavior of current video conferencing users. Every time a statewide network that is an SEGP enables some K-12 school to find and connect to another such organization across the country or across the oceans, it shows them that they can be connected to anyone on the globe in ways that far exceed text- or graphics-based, non-immediate mechanisms such as web sites and e-mail. Projects like the Global Nomads links between students in the U.S. and Iraq, or Dr. Robert Ballard’s delivery of video directly from the Titanic over the public Internet and Internet2 in MPEG-2, are singular and unique today. These are likely to increase exponentially over time as greater bandwidth and a greater ability to discover applications together lead private and public organizations to interact more and more using video. While eRate grants in the United States may be funding equipment purchases, it is Internet2 that is fostering a network sensibility that can be said to be 21st century. That sensibility will be like a steady drip that turns into a stream and then the equivalent of a fire hydrant. The flow will be less about the bandwidth, and more about what is riding that bandwidth: two-way interactive video and a host of other video-related technologies. About the Author About Wainhouse Research About Polycom, Inc. Alan D. Greenberg is a Senior Analyst & Wainhouse Research (www.wainhouse.com) is Polycom develops, manufactures and markets a Consultant at Wainhouse Research. As consul- an independent market research firm that focus- full range of classroom, corporate training, and tant, analyst, communicator, and strategist, es on critical issues in rich media communica- medical education solutions through its high- Alan has worked in the telecommunications, tions, video conferencing, teleconferencing, and quality, affordable voice and video communica- video conferencing, software and services, and streaming media. The company conducts multi- tion endpoints, video management software, multimedia arenas for 20 years, holding posi- client and custom research studies, consults web conferencing software, multi-network tions with VTEL, Texas Instruments, and several with end users on key implementation issues, gateways, and multipoint conferencing and net- Austin, Texas-based startups, and consulting to publishes white papers and market statistics, work access solutions. For additional informa- many organizations. At VTEL he conducted and delivers public and private seminars as well tion, visit www.polycom.com. research into dozens of distance learning net- as speaker presentations at industry group works, was product marketing manager for a set meetings. Wainhouse Research publishes of turnkey classroom packages, and led a num- Conferencing Markets & Strategies, a three-vol- ber of educational and training initiatives and ume study that details the current market trends research into healthcare networks. Most and major vendor strategies in the multimedia recently he was primary author on the segment networking markets, a variety of segment report, Video Communications Management reports, and the free newsletter, The Systems 2004, was lead analyst on the Wainhouse Research Bulletin. Its subscription Wainhouse Research WebMetrics research pro- content service can be found at www.wrplat- gram, and authored the white papers inum.com. Navigating the Sea of Research on Video con- ferencing-Based Distance Education and Best Practices in Live Content Acquisition for Distance Learning. He also has authored reports on conferencing endpoints & bridges, streaming video, and voice/fax services. He specializes in primary end user research and is a trained focus group moderator and interview- er. Alan holds an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Hampshire College, Amherst MA. He can be reached at agreenberg@wainhouse.com. 10
  • Appendix A – Acknowledgments Super-Size Bandwidth and Two-Way Video in the Classroom is based on this analyst’s opin- ions and the result of interviews with a handful of individuals involved with Internet2. Wainhouse Research wishes to thank the fol- lowing individuals and their organizations, with- out whose support this document could not have been written. We also refer readers to the Internet2 web site (www.internet2.org) for addi- tional information. Bob Dixon (Robert S. Dixon, Ph D, PE) Chief Research Engineer Ohio State University, Office of the CIO and Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARNet) Bob_Dixon@osu.edu Jill Gemmill Assistant Director, IT Academic Computing Internet2 Applications Lead University of Alabama at Birmingham JGemmill@uab.edu Jonathan Tyman Manager, Digital Video Initiatives Internet2 tyman@internet2.edu Greg Wood Director of Communications Internet2 ghwood@internet2.edu 11
  • ©2004 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. Polycom, the Polycom logo design, ViaVideo and ViewStation are registered trademarks and Polycom WebOffice, VS4000, VSX, MGC and ClassStation are trademarks of Polycom, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Polycom Headquarters: 4750 Willow Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588 (T) 1.800.POLYCOM (765.9266) for North America only. For North America, Latin America and Caribbean (T) +1.925.924.6000, (F) +1.925.924.6100 www.ivci.com Polycom EMEA: 270 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 4DX, (T) +44 (0)1753 723000, (F) +44 (0)1753 723010 IVCi: 180 Adams Avenue | Hauppauge, NY 11788 | 1-800-224-7083 | www.ivci.com Rev. 7/04