31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION


      Voice and Video Conferencing Facilities for the
        ...
31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION

compatibility between the systems; the end-systems had to run e...
31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION

low cost. The cost of the software and camera together cost abo...
31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION

We clearly need a Cisco MeetingPlace MP ; this provides all the...
31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION

   •   Our existing Call Manager upgraded to run Release 5
   •...
31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION

Publicity payback would be considerable.The payoff to Cisco, wh...
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Voice and Video Conferencing Facilities for the Silk/OCCASION ...

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Voice and Video Conferencing Facilities for the Silk/OCCASION ...

  1. 1. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION Voice and Video Conferencing Facilities for the Silk/OCCASION Project Peter T. Kirstein, 31 May 2006 1. The Background There are nine remote sites (in the Caucasus and Central Asia) and three European ones in the Silk/OCCASION project. At each remote site there are currently two Cisco 7960 telephones. Shortly there will be also a Tandberg H.323 conferencing set- up. At each remote site there is a National Research and Education Network (NREN); attached to the NREN there can be additional similar hardware end-systems and also potentially software-based ones. Currently, during the present phase of the project called Silk-1, there is a VSAT satellite link between the remote sites and the DESY hub; the speed of the international communications is variable - the bandwidth is currently asymmetric, with 384/1024 Kbps available at each remote site – though the 1024 Kbps is a shared Westà East channel whose B/w can be varied. The VSAT hub ends at a Cisco GSR, while the remote sites have connection to a 7200 Cisco router, which is, in turn, attached to the German NREN. We are in the middle of a tender operation for Silk-2. This envisages somewhat higher bandwidths, but roughly the same termination of the communications. In Silk-1, at the Western sites, the end-stations are connected to LANs, which have an access speed of at least 100 Mbps. These on LANs connected to Cisco routers which are 7200s or GSRs. Their connections to the GEANT WAN are at least 1 Gbps – and usually more. There are some hardware Polycom or Tandberg H .323 boxes, some Cisco 7960 telephones, and some soft-wired systems. While the communications in Silk-2 may be partially by fibre to the remote NRENs, we can assume that the bandwidth will not be reduced – and that all sites will be connected via the Silk-2 network to GEANT or directly to DESY. DESY has a substantial VoIP park now, and will be putting in several thousand units. These are mainly for normal point-point telephony. It is possible to access a H.323 MCU through the German DFN NREN. The UCL deplo yment is on a much smaller scale – though it also has access to a H.323 MCU through the UK UKERNA NREN. During the past four years, we have held regular Silk Exco meetings. These have involved some 6-8 Western partners and 2-3 from the Silk countries. The mechanism has been to use the Cisco MeetingPlace, operated at Cisco, to run voice conferences with local dial- in. UCL has run a CallManager server, and has organised dial-out from it into MeetingPlace over the PSTN; three telephone lines were kept for this purpose. Silk NREN members of Exco then dialled over the Silk-1 network to a particular extension on the UCL CallManager – which did automatic dial-out to MeetingPlace. This mechanism does not scale to a significant number of remote users. DESY also ran a CallManager. Simple VoIP calls between the Silk NRENs and the Silk NOC at DESY went over the DESY CallManager. They implemented password-controlled Call-out to the general PSTN and some billing. This has worked well. Since DESY used Skinny and UCL SIP, with early versions of the software, there was no 31/05/2006 v1 1
  2. 2. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION compatibility between the systems; the end-systems had to run either Skinny or SIP – and could use only one of the CallManagers. Over the last few months UCL upgraded to CallManager-4, and intended to at least interwork between its CallManager-4 and that of DESY. This would allow any of the end-systems to interwork. Unfortunately we ran into a firewall bug at DESY; it has taken several months to cure it, and in the meantime, the impasse remains. 2. The Requirement Over the next couple of years, we want to introduce the Silk community to a much more significant use of VoIP and Conferencing. Ideally some of this would even work over IPv6. We would like to have enough equipment so that at least some of the VoIP phones can do video-telephony, and can be deployed more widely than in the NREN premises. We have provided one hardware H.323 Tandberg end-station at each NREN; each NREN is commissioning a conference room to have serious conference- room based conferencing. We would like to deploy hardware video-telephones at a few points on each NREN, but allow some of the users to employ also software end- systems for VoIP and H.323 conferencing. It is probable that many of the potential users are not very sophisticated, and might find it very difficult to manage software telephones or H.323 systems. Initially most of the usage will be within the OCCASION partners (i.e. the Silk NRENs, UCL, DESY and RUG). However, we would like to be able to have substantial sized conference calls – with up to 15 simultaneous users. This greatly exceeds the hardware limit of 4 in the 7960. We would also like to become independent of Cisco for managing such conferences. For this reason we would like to run a MCU for such conferences – preferably one that can manage both H.323 and VoIP. We expect to have to do a considerable amount of experimentation, while DESY runs this activity from their communications department. As a result there are considerable delays if we try to do new things at DESY. As a result, our requirement is that there be a complete system at UCL, which is used for all the experimental work and trouble shooting; this system would be used also for any advanced services that have not been standardised in DESY services. There should be a parallel production system at DESY, which installs the services that have been debugged at UCL. Because we may be using a later version of the software at UCL, the transition from one to the other may be slow in practice. 3. Equipment Available from Cisco One part of this paper is concerned with what might be available from Cisco to supplement what the partners have now, and what they might need. Here we must consider end-stations, servers and multiplexing units. Each will be considered in turn. 3.1. End-stations Clearly we need more discussion as to the exact models of end-stations that we should be considering. I give some costs of single systems from a re-seller, to give examples of the orders of magnitude that we are considering. As far as I can see there are only several versions of telephone – sum with video capability: The 7970 provides an integrated but simple display for transactions as well as voice (£395). It can be combined with a laptop to provide a complete videophone system at 31/05/2006 v1 2
  3. 3. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION low cost. The cost of the software and camera together cost about £100. The combined system is called VT Advantage. The 7985 is a complete system with camera and display. It costs about £1575. 3.2. Systems Configuration When we look at a complete system, this is illustrated in Fig. 1 below: Video Unified VT Endpoints Advantage H.323/SIP CallManager 5.X GK MeetingPlace IP MP Audio Server- Gateway PSTN or IP MP API H.323 IP Voice Link (RTP G.711) MP MP Video API Scheduler MCS Server MP Web 5.4 IPVC MCU 5.0 MP Web MP Video 5.4 • H.323/SIP and SCCP Ports MP Outlook (Optional) MP Voice • MP unique Service Prefix MP Video Defined •i.e. 65 + MP ID Figure 1 Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video with H.323 and Cisco Video Telephony Architecture Here we will ignore for now the end-points. They have been discussed already in Section 3.1. For our purposes the following exist: • MCS Server • Scheduler • IPC MC 5.0 • MP Audio Server • MP Video Scheduler • MP Gateway • GK The MCS Server comes in various sizes. The IPVC MCU does the multiplexing ; it comes in various models and sizes. Probably the IPVC 3515 would be adequate for most purposes ; this allows neither Basic Rate nor Primary Rate access. It would be helpful in include a 3522 Basic Rate access gateway, to allow people to come in when they are not at their home place. We could use either the MCU12 or the MCU24. The MCU12 allows 24 audio ports to be transcoded, 12 video ports, and encryption. Both H.263 and H.264 are supported. For signalling, H.323, SIP and SCCP are supported. The MCU24 has twice the capacity. For the larger IPVC3545, there are both video and audio cards ; but I do not think we need this. 31/05/2006 v1 3
  4. 4. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION We clearly need a Cisco MeetingPlace MP ; this provides all the scheduling and synchronisation. We would clearly want the MP5.4. We need the Call Manager, running Release 5. One needs an IP-IP combined with a GK Gatekeeper. This would be a 2600 router for QoS and Security, together with the 3725 for address resolution, user autorisation, accounting and zone bandwidth management. 4. Proposed Configuration 4.1. Introduction It is necessary to consider what we need to have at the end-stations, the Silk NREN nodes, UCL and DESY. Each will be considered separately. With the present equipment available from Cisco, it will be possible to do IPv6 work only with software versions. Any equipment needed for this activity will be provided by the OCCASION project – unless Cisco indeed decides to make such products. As far as I can see this could only occur at a later stage – not earlier than 2007. At least for this draft, I will assume that UCL will do all the experimentation, and hence any of the Servers from Section 3.2 would come to UCL. DESY may put in equipment for its own larger-scale deployment; hence it is expected that most of the MCUs and similar equipment can be either obtained by DESY from using ESNET or DFN equipment or will be purchased for DESY services. UCL will put in the latest software releases that are advised; currently this will be v5 for any CallManager. DESY will put in software releases more slowly – because of their need to run uninterrupted services. 4.2. End-stations We expect that many of the Silk NRENs will put in telephones, desktop systems and conference rooms. Cisco has already provided two 7960 telephones at each Silk site, and several for UCL. I think that this has been a donation of about 24 telephones. NATO has provided a Tanberg room videoconferencing system for each Silk site, and the other three sites all have Tanbergs or Polycoms. I would propose that Cisco considers whether it could make the following donations: 30 x 7970 telephones 30 kits to allow the 7970 telephones to become VT Advantage systems 6 x 7985 personal conferencing sytems Any further systems should be purchased. Here it should be noted that some of this type of equipment will be purchased as part of the Telephony and Conferencing being taught under the Cisco Academies effort. A small number of these, probably two, would go to each of the Western partners to ensure that they have compatible equipment. 4.3. UCL Node At the UCL node, we would need the following: 31/05/2006 v1 4
  5. 5. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION • Our existing Call Manager upgraded to run Release 5 • A PSTN gateway. Here we may be able to use our existing 3640, upgraded with the latest software to provide Gatekeeping and QoS. This might require a new box. • An MCU. Here we would want a 3515-MCU12 • A Meeting Place Server. I am not clear whether this is a Media Convergence Server (7800) or an Integrated Communications System (7750). This might be an expensive item, but I cannot tell. For the time being, all the QoS would be done at UCL and the call would be routed directly from the end sites to UCL. 4.4. DESY Node It would seem that at first we can run all the servers at UCL – on the assumption that there is no QoS problem between UCL and DESY. It would probably be best to run a unified Call Manager at both sites, in view of the operational role of VoIP in Silk network management from DESY. It needs much more discussion which of these servers will be needed eventually at DESY, and what they would expect to purchase from their own resources. Since they will be a serious service provider, I suspect that there is little point in their having the minimal equipment proposed here. 5. Making a System Work Our experience over the last year has been that it has been very difficult to introduce new services into an operational service system. Moreover, there has been slow progress also in the NRENs due to the lack of effort in the NRENs. I propose to request, and promise to Cisco, that if we get such donations, UCL and DESY will provide half a person, and each of the NRENs provide a quarter of a person, for at least a year. I propose also that three Silk NRENs provide somewhat more than the above, since they would be part of any pilot systems. I would expect that in addition to making the Cisco end-systems work, both UCL and the Silk NRENs will introduce other end systems – particularly software based, PC- based, conferencing systems. There will be considerable work in many areas. First it will be necessary to configure all the servers; this can be expected to require considerable work – and help from Cisco. Moreover, it will require additional configuration on the communications system; this was an effort which was envisaged in the original OCCASION proposal as justifying some of the additional manpower at DESY. Finally, it will be essential to have assistance at the Silk NREN sites both to participate in the experiments, and to assist the eventual users. 6. Conclusions This note has indicated how we propose to introduce the Silk sites to work with audio and video conferencing. At this time I do not know the extent of a donation proposed in the above. It is clearly that it would be invaluable in bringing the Silk countries into the modern era of computer-based communications. The Public Relations and 31/05/2006 v1 5
  6. 6. 31 May 2006 VoIP and Conferencing Facilities for OCCASION Publicity payback would be considerable.The payoff to Cisco, when this is combined with a training programme should not be underestimated. 31/05/2006 v1 6

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