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Scheduling Videoconferences On An MCU Presented at the SURA/ViDe Digital Video Workshop Atlanta, Georgia March 24-26, 2003 By Larry Amiot Northwestern.

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Presentation on theme: "Scheduling Videoconferences On An MCU Presented at the SURA/ViDe Digital Video Workshop Atlanta, Georgia March 24-26, 2003 By Larry Amiot Northwestern."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scheduling Videoconferences On An MCU Presented at the SURA/ViDe Digital Video Workshop Atlanta, Georgia March 24-26, 2003 By Larry Amiot Northwestern University

2 To schedule, or not to schedule an MCU. That is the question! Several Choices: – Run the MCU in the Ad Hoc mode – Run the MCU in the scheduled mode – Perhaps a partitioned mode with both ad hoc and scheduled capabilities

3 MCU Scheduling Advantages: – Good management practices – Control who can use the MCU and when – Make sure MCU resources are available when needed – Provide usage statistics – Provide means to charge for usage – Can be combined with room scheduling – Provides notification and information to conference chair – Better security- restrict number of users

4 MCU Scheduling Disadvantages: – Need to create or buy MCU vender or third party scheduling software- cost – Need to provide method to collect information relative to request- user effort – Requires administrative effort if not fully automated – Adds complexity to testing procedures – Adds administrative burden to conference chair

5 Scheduling the MCU Two choices: – Buy commercial scheduling software – Write your own software

6 APIAPI MCU Commercial Scheduling Software MCU Control Software Calendaring, Room Scheduling, MCU Scheduling, Resource management, User management Administrators and/or Users / Web Interface Using Commercial Software

7 Write Your Own Software Advantages: – Tailored to your needs – Describes your resources not generalized resources – Extends organizations existing Web pages – Saves software and maintenance costs – Provides appropriate user interface – Provides appropriate user notification – Not tied to commercial scheduling software changes

8 Write Your Own Software Disadvantages: – Takes effort to develop – Takes effort to maintain – Need MCU vendor to provide API – Need MCU vendor to provide information on API – Need to keep current with vendor changes to MCU

9 NU Design Goals Utilize and extend existing IT videoconferencing Web pages Keep the Web form as simple as possible Schedule the MCU- No ad hoc sessions – Specified session size – Single or quad split screens – Date and start/end time – Conference number Optionally, schedule NU public videoconferencing rooms

10 NU Design Goals (Continued) Eliminate, where possible, AT involvement in the scheduling process (self service) Provide Administrative Interface – Schedule sessions on-the-fly – Change session parameters – Terminate sessions – Get session/participant information – Session chair authentication

11 APIAPI Radvision MCU Existing NU Web Pages NU MCU Controller Calendaring, Room Scheduling, MCU Scheduling, Resource management, Plus more Users Admin Interface Administrators Northwestern Developed Scheduling System

12 NU MCU Controller Design Implemented in Java Can support multiple MCUs Modular to support other manufacturer MCUs- requires new driver MCU definitions in configuration file Accepts Cold Fusion Tags as input

13 NU MCU Controller Design Allows specified session to be terminated Uses Radvision API XML Interface Utilizes TCP/IP for sending commands to API Allows session to be created with specified – MCU service (quad split, single screen, etc.) – Conference dial number, and – number of participants

14 NU MCU Controller Design Allows participant(s) information to be retrieved Allows conference(s) information to be retrieved Things We Didnt Implement – Dial participants – Session management – Ability for conference chair to modify schedule parameters

15 NU MCU Controller Design A Few Issues – Setup/break down time – Additions to conference – MCU session termination after idle time – Interaction between API and MCU Web interface administrators

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17 User Procedure User fills out form on IT Web site Users requests IT public room if required after checking schedule Conference number dynamically assigned on Web form User can request help if needed

18 User Procedure (Continued) notification automatically sent to NU videoconferencing administrators, NU conference chair, and remote users MCU session automatically scheduled at appointed time and terminated at appropriate time AT video staff can intervene if: – Help requested – Conflicts arise – If changes required (time, number of participants, etc)

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20 Northwestern University Videoconferencing Web Page videoconf/default.ssi

21 Credit To Other NU Staff Eric Dvorak Gretchen Guo Chris Karr

22 Questions?


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