John Bartlett
John Bartlett is a leading authority on real-time traffic, application performance and Quality of Service (QoS) techniques. He specializes in...
Read Full Bio >>

John Bartlett | April 26, 2011 |


PC Video Drives a Shift in Resource Management

PC Video Drives a Shift in Resource Management Enterprises who have traditional video conferencing and plan to deploy desktop systems need to change their thinking about how to manage resources.

Enterprises who have traditional video conferencing and plan to deploy desktop systems need to change their thinking about how to manage resources.

Many traditional video conferencing room deployments are managed by a team of dedicated professionals who schedule video conferencing calls, explicitly manage the video infrastructure resources and in some cases initiate calls. Companies who use this model and appropriately staff the teams have had a much higher success rate with video conferencing than companies who have not. Telepresence suites have also followed this model using a Video NOC (VNOC) to centrally control scheduling, call set up, framing, equipment maintenance and other functions. This approach allows expensive resources like the video multipoint conferencing bridge (MCU) to be scheduled optimally.

Audio conferencing was initially done this same way, but we have moved almost completely away from this model, and now use a reservation-less model where every employee has a dedicated telephone bridge number. The employee provides this virtual bridge number to meeting participants via email or calendaring, and everyone dials into that bridge number at the beginning of the call (meet-me conferencing.) Users no longer have to schedule resources, and resources are not actually assigned to that conference until the conference starts. The conferencing infrastructure doesn't even know about the conference until the conference starts.

PC-based video conferencing will rapidly push video conferencing infrastructure to use this same approach. One of the big reasons users are reluctant to use video conferencing today is because of the scheduling headache. Scheduling is often done through a separate portal or separate organization that may or may not have control of the conference rooms being used, making scheduling a complex and time-consuming task. Reservation-less scheduling using PC-based desktops is much easier, as there is no reservation required for the endpoint, and the bridge resources are dynamically assigned once the conference begins, just as it is done in audio conferencing.

The video conferencing infrastructure teams will need to shift their management model from one of explicit reservations to one of managing infrastructure utilization. This is the same mode of operation used by service providers. Management tools are required to track call patterns and resource utilization. Graphical tools show peaks in demand and how close those peaks come to the limit of available resources. When utilization reaches a predefined threshold, perhaps 90%, the management team knows that additional resources are required to handle the increasing demand for services.

This model applies to all of the resources required for video conferencing calls including MCU resources, network bandwidth, gateway services such as ISDN calls or Internet firewall traversal, and recording and streaming devices.

To make this model work, video conferencing vendors need to provide a level of management between the user and the infrastructure resources. This interim function manages the available resources and assigns calls to resources as they occur. Business rules may be used to determine the optimal location for particular calls based on cost savings or call quality issues. For instance, an ISDN gateway may be optimized to be close to the called endpoint, thus saving on toll charges, or it may be optimized to a central location, thus saving Enterprise network bandwidth. Video MCU location may be optimized to be in the right geographic location to provide the lowest latency for users in a particular call.

So why am I rambling on about this? I think enterprises who currently have traditional video conferencing and plan to deploy desktop video conferencing need to change their thinking about how they will manage the resources. PC-based video may provide great increases in user productivity, but it will only happen if the infrastructure is able to keep pace with the rapid increase in the use of video, driven by desktop deployment.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.