This article includes the following sections for Configuring Your Server:
- Obtaining Video Conferencing Capability from Enghouse Vidyo
- Understanding the Different System Accounts
- The System in Brief
Obtaining Video Conferencing Capability from Enghouse Vidyo
Your organization can get video conferencing capability from Enghouse Vidyo in either of these three ways:
- We can host the system for you.
- One of our resellers can host the system for you.
- Your organization can license a system from us or one of our resellers.
Understanding the Different System Accounts
As an IT professional who manages your organization’s network, you have a solid understanding of Internet protocols, network topologies, and general networking concepts.
These are the types of system accounts that you should get familiar with when using your video conferencing system:
- The System Console Administrator – This account configures and maintains the system and the network using the System Console and the Configuration pages for VidyoRouter™, VidyoProxy, and VidyoGateway™.
- The Super Administrator – Configures and maintains the entire video conferencing system and the network using the Super Admin Portal.
- The Tenant Administrator – Configures and maintains the user settings for their own tenant or tenants in the video conferencing system.
- Tenant Operator – Controls a subset of Tenant Administrator privileges.
In order to use the system, a VidyoPortal™ must be installed and configured, and users and rooms need to be set up. Super Administrators use a secure portal (a set of web pages called, the Super Portal) to perform tasks while Tenant Admins and Operators access a different portal (the Admin Portal, which is a different set of web pages) to perform tasks.
The Super Admin’s rights are a superset of the Tenant Admin’s rights. However, when a Super Admin clicks a button or link to perform a task that an Admin can do, the Admin portal login page opens in a new tab or browser window, and the Super Admin can log in to the Admin portal using his or her Super credentials.
The Admin’s rights are a superset of the Operator type rights; however, they all log into the Admin portal. When Operators log in to the Admin portal, the tabs for tasks they can’t perform (involving Groups and Portals) are not shown.
The System in Brief
The video conferencing system allows users to connect to and have conversations with other system users using the best of online video technology. Each end user has a portal (web page) that can be viewed in a browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome, and its own window. This VidyoPortal allows system users to search and find other users, place calls, and gather in virtual online meeting rooms.
Users either have the newer VidyoConnect™ program or the legacy VidyoDesktop™ program on their Windows or Macintosh computers that enable them to participate in video conferences with just one other participant (known as a point-to-point or direct call) or with multiple participants. Users can also view their own images using a PIP (picture-in-picture). This feature is called self-view.
VidyoConnect and VidyoDesktop also enable users to share any window currently displayed on their screens (a spreadsheet or a slide, for example). We call this application sharing.
The optional VidyoGateway server allows interoperability with legacy conferencing systems that use multi-point control units (MCUs). VidyoGateway also allows people to call into a conference from an ordinary landline or cell phone (that doesn’t have the VidyoConnect mobile app or the legacy VidyoMobile™ app installed) for voice-only participation.
Vidyo Concepts and Equipment
Here’s a brief introduction to the system’s components.
- Portal – A single web page (for end users) or a series of web pages (for Super Admins, Tenant Admins, and Operators) that are used to interact with the system. While the user portal is one page, end users perceive it as multiple pages because the page’s contents change completely as the user performs various functions. It’s also how the users access their rooms, which are actually virtual conference rooms. When a user’s account is set up, that user is automatically assigned a room. A user can have more than one room (all accessible via his or her portal). An end user uses their portal to make direct point-to-point video calls and to set up and use their room or rooms.
The UI for the end user in a call or conference is their VidyoConnect (or legacy VidyoDesktop) software.
- VidyoConnect – The software client that enables users to view other users in video calls on their Macs, PCs, or mobile devices. Prior to VidyoConnect, the desktop software client was called VidyoDesktop and the mobile client was called VidyoMobile. VidyoConnect is easy to use and manage via the VidyoPortal. VidyoConnect makes it possible for meetings to be held anytime–whether impromptu or by prior arrangement–and provides an unparalleled personalized multipoint collaborative experience. The mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is available from the platforms’ respective stores (the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store).
- VidyoGateway – The VidyoGateway allows the video conferencing infrastructure to connect to traditional H.323 and SIP devices. It supports standards, such as H.239 for data collaboration, that are required for those devices to communicate, regardless of whether they are endpoints, MCUs, gatekeepers, or gateways. For example, the VidyoGateway can be integrated with SIP PBX. It seamlessly integrates into the network providing the end user with an easy experience regardless of whether they’re calling a Vidyo device or traditional H.323/SIP device.
- VidyoPortal – The VidyoPortal provides central management of the Vidyo devices on the network. It’s an easy-to-use secure web portal that allows for integration with secure LDAP and Active Directory databases for user authentication, as well as maintaining its own user database. The VidyoPortal allows administrators from any location on the network to control every aspect of the video conferencing solution from a central location. Administrators can control system-wide parameters and policies, establish end-user and association privileges, and customize user conferencing capabilities.
The VidyoPortal also acts as a web front for all users of the system. Its flexible user interface facilitates everything required to initiate and manage a call. Users have control over adding, disconnecting, and muting/un-muting participants along with many other conference control parameters. The interface allows users to manage and customize their own contact lists and to initiate reservation-less multipoint conferences, as well as point-to-point calls.
- VidyoProxy – A software component built into the VidyoRouter that enables authorized endpoints to connect while denying unauthorized connections. It also enables NAT and firewall traversal.
- VidyoReplay – An optional solution that enables users to stream live or pre-recorded video. For instance, a webinar can be broadcast live to participants and also saved to be played back on demand by those who missed the original conference or want to view it again.
- VidyoRoom – The ideal systems for team collaboration with options for smaller huddle rooms to large conference rooms. VidyoRoom delivers incredible 4K Ultra HD video resolution without sacrificing quality from remote participants or their content. Flexible conference control options make it simple to manage, using either the VidyoPortal or a remote control device. VidyoRoom interoperates seamlessly with VidyoConnect clients, making it possible for people to join a conference from their home office or wherever they happen to be.
- VidyoRouter – The VidyoRouter is the core infrastructure product for conducting all video conferencing. It is an intelligent routing appliance that uses patented scalable video packet switching technology to achieve unprecedented performance and features without the need for expensive, time consuming transcoding. All video traffic is managed by the VidyoRouter. Additionally, conferences can span across multiple VidyoRouters, achieving maximized WAN utilization, as well as redundancy and efficiency.
- Router Pools – An enhanced topology that increases network bandwidth efficiency, decreases latency and optimizes how VidyoRouters handle traffic. Because many of our customers don’t require the advantages that Router Pools provides, the feature is turned off by default. A small organization with few locations may not need to use of the capabilities of Router Pools right away but it’s built-in, doesn’t cost extra, and it’s ready to go when you need it.
A user is anyone who uses the system. In a small organization, one person might assume the roles of both Super Admin and Tenant Admin when appropriate.
- The System Console Administrator – This account configures and maintains the system and the network using the System Console and the configuration pages for VidyoRouter, VidyoProxy, and VidyoGateway.
- Super Admin – Has administrative privileges and is responsible for general portal configuration including network settings, components configuration, maintenance (backup and upgrades), tenant configuration, and global settings. In a multi-tenant system, the Super Admin has full administrative privileges above the tenant admin and all regular tenant admin rights.
- Tenant Admin – Has administrative privileges. An Admin can add, delete and manage users, set up public rooms, and set up groups (which define the maximum number of participants and bandwidth for users). When we say that a task can be performed only by an Admin, we don’t mean that the Super Admin can’t do it. He or she just has to log in to the Admin portal to perform the task. The term Tenant Admin is used for someone who performs the same duties for a tenant in a multi-tenant setup.
- Operator – Can manage users and meeting rooms. The operator has the same rights as the administrator except that an operator does not have access to the Groups and Settings tabs.
- Normal – The end user. All users have a portal (Web page) from which they can join meetings (i.e., video conferences), control their own meetings, and place calls. Users can also change their passwords, optionally set PIN codes required by other users to join meetings, and perform other activities.
- VidyoRoom – VidyoRoom is a hardware appliance endpoint that’s generally placed in an actual conference room. It has the same rights as a normal use.
- VidyoRoom SE – VidyoRoom SE is a software application that allows you to leverage a VidyoRoom system on select hardware.
- Legacy – A device, such as an ordinary telephone or a conferencing system that uses traditional H.323 and SIP-based videoconferencing solutions. A legacy device has no personal room.
- Guest Users – Guest users are users you invite to a meeting who are not registered with the system. To invite users, you simply email them an invitation that contains your room URL (the link to your personal room). Standard boilerplate text is provided, but the Super Admin can customize the text as desired and the Admin or Tenant Admins can edit the text for their tenants. Users can edit each invitation they send (in order to add the date, time, or any other information). The guest user clicks the link in the invitation email, downloads the software (if he or she hasn’t before), and then enters a guest user name to join the meeting. Guest users have only the ability to join a conference. They don’t have the ability to log in to the system on their own or receive incoming calls.
- Tenant – A single VidyoPortal system can be set up to host multiple organizations known as tenants. Each Vidyo system has at least one tenant, called the default tenant. If you choose not to use the system’s built-in multi-tenant capability, every user in your entire organization belongs to the default tenant.
- Multi-Tenant – A single organization might also wish to divide up its users into multiple sets of tenants. In the latter case, the Super Admin enables cross-tenant access, so any system user can reach any other regardless of tenant.
This chart illustrates the differences and similarities between Single Tenant and Multi-Tenant systems. Both types of systems have a Super Admin in charge of configuring and managing the system as a whole. In a single tenant system, one Admin manages all user accounts and creates provisioning groups and public rooms. In a multi-tenant system, the Tenant Admin has the exact same duties, but only for their tenants.
Of course, none of this precludes (for instance) the same person from being both the Super Admin and Admin at different times, as appropriate. A single person could be the Tenant Admin for more than one tenant. In fact, nothing in the system prohibits one person from being the Super Admin and the Tenant Admin for every tenant in a multi-tenant system.
- Tenant Name – A simple identifier within the system and among other tenants. If you’re hosting multiple organizations it might be the organization’s common name (Acme Corp., Jones Foundation, and so on). If you’ve divided your own organization into different tenants the name might reflect the tenant’s role in your organization (Board Members, Sales, New York Office, and so on).
- Tenant URL – The tenant’s URL is the URL or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that tenants use to access their user portals.
A meeting is an audio and video connection of a meeting room with two or more users interacting and sharing their media streams, and optionally the windows of applications running on their machines.
Meeting rooms are virtual rooms where users of the Vidyo system can gather for video conferences. There are two types of meeting rooms:
- Personal – Each user is automatically assigned their own personal room. This is the equivalent of a “personal office” in the physical world. Upon creating a User account, a personal room is automatically generated for that user.
- Public – Common public spaces may also be created by Admins and Operators only. These are the equivalent of conference rooms in the physical world. In addition to their automatically created private room, a user can request additional public rooms for their account.
Users, public meeting rooms, and VidyoRooms belong to provisioning groups. There is always at least one group, called the default group.
- Such groups are managed by Admins and Tenant Admins.
- Groups are subsets of Tenants. You don’t have to create any groups. However, doing so allows you to allocate resources among Tenants in a way that may better suit your organization’s requirements. For example, all of your branch managers could be in a group that is allowed greater bandwidth usage.
- The configurable attributes of a Group include the maximum number of participants allowed in a video conference and the maximum bandwidth per participant for the conference.
- The values for the maximum number of users in a call and the maximum bandwidth allowed per call apply to Groups, and all private meeting rooms and users inherit those values when they are added to a group.
The maximum number of users in a call allowed per call can be set for guest users and public rooms by designating a special group with the desired settings and assigning that group to specific users and public rooms as necessary.
When users joining a conference are not assigned to the public room’s groups, the maximum bandwidth will be set by the user’s group and not the public room’s assigned group.
- You can change the maximum number of participants allowed in a personal room by simply changing the maximum for the group to which the user belongs.
- The bandwidth limitation is per user, so changing the group to which a user belongs might also affect their bandwidth limitation
As stated, the bandwidth limitation is per user, so two users that are in different groups can have different limitations while participating in the same conference. The maximum number of participants is limited according to the room the meeting is held in – so this applies to all users in a meeting.
A device, such as a desktop, laptop, Android phone or tablet, iOS phone or tablet, or VidyoRoom that enables a user to participate in direct video calls and video conferences. Even though people can participate in conferences in audio-only mode (if your system has a VidyoGateway) by using cell phones and landlines, they’re not considered endpoints if they don’t have VidyoConnect (or legacy VidyoMobile) software installed. If they have VidyoConnect or VidyoMobile, they are considered endpoints and they can participate via audio and video.