[SATLUG] Re: 1984- now AccessGrid VIDEO conferencing

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Sat Mar 22 15:42:18 CDT 2008


> 
> On 3/22/08, Borries Demeler wrote:
> 
> >  Which solution would that be?
> 
> I think it's called Adobe Connect.

If it is the product I was told about, I don't think it supports multicast
video conferencing. You pretty much need MC if you want to effectively
VC with a bunch of different sites and not consume your entire bandwidth.
Not everyone's network supports MC, but you can always use a MC bridge.

> >                                 I know that at least the Texas Advanced
> >  Computing Center from UT has AccessGrid installed, because I conferenced
> >  with them before using AG.
> 
> Yeah, I saw that on the website.  However, they also say they're a 
> very small satellite node, capable of handling only a few people.

No, I don't think so. They have a complete VC package there for their
conference room, so that was well equipped last time I checked.

> To cover all of UT Austin, we'd need a much larger installation, 
> probably something like what UTHSC has.

UTHSCSA doesn't have an installation, per se. What we have is a 
venue server on a multicast gigabit link with access to Internet2
that allows us to host any number of simultaneous conferences.
We also have our own mobile node that we can move into any
conference room and set up for AG conferencing. We also have our
own MC brige, thanks to Jeremy. 

Several departments at UTHSCSA have their own conference room
equipment for VC, but most people probably use personal nodes (usb cam +
microphone/headset without any echo cancelling equipment) directly from
their desktop/laptops.  I routinely use such a setup from home when I
don't feel like coming to work. Jeremy and I use this all the time. I
also use such personal node to VC an entire workshop which is taught
monthly - from the comfort of my office, with participants all across
the US and Europe.

> I'm just hoping that I'm able to get into this one before the 
> decision is set in concrete, although I fear I'm already too late.
> Once the VPs start talking amongst themselves and other VPs at other 
> places as to whatever their favourite proprietary commercial solution 
> is, or they get that "Gee whiz, why can't we do that?" attitude, all 
> reason gets thrown out the window.

Hey, maybe you could set up a demo for these guys with us, and we can
demonstrate some of the really cool features (high-dev video streaming,
VC recording of all audio and video streams, etc. and convince the 
guys to take a second look at this outstanding freeware package from
Argonne National Labs (developed with NSF funding). This is how we
got our IT people interested in it, just give them a bunch of demos.
Even if you don't want to set up your own venue server, it's not
a problem, you can use any of the public servers, like Argonne, and
simply reserve a virtual conference room, or just use ours. We have
a gig link up to Austin, so that's a whole lot more than you would
ever need. Ahh, and it runs on Linux, Mac, Windows, and other Unix
platforms. It's mostly written in python.

-Borries


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