Fall 2007 Internet2 Member Meeting

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Enabling Virtual Organizations

Time 10/11/07 08:45AM-10:00AM

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Session Abstract

Many organizations today have conferencing requirements ranging from the room system deployment to the desktop including conference streaming and recording. Individually these applications are relatively simple to manage; however putting them together represents a unique challenge for systems administrators.

Administrators need to provide their users simple methods to extend the room system conferencing application to the desktop for remote users such as those working from home or traveling. The mechanism to organize and join the conference must be very easy including seamless connectivity through firewalls. These mechanisms must integrate with a user's typical daily workflow using the tools and applications already available and in use today. Management, distribution, and installation of the remote clients must be considered as well.

This session will focus on how to accomplish this with advanced middleware. When one thinks of video conferencing, middleware usually isn't thought of. We will examine how middleware can solve common video conferencing deployment problems. Middleware can facilitate call setup making it easy for everyone to get into the conference with whatever device they prefer (even providing the conferencing application), setup the conference on the infrastructure appropriate for the features of the meeting, and produce a recording if required.
The EVO (Enabling Virtual Organizations) system is based on a new distributed and unique architecture, leveraging the 10+ years of unique experience of developing and operating the large distributed production based VRVS collaboration system. The primary objective being to provide to the High Energy and Nuclear Physics experiments a system/service that meet their unique requirements of usability, quality, scalability, reliability, and cost necessary for nationally and globally distributed research organizations. The EVO system has been officially released during June 2007 includes a better-integrated and more convenient user interface, a richer feature set including higher resolution video and instant messaging, greater adaptability to all platforms and operating systems, and higher overall operational efficiency and robustness with full integration with H.323, SIP and POTS network. All of these aspects will be particularly important as we approach and then enter the startup period of the LHC (the world largest physics experiment located at CERN) because the community will require an unprecedented level of daily collaboration. There will be intense demand for long distance scheduled meetings, person-to-person communication, group-to-group discussions, broadcast meetings, workshops and continuous presence at important locations such as control rooms and experimental areas. The need to have the collaboration tools totally integrated in the physicists' working environments will gain great importance. Beyond all these user-features, another key enhancement is the collaboration infrastructure network created by EVO, which covers the entire globe and which is fully redundant and resilient to failure. The EVO infrastructure automatically adapts to the prevailing network configuration and status, so as to ensure that the collaboration service runs without disruption. Because we are able to monitor the end-user's node, we are able to inform the user of any potential or arising problems (e.g. excessive CPU load or packet loss) and, where possible, to fix the problems automatically and transparently on behalf of the user (e.g. by switching to another server node in the network, by reducing the number of video streams received, et cetera). The integration of the MonALISA architecture into this new EVO architecture was an important step in the evolution of the service towards a globally distributed dynamic system that is largely autonomous. The EVO system is intended to become the primary collaboration system used by the High Energy and Nuclear Physics community going forward.


Speaker Philippe Galvez California Institute of Technology

Secondary tracks Middleware

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