Have you heard about the recent update to the Cisco Hybrid Media Service's capabilities? If not you need to go read Jonathan Rosenberg's most recent post for more information. In short the Hybrid Media Service (HMS) relevance to your conferencing needs just increased dramatically. It can now support Spark and WebEx meetings and handle the media for cloud or premise registered endpoints registered to a variety of call control platforms.
Lets dig in a bit to how you go about preparing and deploying this in your organization. As with any project first you need to check your setup against the pre-requisites of the deployment. You must be a paid subscriber to WebEx and/or Spark meetings. Free users of Spark will not have access to this or any other hybrid services. We will start by checking the versions and capabilities of your WebEx site and call control infrastructure. The table below shows the versions and you have to have user enabled for Cloud CMR meetings. Please do note that the TMS requirements are only if you want to have the big green button (OBTP) on your premise registered video endpoints.
With cloud and call control components checked lets dig into the Hybrid Media Service itself. It takes the form of a virtual machine that you deploy in your VMware ESXi 6 or higher environment. Keep in mind it is doing a lot of heavy lifting and thus requires a lot of compute power. The good news is that compute brings a lot of capacity, the specs based deployment can support up to 65 720P connections and when you leverage a CMS 1000 server you get up to 80 720P connections. Check back on these specifications with each new release as Cisco intends to continue to increase the efficiency of the virtual machine.
For a full up to date list of the specifications check out the Prepare your environment section of the deployment guide.
Once all of those factors are checked you now need to decide on your deployment model. Your first decision to make is whether to deploy HMS inside your network, data center, or in your DMZ. The data center path is the preferred path as it keeps all internal media from having to traverse into your DMZ. The main factors that may drive a DMZ deployment is the ports that need to be used by the HMS. Below is one of the tables listing the current requirements. For the complete list as well as for any potential changes check the website and/or release notes.
Finally we need to consider the biggest factor of all and the reason you started investigating this HMS in the first place: bandwidth. The most common deployment will have the HMS located near your CUCM or Session Management Edition (SME) clusters. These sites should be the ones you have maximized both the WAN and internet connectivity to. Remember all telepresence units and Spark clients inside your corporate network will flow there video streams to this box for their meetings, an estimated 2 mbps each. On the internet side this HMS will cascade out to the cloud for each individual meeting that needs it. When needed this cascade link will range from 2 mbps up to 12 mbps dependent on the number of streams in the cascade.
That concludes the preparatory and planning stages and you are ready to physically deploy the HMS. To do so you can check out the full deployment guide, contact your favorite services partner or tune back in later for the next blog entry on this topic.