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Virtual Room Videoconferencing System. H. Newman & P. Galvez & G. Denis, Caltech. C. Isnard, CERN CHEP2000 February 6, 2000. VRVS Current & future. VRVS is now a production system:

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Virtual room videoconferencing system
Virtual Room Videoconferencing System

H. Newman & P. Galvez & G. Denis, Caltech

C. Isnard, CERN CHEP2000

February 6, 2000

Vrvs current future
VRVS Current & future

  • VRVS is now a production system:

    • As of today, more than 2010 machines from 1310 different users are registered into the system.

    • During year 1999, 872 Multipoint Conferences has been Conducted (Total 2325 Hours).

    • More than 3000 point to point connection established.

    • 7 Virtual Rooms are available for World Wide Conferences in addition to the 4 available for each Continent (America only, Europe only, Asia only).

  • VRVS Future evolution/integration (R&D)

    • Deployment and support of VRVS.

    • High Quality video and audio (MPEG1, MPEG2,..).

    • Shared applications, environment and workspace.

    • Integration of H.323 I.T.U Standard into VRVS.

    • Quality of Service (QoS) over the network.

    • Documentation and user-configuration recommendations.

    • Improved security, authentication and confidentiality.

Reflectors software deployment
Reflectors Software deployment

  • 23 reflectors Running in U.S. Europe and Asia

    • Switzerland: CERN (2)

    • Italy: CNAF Bologna

    • UK: Rutherford Lab

    • France: IN2P3 Lyon, Marseilles

    • Germany: Heidelberg Univ.

    • Finland: FUNET

    • Spain: IFCA-Univ. Cantabria

    • Portugal: LIP

    • Russia: Moscow State Univ., Tver. U.

    • U.S:

      • Caltech, LBNL, SLAC, FNAL,

      • ANL, BNL, Jefferson Lab.

    • DoE HQ Germantown

- Asia: Academia Sinica.Taiwan

- South America: CeCalcula.Venezuela

- Latest: Weizmann Institute. Israel

R d medium term plan
R&D Medium Term Plan

  • A Next Generation Integrated Environment for Collaborative Work Across Internets

  • Principal Investigator: Caltech and ESnet

  • Collaborators: CERN, Internet2/UCAID

  • The new system aimed at using the capability of Internet2 and ESnet for rapid data exchange, will be based on VRVS

    • Develop, prototype and start deployment of high performance next generation Integrated Environment for Collaborative work

    • We will adapt and extend VRVS API to accommodate and support high performance multimedia application suites (MPEG1 and MPEG2 streaming video, shared iGRID applications, integration with H.323.)

    • QoS tests over ESnet and Internet2 networks

Vrvs model implementation
VRVS Model Implementation

VRVS Web User Interface






Mbone Tools

(vic, vat/rat,..)




VRVS Reflectors (Unicast/Multicast)


Real Time Protocol (RTP/RTCP)

Network Layer (TCP/IP)


Partially done

Continuously in development

Work in progress

Vrvs web distributed model
VRVS Web Distributed Model

2 - Update local databases

with registered host



Community Y

VRVS Europe

Community X


VRVS America



VRVS root

- vrvs America

- vrvs Europe

- vrvs Asia

- Community X

- Community Y

- ...

1- vrvs host registration with

automatic or manual assignation

to the local vrvs web server - ex: C

2- http vrvs redirect

3- vrvs connection

1- direct access to vrvs services

1- http vrvs request

VRVS Europe

- UP

- Italy

- France

- ..

Community Y

- UP

- A

- ..



Workplan fy00
WorkPlan FY00

  • Continue Deployment and Support of VRVS.

    • Extend Reflector topology in new sites/countries.

    • More users registered implies more questions and supports.

    • More meetings implies more monitoring of the system.

  • High Quality video and audio (MPEG1, MPEG2,..).

    • See next slides

  • Shared applications, environment and workspace.

    • Study a set of tools around the collaborative environment

      • VNC (Virtual Network Computer under investigation)

    • Modify/Integrate them in the VRVS framework.

    • Features foreseen (all Web based): Chat, Synchronize Web browsing, exchange of file between participant, shared desktop

  • Quality of Service (QoS) over the network

    • Tests over the transatlantic line using different protocol (CAR, ATM QoS, DiffServ,..) will be performed.

    • Test will be extended to End to End nodes (Caltech, CERN, others sites).

Workplan fy00 2 2
Workplan FY00 (2/2)

  • Integration of H.323 I.T.U Standard into VRVS.

    • step 1: Develop a “H.323 VRVS Gatekeeper”.

    • step 2: Allow H.323 clients to initiate a point to point videoconference using VRVS user interface.

    • step 3: Use VRVS reflector to perform H.323 multipoint videoconference.

    • step 4: Develop the necessary software to have interoperability between H.323 clients and Mbone (Vic, Vat/Rat) applications.

    • step5: Possibility to perform VRVS multipoint videoconferencing independently of the videoconferencing clients (Mbone/H.323)

  • Documentation and user-configuration recommendations. (

    • Test and advice different Cameras, microphones, projectors, ..

    • Regular Update of the recommendation document.

    • Work in close collaboration with ESnet and all VRVS users in order to provide a large choice of working and tested devices..

Mpeg2 deployment plan 1 2
MPEG2 deployment plan (1/2)

Goal : To deploy MPEG2 technology among HENP community. MPEG2 will provide full TV quality, full frame and full interactivity in a range of 2 to 15 Mbps

  • Acquisition of Minerva MPEG2 Encoder/Decoder boxes.

    • Support for the RTP (Real Time Protocol)

    • Very low latency (around 120 ms for full duplex mode) during real-time communication (videoconference).

    • Availability of a Video Development Toolkit (VDK) for integration with existing applications or with the VRVS framework.

  • ESnet already selected Minerva as the preferred solution for MPEG2 deployment inside ESnet.

  • One box has been installed at two sites: Caltech and CERN

  • Are others HENP Institutes interested in participation to the test and deployment phase ??

Mpeg2 deployment plan 2 2
MPEG2 deployment plan (2/2)

  • Integration plan of MPEG2 into VRVS framework

    • step 1: Perform and valid bi-directional point to point and interactive communication between 2 sites

      • Caltech and CERN -- Done Successfully December 14, 1999 --

      • Caltech and Esnet sites

      • CERN and ESnet sites -- Done Successfully January 15, 2000 --

    • step 2: adapt/modify VRVS reflector in order to make MPEG2 multipoint videoconferencing between 3 or more sites

      • Caltech, CERN and ESnet sites

    • step 3: adapt/modify VRVS Web interface and use the MPEG2 development kits in order to initiate MPEG2 videoconference in a “click and start” fashion.

    • step 4: Use the whole VRVS system and philosophy (registration, scheduling, etc..) with automatic attribution to the closest reflector and start the conference by just clicking after joining a Virtual Room as of today.

Example: GLAST meeting (October 14,1999)

10 participants connected via VRVS

Example::LEPC broadcast from CERN (November 9,1999)

35 participants connected via VRVS

Example: 9 Participants, CERN(2), Caltech, FNAL(2), Bologna (IT),

Roma (IT), Milan (IT), Rutherford(UK)

Conclusion (IT),

  • VRVS is now a production system with more than 2010 registered host computers located in more than 40 countries. The frequency of VRVS conferences is tending to increase rapidly;

  • I2-DV (Internet2 Digital Video) Initiative steering committee looks forward to use VRVS framework as a foundation for new video and multimedia services to be deployed throughout Internet 2;

  • VRVS will support all type of videoconferencing; from the Mbone and H.323 applications to very high video and audio quality like MPEG2;

  • QoS study and tests over the transatlantic line is more then ever a very important task in order to run Differentiated Service for real-timeapplications as well as other sensitive applications (distributed database);

  • Strong effort will be done to investigate development in new areas such as Shared Virtual Spaces and Data Applications;