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

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

  • 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;