Kind of frustrated.
Wondering what conditions need be present to require the MultiSite License? The documentation I've looked over at length doesn't specify unfortunately. I read a few NON Cisco definitions that state MultiPOINT as 3 or more participants in the same conference. But also described the MultiSITE license as the ability of an endpoint to support a multipoint call. If that's true then everyone needing to have more than 2 participants on a call would require MultiSITE regardless of where that call originated, which would seem to contradict the use of the term SITE.
Can someone please clarify these terms for me?
There are three term you should be familiar with in a Cisco solution; Multipoint, Multisite and Multiway.
Multipoint is the industry wide video term for a call that involves 3 or more participants.
Multisite is the option key on a Cisco TC software based endpoint, like the SX20, that enables it to perform multipoint calls natively. Multisite only allows for 4 total participants, the TC endpoint hosting the call plus 3 additional endpoints, or 3+1. (Note: not all TC software based endpoints support Multisite.)
Multiway is call escalation to an MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) when a third participant is added to a call. For Example, Endpoint A is in a call with Endpoint B. When Endpoint C is added to the call (whether A calls C or C calls A) Endpoint B is placed on hold. When Endpoint A selects the "Merge Call" button, A, B and C are transferred to an MCU. Multiway is a free option, however it does require a Cisco VCS and MCU to function. Also, Multiway and Multisite can NOT be used on an endpoint at the same time.
To answer your question, in a production environment that has an MCU, Multisite is not necessary, unless the ports on the MCU will not support all the calls that need to go on concurrently. In which case Multisite can be leveraged to host multipoint calls involving 4 or less participants, so long as one of those participants is the endpoint with the Multisite option key. This would free up resources on the MCU to host conferences involving more than 4 participants at a time.
Now comes the money, if you are using TMS (TelePresence Management Suite) to schedule all your conferences, TMS will make the decision for you whether you need to leverage Multisite on an endpoint or Multipoint on an MCU. In the end, purchasing Multisite on a few key endpoint is much cheeper than buying a new MCU. I hope this helps.
Thanks very much for the detailed reply. Question is, in your multiway example your example escalated a 3 person call to an MCU. That was for illustration purposes only and wouldn't have to be done with the SX20 w/ Multisite correct?
Also, there's been some disagreement within my dept. on this issue: If a customer wants to buy an SX20, has no CM, MUST he purchase the VCS Expressway or is the VCS purchase dictated by some other system requirement / capacity? Can't find the explanation in PEC, or Literature so far.
If you know of any resources where I can get this info I would be grateful.
Multiway and Multisite are two different thing. Multiway will do call escalation to the MCU. It is a free option included in the SX20. Multipoint is a purchasable option that enables the endpoint to host the multipoint call, so the MCU would not be necessary. Remember that the call capacity of the Multisite option is 3+1 participants.
As far as your other question is concerned, I must ask what call control server the customer would be using, if any. If the SX20 is only going to place internal calls, meaning inside the firewall, then it can operate using H.323, with the Call Setup mode configured to Direct, by dialing the IP address of another endpoint (no call control server is needed). If you want to use SIP, or if you want to call outside the firewall, a call control server needs to be installed. The SX 20 can act as its own firewall traversal client to the VCS Expressway, so no internal server will need to be in place. However, if you want to use SIP internal to the firewall, either the VCS Control or the Cisco Unified CM needs to be used.
An alternative solution could be for the customer to lease a WebEx TelePresence Solution. WebEx TelePresence is a cloud based infrastructure solution for small and medium sized companies who don't want to purchase and manage their own infrastructure.
Thanks again, helpful....I think I'm getting there.
But to clarify though, and without a Cisco CO, figure some other system like Avaya, Mitel (no integration)
1. I can make H.323 calls internally (no FW traversal) with 2 parties with the SX20
2. Multisite option allows up to 4 H.323 participants?
Looks like in the above H.323 is used in Direct mode to set up peer to peer video communications on the LAN, yes?
When you say; "If you want to use SIP, or if you want to call outside the firewall, a call control server needs to be installed." What are you referring to an MCU or a VCS expressway?
When you say: "The SX 20 can act as its own firewall traversal client to the VCS Expressway, so no internal server will need to be in place."
I don't follow, do you mean "Can act as it's own FW traversal client IN LIEU OF a VCS, or do you mean acchetecturally topologically up to the VCS then VCS acts as the proxy to the WAN?
Is it a correct statement that the endpoints- SX20- need something to register to when using SIP AT ALL. Therefore VCS is required with SIP, when no integrated CM is in place regardless of internal or external calls being placed.
On your points of clarification:
1. I can make H.323 calls internally (no FW traversal) with 2 parties with
2. Yes, this is correct
2. Multisite option allows up to 4 H.323 participants?
Correct, but remember that one of the 4 participants is the system using
Looks like in the above H.323 is used in Direct mode to set up peer to peer
video communications on the LAN, yes?
When an endpoint is set to Direct Mode, it basically says the endpoint
doesn¹t need a Gatekeeper to register to in order to place calls. Because it
doesn¹t register to a gatekeeper, aliases can not be used. So the only way
to dial is by an IP address. The IP address range it can dial must be in the
same network for route-ability (there are more complex settings that can be
configured that I will not go into now. It will only cause confusion).
When you say; "If you want to use SIP, or if you want to call outside the
firewall, a call control server needs to be installed." What are you
referring to an MCU or a VCS expressway?
There are 3 call control server solutions Cisco offers:
Cisco Unified CM, which supports SIP only
Cisco VCS Control, used on the internal network and supports H.323, SIP
and interworking between SIP and H.323
Cisco VCS Expressway, used outside the firewall for Traversal and supports
H.323, SIP and interworking between SIP and H.323
An MCU is a server that is dedicated to supporting Multipoint calls, doing
all the transcoding of the media that takes place.
When you say: "The SX 20 can act as its own firewall traversal client to the
VCS Expressway, so no internal server will need to be in place."
I don't follow, do you mean "Can act as it's own FW traversal client IN LIEU
OF a VCS, or do you mean acchetecturally topologically up to the VCS then
VCS acts as the proxy to the WAN?
A typical Firewall Traversal solution includes a Traversal Client like the
VCS Control on the internal network traversing to a Traversal Server like
the VCS Expressway outside the firewall. All internal endpoints would
register to the VCS Control, thereby enabling them to call all other
internal endpoints and any endpoint outside their network, like B2B and B2C
(Business-to-Business, Business to Consumer). If you have a TC endpoint like
the SX20, it can act as the traversal client and register from the internal
network to the VCS Expressway directly, eliminating the need for the VCS
Control. I would only recommend this solution for small deployments or
remote office locations with limited number of endpoints.
Is it a correct statement that the endpoints- SX20- need something to
register to when using SIP AT ALL. Therefore VCS is required with SIP, when
no integrated CM is in place regardless of internal or external calls being
Yes, SIP requires a SIP Server (also referred to as a SIP Registrar or SIP
Proxy) to register to in order to work. The two SIP Servers Cisco offers are
the Cisco Unified CM and the VCS (Control or Expressway).
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Whew!! OK Getting it now.
So basically it would be easier to have Company A talk to Company B buy having them build Site to site VPN's to the other right? Therefore the devices wouldn't know they were remote from the other and firewall traversal would be a non issue right?
Looks like you got it. This had been a great conversation. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be glad to help.
Sent from my iPhone
A customer needs me to deploy Telepresence SX 20 at 2 sites, but these sites do not have a WAN link; though, there is high-speed internet connection at both sites.
I plan to deploy the SX 20, at both sites and have them dial both ends using their respective IP address.
Am I on the right track or missing something?
Thanks in advance.
Concerning about Multisite feature, I have a deployment with 5 SX20 and 1 SX80 registered on CUCM and with Multisite feature applied on all of them.
Well, I can host a videoconference by SX80 and add 3 SX20 at the same session.
Is it possible from 1 of these SX20 to envolve 2 others SX20?
Or only the +3 from the SX80 is the limit and allowed?
You can call out to multiple SX20s from the SX80 (the number of participants is dependent on the resolution you use) and then call out to another participant(s) from the SX20. This is called cascading the call. However, you need to be aware the layout that should be used with cascaded calls is "Single Participant" (also referred to as "Speaker Participant" or "Active Speaker") so that only the active speaker's video is sent to all other participants. Otherwise, the image the SX20 sends to the SX80 is all the participants that endpoint is connected with. This could create a windowing affect in the view pain of other participants connected to the conference.