Well, I do agree that conductor is a good product, and required in many cases (still don't know why cascading etc. features are not integrated into VCS though, anyways).
But, as we are facing an unplanned requirement of an additional mcu (for port-reserved meetings), adding conductor to that "budget" would possibly not be appreciated by the client.
As far as I know, Conductor is free of charge if you have a single MCU.
The question is, can you configure Conducter in such a way that the single MCU is utilised for both scheduled and adhoc conferences?
Yes, you can configure Conductor for that. But it is not recommended, once you cannot have guarantee that you will have resources available in your MCUs, because with adhoc conferences, the port usage is very much dinamic, so you can schedule a conference with a possibility of having no resources available in that moment, because of adhoc usage. Furthermore, Conductor doesn't have reservation concept like MCU, the logic of Conductor is totally different.
Therefore, if you need to have scheduling and adhoc conferences without clashing possibility, you need to 2 MCUs or 2 MCUs + Conductor, unless you have a MCU usage level that never is greater than your number of ports, which is common in small environments.
PS: I am not saying this because I am member of Cisco (I am not) and I want you to buy something, I am telling you this, because technically speaking, this is the way how it works.
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I am trying to manage the MCU ports effectively in a customer. For that I need to enable Media Port Reservation on the MCU. The customer also wants to use Smart Scheduler to schedule a conference. But they have cisco ip phones and they need to define the ip phones as call in participants for the scheuled conferences. In that case the ip phone users can not dial in the conferences because Media port reservation is enabled. At the another side I need to enable it because they want to prevent calls from unscheduled participants. Is it possible to allow call-in participants in the time when conference being occured? For example I can define 5 call-in participants on smart scheduler. Is it possible to allow only 5 participants during the scheduled conference?
I've never used our MCU with port reservation mode enabled, but I believe if you setup a certain number of dial in participants when scheduling the conference, it will make sure the MCU reserves enough extra ports based on the number you specified.