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MSE 8000 series MCUs support for H.264-SVC (for Lync 2013 interop)

Chris Swinney

Hey all,

This is kinda of a dubble port as I tagged it onto another thread dealling with Lync 2013 integration, but it may well have been missed, so I though I would re-post in a new thread.

I would like to know some  information about the Cisco MSE 8000 Series MCU's (specifically the  8510's) as we don't have direct control over theses devices and my  knowledge on them is sketchy at best,

Does  the MSE 8510 support the H.264-SVC video CODEC at this moment in time?  If not, I take it that there is a roadmap to update the software in  order that the MCU can dial H.264-SVC device directly, passed by the VCS  @ x8.1? I can't find any specific info from Cisco saying that they do, but I'm guessing if they don't now, then they will do at some point in the future?

Many thanks


15 Replies 15

Douglas Baggett

As far as I know, the 8510 does not. Have not heard anything from CISCO on this. I doubt we'll see it on the 8510, more than likely if they do it will be done on the TP server (8710)

Alok Jaiswal
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee


as far as i know it doesn't, at least not on MCU. may be they can come up on TPS.



From what I am being told, Cisco will not invest any time or money into the development of 8510 as they are transitioning everything to 8710, which is why they are offering a promotion to transition to 8710, there are caveats to swithcing to 8710, contact your Cisco rep.  Currently, the VCS(x8.1) will translate the H264 SVC to AVC, passing it on to the 8710 or 8510.

As Sal has indicated above, with X8.1 on your VCS, it does the SVC to AVC translation, so your proper VC environment doesn't need to understand Microsoft's implementation, it'll just talk AVC as it always has happily internally, and let the X8.1 VCS do the translation when talking to the Lync world.

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Like Wayne said, the X8.1 and MCU or TPS integration with Lync 2013s h.264 SVC works fine.

From the VCS X8.1 admin guide:

Microsoft Lync 2013 / H.264 SVC support

The Microsoft Lync B2BUA now supports calls to and from Microsoft Lync 2013 clients. It provides interworking between standard H.264 AVC and Lync 2013's H.264UC SVC codec. To use Lync 2013 you must install the Microsoft Interoperability option key (formerly known as the Enhanced OCS Collaboration option key). Note that for Lync 2010, the Microsoft Interoperability option key requirements remain as per previous releases (i.e. it is required for encrypted calls to and from Microsoft Lync Server and for establishing ICE calls to Lync clients).

Presentation sharing via Lync 2013 is supported but only from VCS to Lync.

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Is it possible to use a cloud hosted Lync deployment (office 365) with the VCS for interoperability?

There is another thread on this, but I think that is a BAD move on CISCO's part as the 8710 is in MANY ways inferior to to the 8510 in terms of features and control.

Douglas: thats always the question on how to handle.

The old MCU style of software is quite feature rich and exists for a long time,

so from a software development view I could picture its getting harder to maintain.

So having a new code base and concentrate to improve is a good idea.

That specific features are missing is an other story.

Which features do you lack the most?

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Just off of the top of my head (there are more than 2)

Autoattendant (Huge deal)

layout control and the MANY layouts the 8510 provides over the 8710

And in General the fine grained control the 8510 interface provides during meetings over the 8710.

I would not mind converting our 8510 blade to 8710 as one thing the latter provides is clearpath FEC and H.264 error handling (Long Term Reference Frames) but not if I have to lose all the features the 8510 provides.

I believe there is no Lecture option on the 8710 either - bit of a deal killer in the Education world!

Still (and back to the original question) it's nice to understand that the VCS WILL interwork SVC to AVC and vice versa. Of course, as I understand it, SVC are additive streams so that in essence an end device will receive the best stream for it given abilities and environment, rather than one big fat stream being sent. I assume then that these SVC streams are simply added together by the VCS to produce the AVC. This might be a general over simplification but is it acurate (if only for my own personal understanding)?

"To use Lync 2013 you must install the Microsoft Interoperability option  key (formerly known as the Enhanced OCS Collaboration option key)"

Requested a quote for the key a couple of weeks ago; came back at A$30,000.- a pop.

We'll be looking at either getting another VCS and use that as a Lync gateway, instead of purchasing the key for each and every VCS - or, alternatively go down the Pexip route instead - no key required.


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Jens -

We'll be looking at either getting another VCS and use that as a Lync gateway, instead of purchasing the key for each and every VCS

Can you describe the difference in having a VCS behave as a Lync gateway vs using the Microsoft Interoperability  option key?  Wouldn't you need the ky for the VCS Lync gateway you'd create?

I missed this response, but $30,000  (£16,000) !!!!!

Problem is with us is that we have only one VCS-C in operation at each institution, but over 50 institutions. I think I can categorically state that this is simply a cost that will no be borne by any of the institutions!


Patrick - for reference employing a Lync gateway is the Cisco preferred solution. This reduces the number of consumed licences, however, from our point of view this make no difference. The vast majority of calls in to a Lync client would be into an organisation from an MCU hosted elsewhere. If you were cynical, then maybe you would just say that this was another Cisco attampt to leverage as much money out of anyone that they feel they can....


We have just had our ball bar figure back, which has started at circa £25k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our response has been this:

We were privy to a Cisco presentation WRT to Lync integration around this time last year and with the upcoming release of x8 on the VCSs, however, there was no mention that the Microsoft Interoperability option key (formerly known as the Enhanced OCS Collaboration option key) was going to be needed as a requirement for the Lync 2013 interoperability. As it stood at that time (with x7.x on the VCS and Lync 2010) the only requirement for this option key was if Lync users were connected to the Lync domain via an Edge server or if there was the need to support encryption on media from the Lync domain to the VCS domain.

Indeed, given our specific deployment scenarios, with external MCUs raising calls to internal video participants across the VCS traversal solution, and potentially into Lync users (in limited numbers – i.e. 1’s and 2’s), the need for the Cisco recommended solution of a Lync Gateway is somewhat overkill for our clients. The basic “Small test/demo” deployment was great for our clients whereby a single VCS Control unit acted as a traversal client AND a B2BUA to the Lync domain.

However, the requirements of the Microsoft Interoperability option for any type of communication between the VCS and Lync 2013, and the associated cost as you have listed below is pretty much a deal breaker. The customer we saw yesterday had a total of 40 users on Lync, so in no way can justify as a business requirement the cost of adding this licence to their VCS. In fact, our feeling is that of the 50+ organisations who we deal with that operate the VCS traversal solution, pretty much none of them will see this as a viable option, and indeed we cannot even justify the cost of the licence for our own use in order to demo the potential solution. This is, of course, a massive shame as we were looking toward the VCS software upgrade for a long time.


As far as I can see, we will be looking at alternative solutions (there was a rumour that MS were going to announce something at LyncConf14, but I haven't seen anything as yet). Jens (if you see this because of the board changes), we will look at Pexip, along with Star Leaf, Radvision and others.

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