Project I worked on as a technology lead.
After years of organic growth of our video conference network (legacy network) the firm made a decision to invest in immersive video conference. Each office was set with an immersive unit (either a Cisco Profile 65 or a T3 room, depending on the office size and needs). Each office was also set with a it's own video network circuit and connected to an MPLS network provided by Masergy (dedicated to video with QoS).
Two years ago after the firm moved most of it's servers to data centers and had its backbone network upgraded to support that I made a decision to take advantage of this change and redesign our video network.
The project design phase took several month in which I looked at analytics such as data network traffic, video conference traffic, equipment specification, licensing, security and fault tolerance implications and a future growth analysis.
I worked with a Cisco partner on allocating infrastructure gatekeepers and edge devices in various data center location and the licensing involved and a migration day plan.
The goal of this migration was:
1. Flatten the network - connect all VC endpoints and infrastructure to the firm network to save the firm the cost of a dedicated immersive video network (50K a month).
3. Virtualize every aspect of the VC network infrastructure when possible.
4. Move all other network appliances to the data center (to increase fault tolerance)
5. Make management easier. No more multiple network and hoops to go through to access infrastructure and endpoints.
6. Make the dial plan easier (for the same reasons above).
7. Decentralize or network and eliminate the role of specific office as network hubs.
8. Bolster security by using VM devices and new network infrastructure which is easier to manage and update remotely.
9. Add redundancy by clustering our backbone over two data centers.
The project took place during the Thanksgiving weekend. By that point I had all of the virtual devices set in our data centers and clustered when needed. By Wednesday evening the hardware we couldn't virtualize was moved in (23U rack mounted chassis and a 1U recording server).
On Thursday all endpoint on the legacy network got redirected to the new video gatekeepers (VM in data centers). Immersive endpoint got moved off the dedicated Masergy network and patched to a firm switch which we configured to support a new video VLAN dedicated to each office and then registered to the same video gatekeepers cluster.
Once this was done all endpoint and infrastructure worked on the same network and each office or data center worked on it's dedicated video VLAN with video traffic designed to route freely between the VLANs but nothing else.
Then a special test plan was done in each office to make sure traffic flows in high definition between all endpoints in various scenarios - between offices point to point, between offices bridged and between various endpoints and client sites.
The test plan was highly successful and as designed within two days (16 hours of work) the dedicated immersive video network was no longer needed and all project goal were achieved. In addition to this the firm saves now $50K a months or $1.5M it agreed to pay during the lifespan of the dedicated network contract. This is compared with a cost of $50 for the migration (consulting, hardware license and labor costs).
Conference room design project in Beijing China - Fully integrated with computer presentation, audio and video conferencing capabilities, DVD (Bluray) and Cable TV. Video switching is based on the latest Crestron 4K switcher and control technology. The control panel in the room is an iPad based. It is mounted to the wall but can be put in and out securely. Tabletop microphones array for video and audio conferencing is set with LED touch sensitive bezel that shows mute status and provides access to the mute feature by touch. Room audio is available through high end ceiling speakers. Video conferencing is supported through a Cisco C90 codec which is registered to a video control server in on of the firm's data centers. The use of 4K technology provides a future proof design that will carry this office through the next 5 years. The control touch panel design is the same as in all other offices in the region to allow employees traveling from office to office access to the technology without the learning curve that is usually associated with operating such technology.
In my role as the project lead tech I had access to local stakeholder to discuss their unique needs and come up with the appropriate design. I was tasked with the selection of a local AV integrator and worked with them and with the architect to implement a successful design plan. I had to make sure the design concept match the global template we use even if the technology we select is the most advanced of it's kind (4K).
Needless to say everything had to be done under a tight budget.
This project is one of several in just a few years. Other offices done successfully in a similar fashion include New York, Seoul, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi.
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