To cloud or not to cloud?
Pexip’s scalable meeting platform enables you to run a hybrid deployment model to suit your business needs
August 14, 2014

As you plan your collaboration and videoconferencing infrastructure, you run into the ubiquitous questions of cloud based or on-premise deployments, flexibility, scale and capacity, user generated requirements and much more. With Pexip Infinity, you can combine on-premise and cloud deployments. Seamlessly integrate Lync server, Office 365 and nearly any other collaboration tool while keeping it completely transparent to the user, greatly promoting adoption rates and usage, while the IT administrator can flexibly scale as needed.

What is a hybrid deployment?

A hybrid software deployment spans the gap between on-premise and cloud, and provides best-of-both-worlds functionality for the user. For Pexip Infinity, it means running the software installed in both the cloud and a local data center (distributed), with the various instances working seamlessly together.

Pexip Infinity in a hybrid deployment

Hybrid: Irrespective of whether Pexip Infinity is deployed on-premise or in a cloud, every participant seamlessly shares the exact same experience, no matter which node they are connected to.

Flexibility in compute in a hybrid deployment model

Today, most businesses talk about elasticity in the cloud – elasticity defined as a logical layer of computing power provided by an external cloud provider that can be spun up or wound down “on-demand”.

The flexible nature of elastic compute provides efficiency in spending, quick access to resources, and speed to implementation.

Having the elastic compute power is valuable, especially if the elasticity is taken advantage of for the originating business needs. An application that can harmonize and transparently use on-premise compute resources together with the on-demand cloud provider resources – creates a hybrid cloud application.  

Pexip Infinity is such an application for Unified Communications. It provides a unique, distributed audio and video encoding and decoding platform that can span and efficiently sprawl across a hybrid compute model, utilizing both your own data center, as well as that of a cloud service.

Admin look of hybrid development

Admin: The Pexip Infinity administrator module provides a real-time view of the hybrid deployment. Here three participants, each connected to their local nodes. 

Pexip Infinity can be configured to deliver Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) across a hybrid compute infrastructure, creating a hybrid video delivery model transparent to the end user. Pexip Infinity creates a fabric of video to thread the local computing with the cloud computing, creating a harmonious compute and application layer delivery model.

User benefits from a hybrid deployment model

The benefit for the user is simple, no matter how or where you connect, or how large the meeting or conference is, he will always have the same experience.

The connection between the on-premise and cloud compute resources is known as a virtual “backplane”, creating one logical VMR conference, while the underlying compute is completely distributed. Bandwidth is optimized between on-prem and cloud computing nodes.  The result for the end user is, again, the same experience no matter what device, location or network they use.  The underlying complexity is hidden while delivering a hyper-efficient underlying delivery model.

Virtual Meeting Rooms fuel collaboration

Virtual Meeting Rooms are an excellent way to communicate. Today’s organizations realize and want to take advantage of this to feed their users’ need for collaboration technologies (video, audio, and web). Instead of having to schedule every single conference call, VMRs can be used ad hoc and as needed. With growing demand comes the concern of predicting how much capacity an organization needs to provide a ubiquitous solution that scales to everyone in their organization, and provides everyone with the collaboration tools they require. How much computing power and bandwidth do I really need for my collaboration tools? Using a truly elastic VMR application, the software and provider that provide the ability to absorb that concern is paramount.

Security in a hybrid deployment

In addition to taking advantage of elastic compute, a hybrid deployment addresses a key technical security concern of most organizations that other cloud offerings do not offer – keep the application layer traffic within the organizations’ four walls.  While some internet based cloud solutions have provided to bridge the gap of interoperability in the past, the pendulum has swung back to organizations desiring to keep their traffic in-house with the “tweak” in requirement to have elements of the solution cloud delivered, such as scheduling, analytics, troubleshooting resources, etc.  Most of these security-concerned organizations are ok with the application layer spanning to the cloud, whereas the layer is compute.  Pexip Infinity now gives back that control and allows organizations to turn the dials creating the right separation at the right layers.

Conclusions

Deploying Pexip Infinity in a hybrid cloud / on-premise environment has several benefits, especially from an IT administrator point of view. 

First of all, it adds flexibility in compute. He or she can easily scale capacity in minutes by leveraging ample compute resources in the cloud - there is no need to deploy everything in the enterprise data center.

Secondly, it reduces bandwidth usage through the corporate firewall. A pure cloud deployment requires that even internal calls have to send media out into the cloud and back. The result is that a lot of bandwidth is required between the enterprise and the cloud provider, especially since users expect High Definition video at above one megabit per second in each direction. A hybrid deployment automatically connects internal users to the on-premise part of the deployment, whereas external users are connect seamlessly to the cloud part of the deployment.

Finally, a hybrid deployment enables an enterprise to host large conferences and seminars without having to scale up their on-premise deployment and without having to allocate bandwidth through the firewall for a large number of external participants. The cloud part of the deployment can provide a very cost-efficient way of providing elasticity - scaling up the deployment for certain events can be done without touching the enterprise data center.