OCS 2007 R2 “How Much Bandwith do I need?”

Something that comes up quite bit from time to time is “How much bandwidth do I need?”  Now the point I would like to bring home is looking at this from the Audio and Video perspective with communicator clients calling each other and incorporating video from a webcam.

When we talk about conference calls with OCS 2007 R2 something to take into consideration is what modalities are being leveraged in the conference. Is it just Audio?  Is it just Video?  In this example we are going to take a look at the scenario where both audio and video will be used in a conference.

Scenario:

Three remote users are participating in a conference call leveraging audio and video from their communicator clients.

Note:

Video send\recieve – 320 max kbps bidirectional
Audio send\recieve – 48 max kbps bidirectional

(Listner = User1)

What we notice from the diagram below is “User1” is participating in the conference as a user.  Since “User1” is just attending the conference and using video to see the other participants and listening to the speaker he will be just downloading audio and video streams from the OCS front-end server. “User1” is downloading 368 kbps of data. 

(Active Speaker = User2)

What we notice from “User2” is he is participating in the conference as the active speaker for the moment. Since User2 is displaying video and audio for the moment he is sending both media streams to the OCS front-end server which is 368 kbps. Since the current active speaker in this scenario was not the first person to initate video in the conference, he will display the video feed of the last person to project video; and in this case its User3. With the reception of video from User3, User2 has an additional feed of 320 kbps coming down to his webcam.  User2 is utilizing a total of 688 kpbs of bandwidth for his connection.

(Previous active Speaker = User3)

As we move on to User3 we see that he is very similar to User2 in the sense of the media streams sent to his client from the OCS front-end server. Since User3 has just finished presenting and is now listening to User2, User3 is recieving audio and video from User2 from the OCS front-end server. Also take into consideration that User3 who was the presenter is uploading his video to the OCS front-end server in order to display video to User2 as the last active speaker.  So User3 has a second video feed which is being uploaded to the server at 320 kbps. User3 is utilizing is 688 kbps of bandwidth for his connection.

Conclusion:

With all three users in the conference call leveraging audio and video there is the possibility that approximately 1.7 mb of bandwidth will be needed with regards to availability for this conference to happen. Also keep into consideration with this type of conference if bandwidth is limited video will drop before audio in order for the conference to continue.

In the next article I will include a similar scenario, but will include the roundtable device in the conference.

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