VC Services information - Finland, FUNET

Basic information

The Center for Scientific Computing (CSC), which operates the Finnish University and Research Network (FUNET), offers videoconferencing related services and information to the universities and polytechnics in Funet. In addition CSC facilitates collaboration in the videoconferencing area. A major part of the videoconferencing services are independently provided by the universities and colleges thus in this listing we have provisional references to them as well.

For more information please check the Funet-TV videoconferencing pages.

Resources

  • MCU
    • CSC has a CUSeeMe Conference Server (H.323, Linux) for small case use for the Funet community
    • CSC operates a VRVS reflector (MBONE tools,H.323, Linux) with 5 virtual rooms dedicated for Funet-community
    • 9 universities have their own H.323 MCUs and may offer service to others. For a list of MCUs please see the Funet MCU services page
  • Gateways
    • VRVS includes a gateway service between native VRVS, Access Grid, Quicktime and H.323
    • Several universities offer gateway services between H.320 and H.323 also to other universities through their MCU service
  • Clients
    • For H.323 CSC uses internally mainly VCON, Zydachron, Polycom and Tandberg hardware H.323 clients, universities use others like Sony or X to X as well.
    • CSC has an Access Grid node as well as VRVS clients based on free software, some universities do have them as well.

Middleware/Network

  • Directories

    None yet. It's a work item in the national VideoFunet-project that has just started.

  • % of customers/users multicast enabled

    Backbone is 100%, site accesspoints perhaps 95%, but users in individual LANs behind routers or firewalls that don't support multicast routing are a problem gradually being eliminated.

  • QoS

    We do have technical capabilities to provide QoS services in the backbone if necessary, currently there's no real need for them in the multigigabit backbone. Some experiments and research projects have been done though.

  • % of your customers who have the appropriate bandwidth needed for high-quality VC

    100% All have several megabits of connectivity to FUNET, normal access speeds are 100Mbit/s, 155Mbit/s, 622Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s. The redundant FUNET backbone utilises 2.4Gbit/s and 10Gbit/s links. FUNET has over 10Gbit/s connectivity to the NORDUnet hub in Sweden. From there we have multigigabit connectivity to Géant, Internet2 and rest of internet.

Employment and Services


  • Services

    On a best effort basis CSC offers the following VC-services to Funet users

    • CUSeeMe H.323 MCU
    • VRVS reflector (MBONE tools,H.323) and the 5 Funet Community virtual rooms via the central VRVS portal and reservation system.

    On special cases with a separate agreement CSC may provide manual recording and transcoding to various VOD formats (realvideo, MPEG-2 etc.) but normally users are expected to record the meetings themselves if necessary. CSC can provide VOD server space for the recordings on separate agreement.

    Some universities may offer locally recording services in conjuction with their MCU and gateway services, E.G. University of Helsinki has a StarBak Torrent for recording and streaming of H.323 videoconferences.

  • What are the customers using the services for?

    Meetings, scientific collaboration, remote education

  • User groups
  • CSC serves users mainly in the FUNET member organizations (Universities, polytechnics, non-profit research institutions) that don't have the required service locally available. International collaboration partners of CSC.

  • Employment
    • How is VC usually employed: point2point, point2group or group2group? All of these
    • Is VC to facilitate events? Yes
    • Is VC used for consultation? Yes
    • Is VC used for distance learning? Yes
    • Is VC used to facilitate meetings? Yes

Future Plans

  • High quality videoconferencing experiments
  • VideoFunet-project:
    • National gatekeeper architecture
    • National videoconferencing portal
    • H.350  registry
    • Reservation systems
    • Firewall recommendations
    • Recording procedures and methods