Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.1 -- About Multiserver Meetings

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Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.1 > Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server > Configuring




Multiserver meetings allow participants on different Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server systems to communicate with each other as if they were in the same meeting.

Multiserver meetings are ideal for:

  • Minimizing long-distance calls between major corporate locations. Users in a particular region can connect to their local conference servers, and the conference servers call each other over standard phone lines to form a multiserver meeting. This reduces the number of long distance calls required to connect the users.
  • Large conference calls (over 550 participants) that require more than one Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server.


See also:



Contents

About Multiserver Meetings

When users schedule a multiserver meeting by using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing, they designate one Audio Server system as the primary server responsible for connecting to other secondary Audio Server systems. Note the following limitations for multiserver meetings:

  • Multiserver meetings do not span web servers. The web-conferencing portion of a multiserver meeting is scheduled on the web server associated with the primary Audio Server system.
  • If both servers also have a Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) attached and video participants join the same multiserver meeting from different Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU units, the participants from each Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU can hear each other through the voice links. However, because there are two separate video conferences being hosted on each Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU, the video participants from both conferences cannot see each other.


When users schedule multiserver meetings, they designate one Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server as the primary server responsible for connecting to the other-secondary-servers. MeetingTime client software and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing each provide an easy-to-use interface for scheduling multiserver meetings.


When a multiserver meeting is set to begin, the primary server places one call to each secondary server over standard phone lines. After the secondary servers receive the call, they add the primary server to their meeting, allowing all users to speak to each over the server they are connected to.


For multiserver meeting system requirements, see Worksheet 5-15: Multiserver Meeting Requirements.


Outdial Behavior

Outdial behavior for multiserver meetings that are scheduled to start at the scheduled start time is determined by the Initiate parameter, which can be set to either "At scheduled start time" or "When 1st person enters." If the Initiate parameter is set to "When 1st person enters," the system does not initiate the outdial until the first person joins the meeting, even if the scheduled start time has passed.


In Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server, the amount of time in which the remote server connection to the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers is established is as follows:

  • Four minutes before the scheduled start time of the meeting (if the Early mtg start parameter is more than four minutes)
  • Thirty seconds before the scheduled start time of the meeting (if the Early mtg start parameter is four minutes or less)


Note: If someone attends the meeting early (up to 15 minutes before the scheduled start time), the outdial process starts at that time.


Configuring Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers for Multiserver Meetings

Before users can set up multiserver meetings, the system administrator must do the following:

  • On each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server, provide each user with a user profile
  • Create Server Information records on each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system so that the servers can identify each other when they connect


Worksheet 2-1 Multiserver Meeting Scheduling Requirements

Table: Worksheet 2-1: Multiserver Meeting Scheduling Requirements shows the requirements for scheduling a multiserver meeting. These requirements are described in detail in the Configuring Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers for Multiserver Meetings.


Table: Worksheet 2-1: Multiserver Meeting Scheduling Requirements
Multiserver Scheduling Requirements Done

Provide users who will schedule multiserver meetings with profiles on each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server (see the Providing Users with Profiles on the Other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers).

Enable the user profiles of those who are going to schedule meetings with multiserver scheduling privileges (see the Providing Users with Profiles on the Other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers).

Create Server Information records on all systems for each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server (see the Creating Server Information Records for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers).

To enable users to schedule multiserver meetings using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing, make sure that:

  • They are using a supported browser.
  • They can access each site as Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing server. If these users can already access each site's Cisco Unified MeetingPlace web page using their web browser, they can schedule a multiserver meeting.
  • A compatible version of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing is installed and running at each site. See the Compatibility Matrix.


For more information about requirements, see the System Requirements.

To enable users to schedule multiserver meetings by using MeetingTime, make sure that:

  • They can access each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server through their MeetingTime client software.
  • They have a supported version of MeetingTime installed on their system.

Worksheet 2-2 Recommendations for Multiserver Meetings

Table: Worksheet 2-2: Recommendations for Multiserver Meetings lists some recommendations to consider when you set up your Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8106 or 8112 for multiserver meetings. You may need to work with the system administrators of the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers to complete these recommendations.


Table: Worksheet 2-2: Recommendations for Multiserver Meetings
Recommendations Done

Make sure that all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers are time synchronized by using a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. This NTP server can be a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system or an external device. To establish an NTP server, go to the MeetingTime Configure tab, select System Parameters , and enter the IP address of the NTP server.

Make sure all servers are properly named across all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace systems. (For guidelines in naming your system, see the Naming Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers.)

Record a voice name for the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers (see the Recording a Voice Name for Other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers).

Set the same guard times on all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers. (For information on guard times, see the Managing Port Scheduling with Guard Times)

Set the same extend meeting parameters on all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers. (For more information, see the Solving Common Problems of Multiserver Meetings)

Record the breakout session warning prompt that plays before participants enter a breakout session (see the Recording the Breakout Session Warning Prompt).

Providing Users with Profiles on the Other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers

To schedule a multiserver meeting, a user must have multiserver scheduling privileges and a profile on each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server that is involved in the meeting. For example, if users need to schedule a multiserver meeting between New York City and London, you must make sure that user has a user profile with multiserver scheduling privileges on the New York City server and the London server.


There are two ways that you can provide users with profiles on other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers:

  • If they already have a profile on a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server, have the other servers import this profile into the user database. If users do not already have a profile, create one and then have the other servers import it. For more information on how to import profiles, see the Importing User Profile and Group Information.
  • Have all system administrators create the same "generic" profile on their Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server, and have all schedulers use this profile when setting up a multiserver meeting. This allows all schedulers to log in to each server using the same ID and password. This method, however, can create security and billing issues because each scheduler uses the same profile. For more information on creating user profiles, see the About User Profiles.


Allowing Users to Schedule Multiserver Meetings

Before users can schedule multiserver meetings, you must give their user profile multiserver scheduling privileges. You must have system manager privileges to modify a user profile.


To Give Multiserver Scheduling Privileges to a User Profile
  1. By using MeetingTime, log in to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server.
  2. In the MeetingTime Configure tab, select the User Profiles topic.
  3. Click the Find Records button to access the user profile you want to modify.
    Note: This field is case-sensitive.
  4. For the Can Call Other Servers? attribute, choose Yes .
    This attribute is under the Outdial Meeting Defaults topic.
  5. For the Time Zone attribute, make sure it is set to the local time zone of the user.
    Set the Time Zone parameter in a user profile to the same zone on all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers. For example, if the local time zone of the user is America/Los Angeles, their user profile on every server should be set to this time zone no matter where the server is located.
  6. Click Save Changes .


Creating Server Information Records for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers

Before two Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers can connect, each server must have information about the other server entered into its database. Just as profiles identify Cisco Unified MeetingPlace users, each server must have a Server Information record to identify it to the other servers.


For example, in a multiserver meeting from New York City to London, the New York City server must have in its database a Server Information record for the London server, and vice versa.


Caution! You must contact the system administrators of the remote Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers to obtain the correct information about their server. This information is explained in the table following the steps.


To Create Server Information Records for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers
  1. By using MeetingTime, log in to your local Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server system.
  2. In the MeetingTime Configure tab, select the Other MeetingPlace Servers topic (under the System Configuration view). Then click New .
  3. In the fields provided, enter information for the local server. Use the information in Table: Other MeetingPlace Servers Fields.


Table: Other MeetingPlace Servers Fields
Field Description

Name

Server name that appears in MeetingTime and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing when users schedule a multiserver meeting. This name helps users identify the correct server to schedule.

ID number

Meeting participants use this numeric string (consisting of digits 0-9), when they outdial from within a conference to select the server to add to the meeting. We recommend that a server's ID number be the same on each server. Work with the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system administrators to determine the ID numbers for all the servers.

Phone number

Phone number of the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server. This number is used by the system to dial out to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server to set up a multiserver meeting. This number is passed through a system translation table and is subject to the rules defined in the translation table.


To check that the correct phone number has been entered, schedule and attend a meeting on your local server and then outdial to this remote server. If the server answers the call, the phone number is correct.

VoIP gateway IP address 1

IP address of the remote server's VoIP gateway. (For more information, see the About RSNA.)


Must be a valid and functioning address.

(Optional) VoIP gateway IP address 2

IP address of a second remote server's VoIP gateway, if there is one. (For more information, see the About RSNA.)


Must be a valid and functioning address.

Will accept SNA transfers?

Whether this server accepts single number access transfers. (For more information, see the About RSNA.)

Ethernet address

12-digit (with leading zeros) hex string that represents the Ethernet address of a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series server. A Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series server Ethernet address identifies itself to other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series. This Ethernet address must match the Ethernet address that appears in the Server Configuration record (Configure tab) on the server this entry refers to.

Web Publisher location

IP address or the URL of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing. For Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web to function correctly, this field must contain the correct URL.

Data conference active?

If the server has the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing option installed and it is operational, set this field to Yes. If the server does not have this option installed, set the field to No.

Server number

As a standalone server, the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8106 or 8112 number is 0.


4. Click Save Changes .

5. In the fields provided, enter information for the remote server. Use the information in Table: Other MeetingPlace Servers Fields.

6. Click Save Changes .

7. Using MeetingTime, log in to the remote Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series that you just created a profile for.

8. Repeat Step 2 through Step 5 to create a Server Information record of your local Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series on this remote server. Repeat this procedure until every server contains a Server Information record for every other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series server.

Naming Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers

As a system administrator, you can provide descriptive names to theCisco Unified MeetingPlace servers, which helps users identify which systems to schedule for a multiserver meeting.


As you name servers, remember the following information:

  • Make sure to do the following:
    • Name each server with an easily identifiable name
    • Name all servers consistently across all Cisco Unified MeetingPlace systems
  • To help users identify a server, include the location of the server in its name. For example, if your organization has one server in New York and another in California, include NY or CA in their names.
  • To ensure that all users, no matter which server they are logged into, see the same name for each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system, you must work with the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system administrators to find out the names of their servers.


When you change a server's name, you must update every Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server system with the new name. For example, if your company has two Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server systems and you need to change the name of one, update both servers with the new name.


Table: Records That Must Be Updated on Each Server shows which records on each server need to be updated.


Table: Records That Must Be Updated on Each Server
Records to Update on Server 1 Record to Update on Server 2

Server configuration record

Server Information record for Server 1

Server Information record for Server 1




Do the following procedures, in the order presented:


To Enter Information in the Server Configuration Record
  1. By using MeetingTime, log in to the server you want to rename.
  2. In the Configure tab, select the Server Configuration topic, and click Query .
  3. Use the < and > buttons to locate the server you want to rename.
  4. For the Server Description attribute, enter a description of the server in the text box that displays, then click OK .
    For example, describe a conference server in California as CA-MeetingPlace.
  5. Click Save Changes .


To Update the Local Server Information Record
  1. By using MeetingTime, log in to the server whose name you changed in the previous section, and select the Configure tab.
  2. Select the Other MeetingPlace Servers topic, and click Query .
  3. Use the < and > buttons to locate the server whose name you just changed.
  4. For the Name attribute, enter the same server description that you entered in To Enter Information in the Server Configuration Record.
  5. Click Save Changes .
  6. Log in to the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers and update the Server Information record that belongs to the system whose name you changed. Click Save Changes after updating each server.
    If the system administrator of another Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system renamed one of their servers, you need to log in to your system and update the Server Information record that belongs to that server.


Recording a Voice Name for Other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Servers

When another Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server joins a multiserver meeting, all participants hear the default prompt: "Now attending, another MeetingPlace server."


To help users better identify the server that is joining the meeting, it is strongly recommended that you change this prompt to include specific information like the server name and location. Make this voice name consistent with the name you gave the server in To Enter Information in the Server Configuration Record.


Anyone with system administrator privileges can record a new prompt through their phone.


To Record a Voice Name for Another Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Server
  1. Dial in to your local Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server.
  2. Press 2 on your touch-tone phone, and then enter your profile number and password.
  3. Press 9 to select system manager options.
  4. Press 3 to select the option to record the name of a remote server.
  5. Follow the prompts to record a voice name for the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server.


Recording the Breakout Session Warning Prompt

Breakout sessions allow participants connected to the same server to form subgroups by breaking off from the main meeting. In multiserver meetings, this feature does not let participants on different Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers go into the same breakout session.


Because some users do not know that they cannot meet participants on other servers in the same breakout session, you can record a warning prompt that plays whenever a multiserver meeting participant initiates a breakout session. This warning prompt can tell them about the limitations of this feature.


Note the following points about breakout session prompts:

  • All profile users hear the breakout session prompts in their profile language.
  • All guests hear the breakout session prompts in the language of the port they are calling on.


To Record a Breakout Session Warning Prompt Through a Phone
  1. Dial in to your Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 series server.
  2. Press 2 and then enter your profile number and password.
  3. Press 9 to access system manager options.
  4. Press 1 to access the voice prompt menu.
  5. When asked to enter the number of the prompt you want to change, enter 1309# .
  6. Press 3 to access the record option.
  7. Press 2 to record a custom version of this prompt.
  8. Record the new breakout session warning prompt followed by the pound ( # ) sign.
    Suggested prompt: "In a multiserver meeting, you cannot go into the same breakout session with a user on another server."
  9. Press 1 to accept the new prompt.


Using the Server-to-Server Connection Parameters

When you schedule a multiserver meeting by using MeetingTime, you can determine when you want the primary server to initiate and terminate its connection to the other servers.


The default setting for initiating a connection is for the primary server to connect to the secondary servers at the scheduled start time of the meeting. However, you can also set the primary server to connect to the secondary servers when the first person enters the meeting, which may be before or after the scheduled start time.


Table: Server-to-Server Connection Parameters describes the different server-to-server connection parameters and the advantages of each.


Table: Server-to-Server Connection Parameters
Initiate Terminate
Setting Description Advantage

At scheduled start time

Establishes a connection to the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers:

  • four minutes before the scheduled start time of the meeting (if the early mtg start parameter is more than four minutes)
  • 30 seconds before the scheduled start time of the meeting (if the early mtg start parameter is four minutes or less)


This is the default setting.

Note: If someone attends the meeting early (up to 15 minutes before the scheduled start time), the outdial process starts at that time.

Guarantees the multiserver connection at the scheduled start time of the meeting.

When the first person enters

Establishes connection to the other servers only when the first participant joins the meeting on the primary server.

If nobody attends a meeting or if participants only attend the meeting on the secondary server, the primary server does not connect to the secondary server, so no long distance phone expenses are incurred.

When meeting ends

Terminates the connection to the secondary servers when the meeting ends, which is a set number of minutes after the last person hangs up. This is the default setting.

Allows users to take a break and leave the meeting for a short period of time without the primary server disconnecting from the secondary servers. Participants must return to the meeting before the Disconnect Empty Port Timer/Early Release Timer ends the meeting.

When last person leaves

Terminates the connection to the secondary servers as soon as the last participant leaves the meeting from either the secondary or primary server.

Saves in long distance phone expenses when the last person leaves the meeting before the scheduled end time.



You can set the server-to-server connection parameters per meeting in the Schedule tab in MeetingTime. You can also use the Scheduling Parameters topic in the Configure tab to change the parameter to a new default value. This new value becomes the default setting when users schedule a new multiserver meeting.


Monitoring Multiserver Meetings by Using MeetingTime

Use the MeetingTime In Session tab to monitor a multiserver meeting that is taking place. You can view which servers are connected to the multiserver meeting and the participants attending the meeting on the server you are logged into.


To see which participants are attending the same multiserver meeting on other servers, open another MeetingTime window and log in to each of these servers separately. For example, if a meeting is taking place between a New York City server and a London server, use MeetingTime to log in to each server and keep each MeetingTime window open.



Solving Common Problems of Multiserver Meetings

Table: Troubleshooting Multiserver Meetings shows common problems that users may experience when setting up and attending multiserver meetings, and solutions to these problems.


Table: Troubleshooting Multiserver Meetings
Problem Solution

When scheduling a multiserver meeting by using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web, a user receives an error message that it cannot read the user profile.

This happens because the user probably does not have a user profile on the server they are trying to schedule. To solve this problem, create or import their user profile onto the server they are trying to schedule.

A user wants to schedule a meeting with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing, but does not see the Schedule Multiserver link.

This happens for one of the following reasons:

  • The user does not have multiserver scheduling privileges. To solve this problem, set the Can Schedule Other Servers? parameter in their user profile to Yes.
  • The web browser the user uses is not supported. See the System Requirements.

A user is trying to schedule a meeting but is unable to use the same meeting ID on each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server.

This happens if the user is trying to schedule a meeting between two or more networked Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers, or there is already another meeting scheduled at the same time on the same server with the same meeting ID. To solve this problem, have the user assign a different meeting ID to the meeting.

A user is trying to schedule a meeting by using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing, but receives an error message that the server cannot be accessed when selecting either a primary or secondary server.

Verify that the server they are trying to access is connected to a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing server. If it is not connected, users cannot schedule a meeting through their web browser.

A user is in a multiserver meeting and the participants on another server can access an attachment that the user cannot access.

This happens because the person who added the attachment to the other server did not add the attachment to the server the user is connected to.

A user is in a meeting in which the time has been extended, but the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace server is dropped from the meeting.

This happens if the server ran out of available ports and its extend meeting parameter ran out of time. For all servers to stay connected for the same amount of time, they must each have the same extend meeting parameter. To modify the extend meeting parameter:

  1. Log in to MeetingTime, and select the ' Configure ' tab.
  2. Select the Scheduling Parameters topic and click Query .
  3. For the Extend Meeting parameter, assign the same value as the other Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers.
  4. Click Save Changes .

Servers are not connecting for the multiserver meeting.

This happens when a server has the wrong Ethernet address for another server in the meeting. To fix this problem, the system administrators for the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace servers must check the server profiles to see which server has the wrong address.

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