Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 -- How to Determine the Type of Hardware for Your Cisco WebEx Deployment

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About the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 Servers

Note: For detailed information on supported hardware models in Release 8.5, see Hardware Requirements.

Application Server

Each Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 system must have an Application Server. The Application Server controls the audio for the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system. The Application Server automatically includes an Express Media Server.

The Application Server is installed on a Cisco MCS with a Cisco-based Linux operating system, or on a virtual machine on a VMware ESXi host on a Cisco UCS B or C Series Server. For specific requirements, see System Requirements.

Note: If you are planning to deploy a multinode system, we recommend that you add one extra node above your requirements, to compensate for any single node failure.

Cisco WebEx Node For MCS

Note: The Cisco WebEx Node For MCS described in this section is an optional component of the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system. It is not to be confused with the Cisco WebEx Node for ASR and cannot be used for a WebEx SaaS implementation.

The Cisco WebEx Node For MCS hosts the Web meeting room on-premise and is responsible for connecting to the Cisco WebEx site (via an SSL gateway), hosting the meeting room, accepting client connections, outdialing, and recording the meeting.

The Cisco WebEx Node For MCS is installed on a Cisco MCS with a Cisco-based Linux operating system or on a virtual machine on a VMware ESXi host on a Cisco UCS B or C Series Server. For specific requirements, see System Requirements.

Media Server

All systems that will use audio or video need a media server and the media server can be either an Express Media Server (EMS) or a Hardware Media Server (HMS). If you choose an Express Media Server, it is automatically installed with the Application Server software.

If you are installing a multinode system, then we recommend that you not mix the Express Media Server and the Hardware Media Server in the same site, though you may have both an EMS Site and a HMS site in the same system.

Related Topics

Choosing Between the Hardware Media Server and the Express Media Server

Express Media Server

The Express Media Server is automatically installed with the Application Server.

Hardware Media Server

The Hardware Media Server is comprised of Audio and Video Blades. If you want to use a Hardware Media Server, you must purchase, install, and configure it first.


The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 system can accommodate a maximum of eight Cisco 3500 Series Media Servers. The Media Server is comprised of at least one Audio Blade and optional Video Blades. The Audio Blades in the Cisco 3500 Series Media Server control the voice conferencing and the Video Blades in the Cisco 3500 Series Media Server control the video conferencing.


There are two types of Cisco 3500 Series Media Server:

  • Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3515 Media Server. Delivered with one Audio Blade for a maximum of 250 ports and one video blade for either 20 or 40 video ports, based on the bandwidth selected.
  • Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Server. Can be configured to support a wide range of audio and/or video ports. Multiple Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Servers can be deployed based on the total number of Audio and Video Blades deployed. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Servers support four blades total per chassis.


You can mix and match Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3515 Media Server and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Servers, so for example, you could add more video to a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3515 Media Server-based system by adding a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Server chassis plus a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 3545 Media Server Video Blade.


If your system will use a Hardware Media Server, follow these guidelines:

  • For Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5, you can reuse Video Blades from other Cisco 3500 Series Media Servers. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 supports all Video Blades that are Release 5.x or higher except for the Cisco 3515 MCU 12. So a Video Blade in a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 5.4 or Release 6 system can be reused in a Release 8.5 system. However, you must upgrade your HMS software to a version compatible with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5.
  • For Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5, you can reuse Audio Blades from Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 7 but not from earlier releases.
  • You can attach a maximum of four Video Blades to an Audio Blade. For a balanced system, associate the Video Blades evenly among the Audio Blades.
  • In an unbalanced system, some Audio Blades do not have Video Blades associated with them. In this scenario, the Audio Blade cannot participate in a video-enabled meeting - even if the meeting has no video callers. In an unbalanced system with many video-enabled meetings, the Audio Blades associated with Video Blades carry a disproportionate fraction of the system load. When those blades fill up, participants are unable to enter a meeting even if other voice ports are unused.


Related Topics

For more information about the Cisco 3500 Series Media Server, see the following: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/video/ps1870/tsd_products_support_series_home.html

Integration Servers

The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 system may also have optional integrations. For information about these integrations and the servers on which they reside, see Recommendations for Selecting the Integrations and Associated Hardware for Your System.

Locations for the Hardware

The Application Server and the Hardware Media Server must be located together in the same site. The web servers and Cisco WebEx Node For MCS may be located away from the Application Server and the Hardware Media Server; however, you must ensure that there is continuous WAN connectivity.


If your audio only/MeetingPlace scheduling system employs a redundant Application Server, the standby Application Server may be located remotely. However, as they share a common IP address and hostname, the same VLAN must span to both data centers. This is applicable for systems with both Express Media Servers and Hardware Media Servers.


The Application Server and the Hardware Media Server must have no latency and must be on the same LAN segment. Latency impacts the voice quality and the user experience.

Additional Information

For information about See

System requirements for each component

System Requirements

Installing the components

Installation, Upgrade, and Migration Guide for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/ps5664/ps5669/prod_installation_guides_list.html

Configuring the components

Online help in the administrator interface or the Configuration Guide for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 8.5 at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/ps5664/ps5669/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_list.html.

The Cisco MCS

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/voiceapp/ps378/tsd_products_support_series_home.html

The Cisco UCS Server

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/partner/products/ps10493/prod_installation_guides_list.html

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/partner/products/ps10280/prod_installation_guides_list.html

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