Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, Release 7.1 -- About Failover Options for the Media Server

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Main page: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, Release 7.1

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How Media Server Redundancy Works

Single Data Center Deployment

The Media Server performs load balancing on audio/video blades based on resource usage and not by the number of meetings. When the system receives a request for a new meeting, the Media Server checks all the Audio Blades and chooses the Audio Blade that is currently carrying the lightest load to create the meeting. Each Media Server Audio or Video blade has its own Ethernet connection and is controlled by the MeetingPlace Application Media Administration software module. When using a redundant MeetingPlace Application server configuration, both the Primary and Failover Application servers share the same Media Server(s).


If a Media Server blade fails, callers on that specific blade will be dropped, upon dialing back into the same conference, the system automatically places calls on other Audio blades; no manual configuration is necessary.


For Media Server redundancy, you can choose from the following options:

  • Configure an extra Audio Blade on the Application Server. If this is a video deployment, the Audio Blade should have its own Video Blade.
  • Use a standby Media Server that is connected to the standby Application Server. The standby Media Server may be smaller than the primary. A maximum of 6 Audio blades is supported in 2 or more chassis. The Media Server chassis provide power only to the various audio/video blades and you can deploy as many chassis as desired. Each Media Server chassis has 4 slots for any blade type.


These two options are not mutually exclusive and we recommend both. If a single blade (Audio Blade or Video Blade) fails, the Application Server generates an alarm and then automatically assigns new calls to the extra blade. If the whole Media Server fails, use the standby Application server.


Audio and video port licenses are all shared between all active Audio and video blades system wide.


Dual Data Center Deployment


If you are deploying the redundant MeetingPlace Application Servers in two separate data centers, then each data center must have its own set of MeetingPlace Media server(s) with audio/video blades to handle total capacity.

Audio Blade Failover Mechanism

The failover mechanism for an Audio Blade is as follows:

  1. The Application Server maintains a list of active Audio Blades.
  2. When an Audio Blade fails, it times out after a few seconds and the Application Server removes it from the list of active Audio Blades.
    Note: The Application Server is unable to distinguish between a failing Audio Blade and an Audio Blade that is out of communication due to network problems.
  3. The Application Server generates the following alarm: "Audio Blade is down: <IP address>", where <IP address> is the IP address of the failing Audio Blade.
  4. The Application Server drops all existing calls on the failed Audio Blade.
  5. When a new caller comes in for a meeting that was being hosted on the failed Audio Blade, the Application Server restarts the meeting on a different Audio Blade and allows the caller to join.



Video Blade Failover Mechanism

The failover mechanism for a Video Blade is as follows:

  1. The Application Server immediately drops video from any meetings hosted on that Video Blade and the meeting switches to audio only.
  2. New calls into that meeting are not offered video.
  3. The Application Server generates the following alarm: "Video Blade is down: <IP address>", where <IP address> is the IP address of the failing Video Blade.
  4. The Application Server assigns any new meetings that require video to a different Video Blade, if one is available. If no video resources are available, the Application Server starts the meeting as audio only.

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