Deploying a Conferencing Node in Azure

After deploying the Management Node and completing the initial platform configuration you can deploy one or more Conferencing Nodes in Azure to provide conferencing capacity.

Creating a new Conferencing Node is a two-step process:

  1. Deploying a new VM instance in Azure.
  2. Configuring the VM with the details of the specific Conferencing Node being deployed, using a file generated from the Pexip Infinity Management Node.

Deploying the VM instance in Azure

To deploy a Conferencing Node in Azure:

  1. Create a VM instance using the prepared Conferencing Node disk image. For more information on this, see:

    We recommend that each Conferencing Node VM instance is deployed in its own resource group.

    Note that if you have upgraded your Pexip Infinity software, you need a Conferencing Node disk image for the software version you are currently running.

  2. After the instance has booted, perform a configuration-only deployment on the Management Node to inform it of the new Conferencing Node as described below.

Generating, downloading and deploying the configuration file

  1. From the Pexip Infinity Administrator interface, go to Platform > Conferencing Nodes and select Add Conferencing Node.
  2. You are now asked to provide the network configuration to be applied to the Conferencing Node, by completing the following fields:

    Option Description
    Name Enter the name to use when referring to this Conferencing Node in the Pexip Infinity Administrator interface.
    Description An optional field where you can provide more information about the Conferencing Node.
    Role

    This determines the Conferencing Node's role:

    • Proxying Edge Node: a Proxying Edge Node handles all media and signaling connections with an endpoint or external device, but does not host any conferences — instead it forwards the media on to a Transcoding Conferencing Node for processing.
    • Transcoding Conferencing Node: a Transcoding Conferencing Node handles all the media processing, protocol interworking, mixing and so on that is required in hosting Pexip Infinity calls and conferences. When combined with Proxying Edge Nodes, a transcoding node typically only processes the media forwarded on to it by those proxying nodes and has no direct connection with endpoints or external devices. However, a transcoding node can still receive and process the signaling and media directly from an endpoint or external device if required.

    See Distributed Proxying Edge Nodes for more information.

    Hostname

    Domain

    Enter the hostname and domain to assign to this Conferencing Node. Each Conferencing Node and Management Node must have a unique hostname.

    The Hostname and Domain together make up the Conferencing Node's DNS name or FQDN. We recommend that you assign valid DNS names to all your Conferencing Nodes. For more information, see Assigning hostnames and FQDNs.

    IPv4 address

    Enter the IP address to assign to this Conferencing Node when it is created.

    This should be the Private IP address that you assigned to the VM instance (the ipAddress ARM template parameter).

    Network mask

    Enter the IP network mask to assign to this Conferencing Node.

    Ensure that the mask matches the one defined for the subnet selected for the instance (the networkSubnetName ARM template parameter). For example a subnet with a /20 prefix size has a network mask of 255.255.240.0.

    Gateway IPv4 address

    Enter the IP address of the default gateway to assign to this Conferencing Node.

    This is the first usable address in the subnet selected for the instance (e.g. 172.31.0.1 for a 172.31.0.0/20 subnet).

    Secondary interface IPv4 address

    Leave this option blank as dual network interfaces are not supported on Conferencing Nodes deployed in public cloud services.

    Secondary interface network mask

    Leave this option blank as dual network interfaces are not supported on Conferencing Nodes deployed in public cloud services.

    System location

    Select the physical location of this Conferencing Node. A system location should not contain a mixture of proxying nodes and transcoding nodes.

    If the system location does not already exist, you can create a new one here by clicking to the right of the field. This will open up a new window showing the Add system location page. For further information see About system locations.

    SIP TLS FQDN A unique identity for this Conferencing Node, used in signaling SIP TLS Contact addresses. For more information, see SIP TLS FQDN.
    TLS certificate The TLS certificate to use on this node. This must be a certificate that contains the above SIP TLS FQDN. Each certificate is shown in the format <subject name> (<issuer>).
    IPv6 address The IPv6 address for this Conferencing Node. Each Conferencing Node must have a unique IPv6 address.
    Gateway IPv6 address

    The IPv6 address of the default gateway.

    If this is left blank, the Conferencing Node listens for IPv6 Router Advertisements to obtain a gateway address.

    IPv4 static NAT address

    Configure the Conferencing Node's static NAT address, if you have a assigned a public/external IP address to the instance.

    Enter the public address allocated by Azure.

    For more information, see Configuring Pexip Infinity nodes to work behind a static NAT device.

    Static routes From the list of Available Static routes, select the routes to assign to the node, and then use the right arrow to move the selected routes into the Chosen Static routes list. For more information, see Managing static routes.
    Enable distributed database

    This should usually be enabled (checked) for all Conferencing Nodes that are expected to be "always on", and disabled (unchecked) for nodes that are expected to only be powered on some of the time (e.g. cloud bursting nodes that are likely to only be operational during peak times).

    Enable SSH

    Determines whether this node can be accessed over SSH.

    Use Global SSH setting: SSH access to this node is determined by the global Enable SSH setting (Platform > Global settings > Connectivity > Enable SSH).

    Off: this node cannot be accessed over SSH, regardless of the global Enable SSH setting.

    On: this node can be accessed over SSH, regardless of the global Enable SSH setting.

    Default: Use Global SSH setting.

  3. Select Save.
  4. You are now asked to complete the following fields:

    Option Description
    Deployment type

    Select Generic (configuration-only).

    Number of virtual CPUs to assign

    You can ignore this field (leave it as default) for Generic (configuration-only) deployments.

    System memory (in megabytes) to assign

    You can ignore this field (leave it as default) for Generic (configuration-only) deployments.

    SSH password

    Enter the password to use when logging in to this Conferencing Node's Linux operating system over SSH. The username is always admin.

    Logging in to the operating system is required when changing passwords or for diagnostic purposes only, and should generally be done under the guidance of your Pexip authorized support representative. In particular, do not change any configuration using SSH — all changes should be made using the Pexip Infinity Administrator interface.

  5. Select Download.

    A message appears at the top of the page: "The Conferencing Node image will download shortly or click on the following link".

    After a short while, a zip file with the name pexip-<hostname>.<domain>.xml is generated and downloaded.

    Note that the generated file is only available for your current session so you should download it immediately.

  6. Browse to https://<conferencing-node-ip>:8443/ and use the form provided to upload the configuration file to the Conferencing Node VM.

    If you cannot access the Conferencing Node, check that you have allowed the appropriate source addresses in your security group inbound rules for management traffic. In public deployments and where there is no virtual private network, you need to use the public address of the node.

    The Conferencing Node will apply the configuration and reboot. After rebooting, it will connect to the Management Node in the usual way.

    You can close the browser window used to upload the file.

After deploying a new Conferencing Node, it takes approximately 5 minutes before the node is available for conference hosting and for its status to be updated on the Management Node. Until it becomes available, the Management Node reports the status of the Conferencing Node as having a last contacted and last updated date of "Never". "Connectivity lost between nodes" alarms relating to that node may also appear temporarily.