Deploying a Conferencing Node in Google Cloud Platform

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

To deploy a Conferencing Node on a Google Compute Engine VM:

  1. If you have not already done so, prepare a Conferencing Node disk image. For more information on this, see Obtaining and preparing disk images for GCE Virtual Machines.
  2. From the GCP project console, go to Compute engine > VM instances.
  3. Select Create Instance.
  4. Complete the following fields (leave all other settings as default):

    Name Enter a unique name for the instance, for example "pexipnode-europe-1".
    Zone Select an appropriate Zone. Typically you should choose a zone that is geographically close to the location from where users will connect to it.
    Machine type

    Select 8 vCPUs (n1-highcpu-8).

    We recommend selecting a minimum CPU platform. Select Customize and then select the most modern platform available that does not incur a surcharge, typically Intel Broadwell or later.

    For more information see Recommended instance types and call capacity guidelines.

    Boot disk

    Select the Conferencing Node custom disk image:

    1. Select Change.
    2. Select Custom images.
    3. Select the Conferencing Node custom disk image, e.g. "pexip-node-v23-4".
    4. Select Select.


    We strongly recommend SSDs for Conferencing Nodes. General VM processes (such as snapshots and backups) and platform upgrades will be faster with SSDs.

    Networking:

    Network tags

    Expand the Management, disk, networking, SSH keys section and select the Networking tab.

    Assign Network tags to the instance, for example "pexip-provisioning pexip-conferencing".

    These are the tags that should be applied to your Conferencing Node firewall rules (see Controlling access to Conferencing Nodes for installation/provisioning and Controlling access to Conferencing Nodes for conference participants).

    Networking:

    External IP

    You must decide whether or not to assign an external IP address to the instance.

    You must assign a static public/external IP address to the Conferencing Node if you want that node to be able to host conferences that are accessible from devices in the public internet.

    1. Expand the Management, disk, networking, SSH keys section and select the Networking tab.
    2. In the Network interfaces field, select the default interface to open the Network interface dialog.
    3. Select a Subnetwork if appropriate (e.g. if it is a private/hybrid deployment and you have created new subnets to avoid overlapping addresses in your corporate network).
    4. Select an appropriate External IP:

      • None: no external IP address will be assigned. Use this where the node does not need to have a publicly-accessible IP address.
      • Create IP address: select this option to create a static external address. You can enter a Name for the address and GCP will allocate a static IP address.
      • <external address>: you can select a specific static external address if you have already created one in advance.

    Do not select Ephemeral — if you stop and restart the instance a new address will be assigned.

    SSH keys

    We recommend applying an SSH key to the Conferencing Node instance if you are not already using a project-wide key for all of the instances in your project.

    The username element of the SSH key must be "admin" or "admin@<domain>". To apply an instance-level key:

    1. Select the SSH Keys tab and select Show and edit.
    2. Select Add item. This produces a text box. Copy the contents of your public SSH key file and paste them into the text box.
    3. Modify the username element to "admin" or "admin@<domain>" if necessary.
    4. Select Save.


    See Security and SSH keys for more information.

  5. Select Create to create the instance.
  6. On the VM Instances page, make a note of the "Internal IP" address, and the "External IP" address (if appropriate) that have been assigned to the new instance / Conferencing Node.
  7. After the instance has booted, perform a configuration-only deployment on the Management Node to inform it of the new Conferencing Node:

    1. Log in to the Pexip Infinity Administrator interface on the Management Node.
    2. Go to Platform > Conferencing Nodes.
    3. Select Add Conferencing Node.
    4. For deployment type, choose Generic (configuration-only) and select Next.
    5. Enter the details of the new Conferencing Node, including:

      IPv4 address

      Enter the GCE Internal IP address of the new VM instance.

      Network mask

      Enter 255.255.255.255

      Gateway IP address

      Enter the default gateway address for the region in which the node is deployed. See https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/vpc/#subnet-ranges for a table of regions and default gateway addresses.

      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 External IP address allocated by GCE for the VM instance.

      You must also specify other fields such as the Name, Role, Hostname, Domain, System location and assign a TLS certificate. These fields are listed below.

    6. Select Finish.
    7. Select Download Conferencing Node Configuration and save the XML configuration file.

      A zip file with the name pexip-<hostname>.<domain>.xml will be downloaded.

  8. You must now upload the XML configuration file to the new Conferencing Node:

    1. Browse to https://<conferencing-node-ip-address>:8443/ and use the form provided to upload the XML 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 ingress firewall 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.

      1. Select Choose File and select the XML configuration file.
      2. Select Upload.
    2. The Conferencing Node will apply the configuration and then reboot. When it has rebooted, it will connect to the Management Node.

      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 is available, the Management Node will report 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 appear temporarily.

When the node is up and running you can optionally remove the "pexip-provisioning" Network tag from the instance (or whichever tag you have associated with your provisioning firewall rule as described in Controlling access to Conferencing Nodes for installation/provisioning ) as it is no longer required. Note, do not delete the firewall rule or remove the "pexip-conferencing" tag.