Components of the Pexip Infinity platform
The Pexip Infinity conferencing platform is a virtual entity that consists of a Management Node and one or more securely interconnected Conferencing Nodes. Both are software applications that you deploy as Virtual Machines (VMs) on host servers distributed around the globe, or via a cloud service. You can add, remove or move Conferencing Nodes according to your conferencing capacity requirements.
- Conferences take place in Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums, with each having one or more associated aliases. Conference participants access a Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium by dialing any one of its aliases directly, or via the Virtual Reception IVR service. This connects them to the Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium on their nearest Conferencing Node. A single such conference can take place across one, two, or more Conferencing Nodes with no difference in conference experience from the participants' perspective.
- Conference participants can access Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums from virtually any endpoint, including any of the Pexip Connect apps (which include desktop, mobile and web apps). Connect apps can also be used to control the conference, view presentations, share content, and chat with other conference participants.
- The Pexip Infinity Distributed Gateway allows users to make person-to-person calls between virtually any type of endpoint (including SIP and H.323 devices, Skype for Business, and Pexip's own Connect apps). It also enables these endpoints to join an externally-hosted conference, such as a Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business meeting, or Google Meet.
- The Media Playback Service allows you to play prerecorded video content (such as adverts and informational videos) to consumers.
- VMR Scheduling for Exchange enables Microsoft Outlook desktop and Web App users (using Office 365, Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016) to schedule meetings using Pexip VMRs as a meeting resource.
- Pexip One-Touch Join integrates support for videoconferencing endpoints' "click to join" workflows. It can be integrated within an existing or new Pexip Infinity deployment, or installed as a stand-alone deployment with its own dedicated Management Node and Conferencing Nodes.
ThePexip VMR self-service portal is a separately-installable componentthat allows end-users to manage their personal Virtual Meeting Room without having to send requests to their administrator to change the configuration of their VMR.
The Management Node is the administrative interface of the Pexip Infinity platform, from which administrators can:
- Create and manage Conferencing Nodes.
- Configure Pexip Infinity services (Virtual Meeting Rooms, Virtual Receptions and so on).
- View platform and conference status across all Conferencing Nodes.
- Perform active conference management functions such as adding and disconnecting participants, enabling streaming or recording services, locking a conference, or muting a participant’s audio.
The Management Node does not handle any conference media or signaling.
It is deployed using a virtual machine management application such as VMware's vCenter Server, or Microsoft Hyper-V, or on a cloud service such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
The Conferencing Nodes provide the capacity for conferences.
- They handle all conference signaling and media (except for direct media scenarios).
A Conferencing Node can have either a transcoding or a proxying role:
- Transcoding Conferencing Nodes are required in all deployments; they manage all of the media processing required to host a conference, and can also handle direct connections to/from endpoints if required.
- Proxying Edge Nodes are optional; they handle call signaling and the media connection with the endpoint, but forward the media on to a Transcoding Conferencing Node for processing.
For more information, see Distributed Proxying Edge Nodes.
- There is no limit on the number of Conferencing Nodes that you can add to the Pexip Infinity platform.
- All Conferencing Nodes get the same service configuration from the Management Node. This means that participants throughout your organization can access the same Pexip Infinity services (Virtual Meeting Rooms, Virtual Receptions and so on) even though they might be connected to different Conferencing Nodes.
- Conferencing Nodes are deployed via the Management Node. You use the Management Node to configure the new Conferencing Node and generate a configuration file, then complete the deployment using the appropriate hypervisor or cloud-provider tools.
- The Pexip Infinity platform can have Conferencing Nodes that are deployed on one or more host servers, across one or more system locations and managed by one or more types of hypervisor, or it can be a hybrid deployment with nodes running on a combination of on-premises and cloud-hosted servers. A Conferencing Node can co-exist on the same host server as a Management Node.
- Conferencing Nodes can be deployed with dual network interfaces.
Pexip Connect apps
Conference participants do not need to have a traditional video endpoint in order to access Pexip Infinity services.
The complementary Pexip Connect apps allow users to connect to any conference, either:
- directly from a web browser without any special downloads or plugins
- from an installable desktop app
- from a mobile app, available for iOS or Android.
In addition to connecting with video and audio, Connect app users can control the conference, view presentations, share content and chat. Connect apps can also be used to make direct calls to other devices or systems when used in conjunction with the Infinity Gateway.
For more information on using and administering Connect app, see Introduction to Connect apps.
Pexip Infinity APIs and SDKs
Pexip Infinity incorporates several powerful and comprehensive APIs:
- Management API: a REST API used for configuring the entire Pexip Infinity deployment, viewing history and status, and issuing commands. See Introduction to the management API for more information.
- Client API: a REST API used for managing calls and participants, such as connect, disconnect, mute and unmute, presentation controls, DTMF, etc. See Pexip client REST API for more information.
- Policy API: a REST API used to defer decision-making to external policy servers instead of using the built-in call policies within Pexip Infinity. See Using external and local policy to control Pexip Infinity behavior for more information.
Conference types and services
The Pexip Infinity platform offers a variety of conference types and services:
Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums are used to hold conferences, share presentations, and chat. Participants can join over audio or video from any location using virtually any type of communications tool, such as Skype for Business, a traditional conferencing endpoint, a mobile telephone, or a Pexip Connect app.
The Virtual Reception IVR service provides a way for conference participants who cannot dial Virtual Meeting Room and Virtual Auditorium aliases directly, to access these services from a central point using DTMF tones. It can also be used to route calls via the Infinity Gateway.
The Pexip Infinity Distributed Gateway:
- Enables any type of endpoint, including traditional VTC endpoints, to join externally-hosted meeting services such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
- Enables endpoints within your deployment to make direct calls to other endpoints. As with calls into VMRs, the gateway can interwork the protocols and media formats used by each type of device (SIP, H.323, WebRTC etc).
- Can be used with call control systems and other third party services to enable calls from your deployment to external devices including PSTN and mobile phones.
Pexip's Media Playback Service allows you to play prerecorded video content (such as adverts and informational videos) to consumers. When the media finishes playing, the user can be transferred to another service, such as a VMR conference, or they can be disconnected.
VMR Scheduling for Exchange integrates Pexip Infinity with Microsoft Exchange. It enables Microsoft Outlook desktop and Web App users
(using Office 365, Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016)to schedule meetings using Pexip VMRs as a meeting resource.
One-Touch Join(OTJ) allows users to schedule a meeting in Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar and include in the invitation a meeting room with a supported Cisco or Poly videoconferencing endpoint, so that the endpoint in the chosen meeting room displays a button just before the meeting is scheduled to begin. Participants can then simply walk into the room and select the button, and the endpoint will automatically dial in to the meeting.
- A Test Call Service provides a test loopback service that allows users to check the quality of their video and audio (i.e. that their local camera, microphone and speakers are working properly), and verifies that they can connect to a Conferencing Node.
VMR self-service portal
Pexip provides the VMR portal appliance via an OVA template suitable for deployment on VMware ESXi. The OVA template is provided "as-is" and provides a reference installation which is suitable for integrating with an existing Pexip Infinity deployment.
See About the VMR self-service portal for more information.
The Management Node and Conferencing Nodes are virtual machines (VMs) that run on industry-standard host servers. A Management Node can run on the same host server as a Conferencing Node. Other Conferencing Nodes can run on host servers in the same or different locations, allowing you to create a globally distributed system.
You can have two Conferencing Nodes running on the same host server, for example to ensure service continuity during upgrade of one of the Conferencing Nodes. However, you must ensure that your hardware is not over-committed - see Detailed server hardware requirements for more information.
The Pexip Infinity platform can also be deployed as a cloud service via Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, with private, public or hybrid deployment options.
Each host server runs a hypervisor, an application which manages virtual machines and the physical hardware on which they are hosted. Pexip Infinity version 31.1 includes specific support for the following hypervisors:
- VMware vSphere ESXi (6.5, 6.7 and 7.0)
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 and later (including Hyper-V Server 2016); Windows Server 2012 and later (including Windows Server 2016)
- Xen (4.2 and later)
Other hypervisors and orchestration layers may be used but are not officially supported. If you wish to deploy Pexip Infinity using a non-supported hypervisor, we recommend that you contact your Pexip authorized support representative for assistance.
Supported call control solutions
Pexip Infinity can be easily integrated with virtually any existing SIP, H.323 and Skype for Business call control solutions including Cisco UCM, Cisco VCS, Polycom CMA, Polycom DMA, Avaya Aura and others.
Local and external policy
You can extend Pexip Infinity's built-in functionality by using external and/or local policy to apply bespoke call policy and routing decisions based on your own specific requirements.
See Using external and local policy to control Pexip Infinity behavior for more information.
Pexip Infinity can act as a SIP registrar and H.323 gatekeeper, which means that you can register SIP and H.323 endpoints directly to Pexip Infinity. This allows Pexip Infinity to route calls to those registered devices without having to go via an external SIP proxy or H.323 gatekeeper, or rely on DNS.
Pexip Connect desktop apps can also register to Pexip Infinity Conferencing Nodes. This allows these devices to receive calls via Pexip Infinity and use directory lookup services.
For more information, see Registering devices to Pexip Infinity and DNS record examples.
Note that the Pexip Infinity platform does not register with external gatekeepers as an MCU.
Using an external gatekeeper to route calls to Pexip Infinity conferences
To ensure that calls can be routed to Pexip Infinity, your gatekeeper or call control system must be configured with appropriate neighbor/zone relationships towards the Pexip Infinity Conferencing Nodes. These zones must be set up so that when an endpoint places a call to a Pexip Infinity alias, the call is routed to the endpoint's local Conferencing Node(s) as a first preference. Other non-local Conferencing Nodes can be used as secondary choices to provide redundancy.
For further information about how to configure your specific call management system to work with Pexip Infinity, see the following documentation:
- Pexip Infinity and Skype for Business
- Pexip Infinity and Cisco VCS
- Pexip Infinity and Cisco Unified Communications Manager
- Pexip Infinity and Polycom DMA
Enhanced Room Management (ERM) is a separately-installable Pexip product that provides management of your Cisco devices and room systems. From system monitoring to bulk provisioning of software upgrades, address books, and branding profiles, it provides everything you need to manage your systems from one single management interface.
See Enhanced Room Management overview for more information.