Pexip Infinity components

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. You can add, remove or move Conferencing Nodes according to your conferencing requirements.

Conferences take place in Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums, which 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 the Pexip Infinity Connect suite of clients (which includes the Infinity Connect desktop client, the Infinity Connect mobile client and the Infinity Connect web app). Infinity Connect clients can also be used to control the conference, view presentations, share content, and chat with other conference participants.

The Pexip Distributed Gateway service interworks calls between protocols, allowing users to make person-to-person calls between virtually any type of endpoint (including SIP and H.323 devices, Skype for Business / Lync and Pexip's own Infinity Connect clients).

The VMR Scheduling for Exchange feature 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 Infinity deployment showing Management Node and four Conferencing Nodes with participants connected locally

Management Node

The Management Node is the administrative interface of the Pexip Infinity platform, from which administrators can:

  • Create and manage Conferencing Nodes.
  • Create and 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 dialing out to new participants, adding streaming participants, locking a conference, muting a participant’s audio and disconnecting participants. However, 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) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Conferencing Nodes

The Conferencing Nodes provide the capacity for conferences.

  • They handle all conference media and signaling. 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 signaling and receive and send the media to/from an endpoint or device, and then forward it 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. A Conferencing Node can be deployed fully automatically on host servers running VMware. On host servers running on other hypervisors or when running in a cloud service, you use the Management Node to configure the new Conferencing Node and then complete the deployment manually 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 Infinity Connect clients

Conference participants do not need to have a traditional video endpoint in order to access Pexip Infinity services.

The complementary Pexip Infinity Connect suite of clients allow users to connect to any Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium within the Pexip Infinity deployment, either:

  • directly from a web browser without any special downloads or plugins
  • from an installable desktop client
  • from an Infinity Connect mobile client, available for iOS or Android.

In addition to connecting with video and audio, Infinity Connect users can control the conference, view presentations, share content and chat. Infinity Connect can also be used to make direct calls to other devices or systems when used in conjunction with the Pexip Distributed Gateway.

For more information on using and administering Infinity Connect, see Introduction to Infinity Connect.

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 v2 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.

In addition to these REST APIs, a Javascript API is also available for building custom web-based clients. See PexRTC JavaScript client API for more information.

Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums

Conferences take place in Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) and Virtual Auditoriums (a type of VMR that is optimized for use by a small number of Hosts and a large number of Guests). Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums can host any number of people from any type of device, subject to any participant limits that have been applied by administrator.

When configuring your services, you define the aliases that are used by conference participants to access that service. Your services can be PIN-protected, and you can also assign Host and Guest privileges to conference participants (see About PINs, Hosts and Guests).

All Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums can be accessed via any Conferencing Node. When a Conferencing Node receives a call to a particular Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium alias, it creates a conference instance based on that service's settings. In this way, resources are not used until the first caller actually places a call into the conference. When another endpoint places a call to an alias that belongs to the same Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium, the call is placed into the existing conference instance.

You can change the audio and video prompts presented to participants when they are accessing these services by applying themes.

VMRs do not consume resources on your deployment unless they are actually being used to host a conference. The number of VMRs that can be in use at the same time is limited only by the size of your Pexip Infinity deployment (in terms of server capacity and call licenses).

VMRs can be bulk-provisioned from directory information contained in a Windows Active Directory LDAP server, or any other LDAP-accessible database.

For more information, see About Pexip Infinity conferencing services.

Virtual Receptions

The Virtual Reception IVR service allows participants to use DTMF tones to select the Virtual Meeting Room they want to join. It provides an alternative means to access VMRs for participants who cannot dial VMR aliases directly.

It can also be used to route calls via the Pexip Distributed Gateway to, for example, route phone calls towards a Cisco VCS, or to join an externally-hosted conference, such as a Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business meeting, or Google Hangouts Meet.

For more information, see About the Virtual Reception IVR service.

Pexip Distributed Gateway

The Pexip Distributed Gateway service enables endpoints to make calls between devices or systems that use different protocols and media formats, including SIP and H.323 systems, Skype for Business / Lync (MS-SIP), and Infinity Connect clients (WebRTC and RTMP). It also enables you to route calls from VTCs and standards-based endpoints into an externally-hosted conference, such as a Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business meeting, or Google Hangouts Meet

For more information, see About the Pexip Distributed Gateway service.

VMR Scheduling for Exchange

The VMR Scheduling for Exchange feature, available with a separate license key, 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.

For more information, see Integrating with Microsoft Exchange.

Test Call Services

Pexip Infinity 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.

For more information, see Configuring the Test Call Service.

Host servers

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 or Google Cloud Platform, with private, public or hybrid deployment options.

Hypervisors

Each host server runs a hypervisor, an application which manages virtual machines and the physical hardware on which they are hosted. Pexip Infinity version 20 includes specific support for the following hypervisors:

  • VMware vSphere ESXi (4.1*, 5.x and 6.x)

    * Support for ESXi 4.1 is being deprecated

  • Microsoft Hyper-V (Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 and 2016, or Windows Server 2012 and 2016)
  • KVM
  • 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.

VM Managers

A VM manager is an application that allows you to connect to one or more VMware vSphere ESXi hypervisors when Automatically deploying a new Conferencing Node on a VMware host. VM managers supported by version 20 of Pexip Infinity are vCenter Server and vSphere.

  • vCenter Server is an application used to manage groups of host servers (and therefore ESXi hypervisors) through a single interface.
  • vSphere on the host server is used when managing a single host server (and therefore ESXi hypervisor).

For more information, see Using a VM manager.

Endpoints

You can register SIP and H.323 endpoints to Pexip Infinity, alternatively your endpoints could register with a call management system.

For more information, see Registering devices to Pexip Infinity and DNS record examples.

Call control

Supported call control solutions

Pexip Infinity can be easily integrated with virtually any existing SIP, H.323 and Skype for Business / Lync call control solutions including Cisco UCM, Cisco VCS, Polycom CMA, Polycom DMA, Avaya Aura, Microsoft Lync 2010 and 2013, Skype for Business, 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.

Gatekeeper registration

Pexip Infinity does not register with a gatekeeper as an MCU.

Using a 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: