A beginner's guide to Pexip Infinity
If you're new to video conferencing, or just to Pexip Infinity, this section covers the basics of what you need to know about the Pexip Infinity solution.
First, a bit of history
How it used to be
In the past, the use of video conferencing within businesses was usually restricted to a special AV unit installed in a dedicated meeting room, which had to be booked in advance. Companies had to install special servers called Multipoint Control Units (MCUs) to run their videoconferencing, and because these units were big and expensive, they would be installed in just a few central locations. Video also used up a lot of expensive bandwidth. This all meant that the use of videoconferencing was restricted.
A new way of working
Now that the use of video has become more pervasive at home and in business, and computing resources are faster and cheaper, users have come to expect instant access to video calls from their desktop. The Pexip Infinity solution enables organizations to provide universal access to videoconferencing. It replaces the old dedicated hardware MCUs with software that can be installed on standard servers and run as virtual machines, and its distributed architecture is designed to allow as many of these virtual machines as required to be spread around a range of locations, providing videoconferencing resources where and when it is required, reducing bandwidth usage across the organization.
What's wrong with using what I have now?
There are plenty of free video calling and videoconferencing solutions out there, and your organization might already be using some of them. But these systems aren't secure, and they are limited in the number of people who can connect into a single meeting. They also don't support connections from others not using the same solution, so you often can't connect with others outside your organization, or who want to call using a device such as a telephone.
What to look for in a modern videoconferencing solution
Lets any device talk to any other
Most organizations have a mix of endpoints that are used to make video calls. Meeting participants might want to call from a dedicated meeting room equipped with a big-screen video endpoint; a desktop client such as Skype for Business; a web browser; or even a telephone. In the past, these systems weren't able to connect to each other. But Pexip Infinity can act as an interpreter for all these systems, allowing participants to use whatever device they prefer to call in to a meeting. We even offer our own desktop, mobile and web-based clients for those users who don't have access to traditional video devices.
Virtual meeting rooms for everyone
Pexip Infinity Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) are always available and ready to be used. VMRs that aren't currently being used don't take up any resources, so you can create one for every person in your organization. Whenever someone wants to hold a meeting over video, they can just invite the participants into their VMR.
Making direct calls
Pexip Infinity doesn't just provide VMRs – the Pexip Distributed Gateway feature also allows users to make direct calls to each other. This is particularly significant if the two people on the call are using different video devices or solutions that would not otherwise be able to connect to each other.
Registering your device so it can be called
If you have access to a video endpoint, you can usually use it to make outbound calls. However, if you want to be able to receive calls, you need to register your device and the address that can be used to find it, so that others can make calls to it. There are special systems that can handle registrations within an organization, but Pexip Infinity has this functionality built in.
The advantages of software
Because Pexip Infinity is simply software, you have immediate access to the latest releases and all the new features – for free. Just download the software and install it on your servers – it really is that simple.
Add and remove resources as required
As long as you have access to computing resources – either on-premises servers or cloud-based solutions such as AWS or Azure – you can create additional instances of Pexip Infinity to provide any additional capacity, as and when required, and in a matter of minutes. This can even happen automatically.