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What is a VCS and VCSe?

Endorsed Question
Feb 6th, 2014
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Hello folks,


I am new to this whole concept of Video infrastructure and trying to learn things.

Can someone give me a quick brief of what is a VCS and VCSe and thier main functionalities in any VC environment.


Thanks,

~K.

Endorsed by Ayodeji Okanlawon
asafayan about 3 years 6 months ago

Good information provided by Amit.  I would add, in laymens terms, the following description of VCS and VCS-E:


If you are familiar at all with CUCM - then think of VCS, which sits on the internal network, as the Call Control platform for video endpoints.  By video endpoints - think room based physical video servers often called "codecs" or software clients like Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence.


Do not confuse the use of "codec" here with the concept of a codec like G.711.  The VCS acts as a SIP proxy and an H.323 GK - meaning your video endpoints can talk SIP or H323 to register to the VCS.


The VCS-E, which typically sits in a firewall DMZ, support external video endpoints.  By that, I mean it enables the ability of someone sitting "outside" of your company, to establish a video call to a video endpoint physcally inside of your companies firewall.


Once you install the VCS software - a VCS-E software key can be installed which then "makes" this VCS a VCS-E. So basically they use the same underlying software installation and a simple key is what makes that platform a VCS-E.


Good luck!


Amir

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amehla Thu, 02/06/2014 - 07:13
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Hi Krishna,


The Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (VCS) can be deployed as a VCS Control application

or as a VCS Expressway™ application.


The VCS Expressway enables business to business communications, empowers remote and home based

workers, and gives service providers the ability to provide video communications to customers. The VCS

Control provides SIP proxy and call control as well as H.323 gatekeeper services within an organization's

corporate network environment.


for more details, go through the below VCS guide, it shows deployment details for VCS control and VCS expressway.


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/telepresence/infrastructure/vcs/config_guide/X8-1/Cisco-VCS-Basic-Configuration-Control-with-Expressway-Deployment-Guide-X8-1.pdf

asafayan Thu, 02/06/2014 - 07:30
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Good information provided by Amit.  I would add, in laymens terms, the following description of VCS and VCS-E:


If you are familiar at all with CUCM - then think of VCS, which sits on the internal network, as the Call Control platform for video endpoints.  By video endpoints - think room based physical video servers often called "codecs" or software clients like Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence.


Do not confuse the use of "codec" here with the concept of a codec like G.711.  The VCS acts as a SIP proxy and an H.323 GK - meaning your video endpoints can talk SIP or H323 to register to the VCS.


The VCS-E, which typically sits in a firewall DMZ, support external video endpoints.  By that, I mean it enables the ability of someone sitting "outside" of your company, to establish a video call to a video endpoint physcally inside of your companies firewall.


Once you install the VCS software - a VCS-E software key can be installed which then "makes" this VCS a VCS-E. So basically they use the same underlying software installation and a simple key is what makes that platform a VCS-E.


Good luck!


Amir

Ayodeji Okanlawon Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:25
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Amir,


You have to teach me stuff on video..I love your grasp of it. This is such a great answer! I love it..Do you have any documenation you have written on design etc that can help me..You can PM it to me or send it to me my email if you dont mind. I will PM my email to you if you want me to



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asafayan Fri, 02/14/2014 - 16:37
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Hi Aokanlawon,


Anyone who has been on these forums for any period of time is aware of your great contribution to the pool of knowledge. I take your reply as a high compliment!  Thank you.


Since I'm a support engineer, I don't do a lot of design work per se.  Here is the latest deployment guide (which I believe you have seen):

http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/telepresence/infrastructure/vcs/config_guide/X8-1/Cisco-VCS-SIP-Trunk-to-Unified-CM-Deployment-Guide-CUCM-8-9-and-X8-1.pdf


I'm very impressed with the quality of these guides.  They really provide a "how-to" or "color by numbers" approach with screenshots etc.  When I build similar documents for client upgrades - I always say "my 13 year old" could follow them because they leave nothing to the imagination.  In other words - if I create an "action plan" - you can count on it leaving no step out!


Just when I thought I had a reasonably good understanding - I read the following thread!

https://supportforums.cisco.com/message/4164161#4164161


The above referenced thread discusses new (for me) platform names  - Expressway Core and Expressway Edge. This is the first time I've heard of these new platform names. I'm not in sales and I'm sure those guys have heard of them a long time ago. 


In our original thread - I was answering the question " What is a VCS-C and VCS-E?"


So - now to complicate things - you need to distinquish between the newer platforms - Expressway Core and Expressway Edge AND the original platforms - VCS-C and VCS-E.


This is a superb blog entry that is very recent and does a great job of explaining the differences:

http://ciscocollab.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/deploying-collaboration-edge/


Expressway C and E are available at no additional cost to UCM 9.1+ customers. Perhaps we could attempt to lab it up following the above mentioned blog summary.


Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.


Amir

Ayodeji Okanlawon Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:01
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Thank you again for these links. They are very good. I did use the deployment guide to setup VCS integration to CUCM and it was flawless..I will give you a shout if I have any queries..You rock!!!


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"The essence of christianity is not the enthronement but the obliteration of self --William Barclay"

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