eIGeR: collaborative environment

The area of collaborative environment reflects the growing need of most specialized groups for remote collaboration, both within the individual groups and among them, at a national or international level. The target groups are therefore users and teams with a distributed character in the environment where it is necessary to involve members into communication within a work from home, fellowships etc. In international projects videoconferencing is for example successfully deployed.

Our goal in this area is to expand the infrastructure supporting collaboration without extensive traveling and thus in a more effective and ecological way. Therefore we plan to amplify the existing, from the point of view of shared elements centralized infrastructure developed within CESNET2 network. Within the project Large infrastructure CESNET we will modify it into a distributed infrastructure. In that way the highly quality collaborative environment will reach users in regions. The better infrastructure accessibility will be achieved by higher robustness (capability to overcome failures) and scalability.

The infrastructure functionality is not limited only to the Czech Republic as our goal is to continue being a part of larger international infrastructure and to offer active options of communication of our users also with foreign partners. Therefore the important aspect is also coordination, standardization, and advisory role of CESNET Association that will maximize an interoperability of systems developed at end sites across the Czech Republic with regards to systems deployed also in foreign infrastructures.

Individual users, projects and institutions procure end communication nodes that will allow them actively and comfortably involve into remote team collaboration. It includes software and hardware communication equipment of offices, meeting rooms and laboratories which also facilitates an integration of instruments outputs. Only the involvement of communication elements into the infrastructure developed by CESNET will enable qualitative upgrade of their functionality with the following:

  • Establishment of multipoint conferences (potentially in the order up to tens or hundreds of nodes)
  • Bridging of different technology communication platforms and protocols
  • Session recording and streaming
  • Exploitation of integration with other elements of national e-infrastructure (e.g. federalized authentication and authorization schemes, monitoring, storage systems)

To achieve this aim we intend to use the following components that we integrate with the network, communication, and monitoring infrastructure providing application interface also to systems for resource reservation and management or other parts of e-infrastructure.

  • Hardware unit for interconnecting multipoint audio and videoconferences (MCU) compatible with H.323/SIP systems with capacity of tens parallel users communicating in high quality (resolution of 1280×720 pixels as a minimum). The unit capacity can be used in the virtual meeting rooms and units can be interconnected.
  • Unit for recording and streaming to passive participants. The unit will support parallel session recording and streaming, even in more formats (video resolution, data stream, compression) while the streaming capacity could be extended by connecting more streaming servers. Integration of multipoint conference unit, recording unit and possibly streaming servers represents a complex system that also assumes a use of other e-infrastructure components such as data storage.
  • Web browser system for collaboration. The primary purpose of the web environment is an interactive collaborative work on the content. Mainly it involves the sharing of desktop, applications, and documents. In a limited quality it provides also a possibility to transmit audio and video. Therefore it is a suitable supplement to technologies such as H.323/SIP videoconference, but can also be used separately. The advantage of this environment is its plug-and-play functionality practically on every PC.

The planned service will be provided within the services of complex e-infrastructure and is closely linked to its other components such as communication infrastructure, monitoring, infrastructure of trust, security, and data storage. It also involves the relation to infrastructure of foreign institutions – primarily NRENs that are usually the national nodes for these services which corresponds to the needs for international collaboration within projects of our users. The solution leverages the potential of the Association (NREN) to run its own research and development to create qualitatively new (supplementary) services, applications, and tools for collaborative purposes.



Last change: 21.6.2013