1.17 Cisco MediaSense Overview

This topic describes Cisco MediaSense Cisco Unity Connection video greetings and how to deploy the platform.

Cisco MediaSense is an open-standards, network-based platform that supports the following:

  • Recording, playback, live streaming, and storage of media—including audio and video—with rich recording metadata.
  • It provides an efficient, cost-effective platform for capturing business conversations, including customer service interactions.
  • It supports integration with the Cisco Finesse agent desktop.

In addition to recording and playback, Cisco MediaSense provides media streaming on the network, which supports the following:

  • VoH with Cisco Unified Communications Manager
  • ViQ with Cisco Remote Expert
  • Video greeting with Cisco Unity Connection
  • Live monitoring of customer service calls

Businesses and organizations need to record calls for various reasons, including regulatory compliance, quality management, legal discovery, employee education, business intelligence, and customer service optimization. Unfortunately, traditional recording solutions can make recording difficult and expensive to implement. Cisco MediaSense solves these challenges by recording audio and video on the network, simplifying the architecture, lowering costs, and providing optimum scalability across various scenarios such as selective recording, call transfers, site-based recording, and multiparty conferences.

The network-based architecture of Cisco MediaSense allows for quick availability of the captured media for different applications, regardless of location, through simple APIs. These interfaces implement open web standards, enabling a rich ecosystem of applications from Cisco technology partners, including quality management and advanced quality management solutions.

The new features and benefits of Cisco MediaSense as of version 10.x are as follows:

  • Recording with Cisco Unified Contact Center Express
  • VoH
  • ViQ with Cisco Remote Expert
  • Cisco Unity Connection video greeting
  • Search and play enhancements

Cisco MediaSense is a SIP-based, network-level service that provides voice and video media recording capabilities for other network devices. MediaSense is fully integrated into Cisco’s Unified Communications architecture and automatically captures and stores every VoIP conversation that traverses appropriately configured Unified Communications Manager IP phones or Cisco Unified Border Element devices. In addition, an IP phone user or SIP endpoint device may call the MediaSense system directly in order to leave a recording consisting of media generated only by that user. Such recordings can include video and audio and thus offer a simple and easy method for recording video blogs and podcasts.

No matter how recordings are captured, they may be accessed in several ways. A recording still in progress can be streamed live (“monitored”) through a computer that is equipped with a media player such as VLC or RealPlayer, or one provided by a partner or third party. Completed recordings may be played back in the same way or downloaded in raw form via HTTP. They may also be converted into .mp4 or .wav files and downloaded in that format. All access to recordings, either in progress or completed, is through web-friendly URIs. MediaSense also offers a web-based Search and Play application with a built-in media player that allows authorized users to choose individual calls to monitor, playback, or download directly from a supported web browser. In addition to its primary media recording functionality, MediaSense offers four other capabilities:

  • It can play back specific video media files on demand on video phones or supported players. This capability supports ViQ, VoD, or VoH use cases in which a separate call controller invites MediaSense into an existing video call in order to play a previously designated recording.
  • It can integrate with Cisco Unity Connection to provide video voice-mail greetings. Videos are recorded on MediaSense directly by Cisco Unity Connection subscribers and are then played back to their video-capable callers before they leave their messages.
  • Media recordings occupy a fair amount of disk space, so space management is a significant concern.
  • MediaSense also maintains a metadata database where information about all recordings is maintained. A comprehensive Web 2.0 API is provided that allows client equipment to perform the following actions:
    • Query and search the metadata in various ways
    • Control recordings that are in progress
    • Stream or download recordings
    • Bulk-delete recordings that meet certain criteria
    • Apply custom tags to individual recording sessions.

Five-Server Deployment

Five servers is the maximum in a Cisco MediaSense cluster.

  • Also supported are single-, dual-, three-, and four-server deployments.
  • Dual-server deployments provide high availability and load balancing.

In a Cisco MediaSense deployment, a cluster contains a set of servers, with each server containing a set of services. Cluster architecture provides high availability (for recording but not for playback) and failover (if the primary server fails, there is automatic failover to the secondary server). High-availability servers must be in the same LAN.

Cisco MediaSense functions only within LANs. WANs are not supported. All Cisco MediaSense servers and Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers must be located in the same LAN. Within a LAN, the maximum round-trip delay between any two servers must be less than 2 ms. More details are available in the “MediaSense cluster deployments” section of the “MediaSense Features and Services” chapter in the “MediaSense Use Guide” document at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cust_contact/contact_center/mediasense/911/user_guide/CUMS_BK_M5B01864_00_ms-user-guide-911.html.

The primary and secondary servers in a Cisco MediaSense deployment are synchronized when administrative changes are made on either server. Database replication copies the data automatically from the primary server to the secondary server, and vice versa.

There are three types of servers:

  • Primary (required): Supports all database operations and media operations.
  • Secondary (optional): Supports all database operations and media operations. Provides high-availability for the database.
  • Expansion (optional): Provides additional capacity for media operations, but not for database operations. Expansion servers are used only in 7-vCPU deployments, and are never used in UCS-E module deployments.

The primary and secondary servers in a Cisco MediaSense deployment are synchronized when administrative changes are made on either server. Database replication copies the data automatically from the primary server to the secondary server, and vice versa.

Cisco MediaSense supports any of the following combinations of servers:

  • One primary server
  • One primary server and one expansion server
  • One primary, one secondary server, and from one to three expansion servers

A single-server deployment has one Cisco MediaSense server on the Cisco Collaboration System operating system platform. All network services are enabled by default. Each single-server deployment supports a maximum of 300 simultaneous sessions and a BHCC rate of 9000 sessions per hour (with a 2-minute average call duration).

Single-service deployments enable you to perform the following actions:

  • Add servers later to address redundancy issues
  • Provide high availability
  • Increase storage capacity
  • Increase simultaneous recording capacity

A dual-server deployment has two Cisco MediaSense servers on the Cisco Collaboration System operating system platform. The first server is called the primary server. The second server is called the secondary server. All network services are enabled on both servers. Dual-server deployments provide high availability. The recording load is automatically balanced across the primary and secondary servers because all services are always active on both servers.

Three-server deployments have a primary server, a secondary server, and one expansion server. All network services are enabled by default on all servers in the cluster. The three-server model provides redundancy and increases storage capacity and simultaneous recording and playback capacity. The recording load is automatically balanced across the servers.

Four-server and five-server deployments have one primary server, one secondary server, and two or three expansion servers. This deployment model provides redundancy, increases storage capacity, and increases capacity for simultaneous recording and playback sessions. The recording load is automatically balanced across the servers because services are always active on their respective servers.

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Author: drbabbers

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