11.2 Cisco VCS and Cisco Expressway Series Architecture

This topic describes the roles of the Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (VCS) and the Cisco Expressway Series.

In Cisco Collaboration Systems solutions, the following main architectures exist:

  • Endpoint registration and call processing on Cisco Unified CM:
    1. Cisco Unified CM only
    2. Cisco Unified CM with Cisco Expressway Series (Collaboration Edge)
  • Endpoint registration and call processing on Cisco VCS
    1. Cisco VCS Control only
    2. Cisco VCS Control with Cisco VCS Expressway Series
  • Combination of Cisco Unified CM and Cisco VCS

The following Cisco Collaboration Systems solutions that support video are available:

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM): Unified CM performs endpoint registration and call processing. It provides voice, video, telepresence, IM and presence, messaging, mobility, web conferencing, and security services.
  • Cisco Unified CM with the Cisco Expressway Series (Cisco Expressway Core and Cisco Expressway Edge): The Cisco Expressway Series can be added to a Unified CM deployment to provide edge features and services to devices that are located outside the enterprise firewall in a secure way without the need for a VPN.
  • Cisco VCS Control: Cisco VCS Control performs endpoint registration and call processing. It provides video services for SIP and H.323 endpoints. Cisco VCS Control acts as a SIP registrar, a SIP proxy server, an H.323 gatekeeper, and as a SIP-to-H.323 gateway server that provides interworking between SIP and H.323 devices.
  • Cisco VCS Control with Cisco VCS Expressway: Cisco VCS Expressway can be added to a Cisco VCS Control deployment to provide edge features and services to devices that are located outside the enterprise firewall in a secure way without the need for a VPN.
  • Combination of Unified CM and Cisco VCS Control: Unified CM and Cisco VCS Control can be interconnected with each other. Each of them can function as a standalone device or can have the appropriate extension (Cisco Expressway Series or Cisco VCS Expressway) for added edge services that are deployed when they are interconnected.

Terminology

This section describes the terminology of the main Collaboration Edge components.

  • Collaboration Edge
    1. Umbrella term that describes the entire collaboration architecture for edge features such as firewall traversal, business-to-business communication, and interworking.
  • Cisco VCS
    1. Provides advanced video and Cisco TelePresence application support.
      • Cisco VCS Control
      • Cisco VCS Expressway, an optional extension to Cisco VCS Control that provides edge features and services to Cisco VCS Control
  • Cisco Expressway Series
    1. Provides edge firewall traversal and video interworking to Cisco Unified Communications Manager and always consists of these two components:
      • Expressway Core
      • Expressway Edge
  • Mobile and remote access
    1. Feature that delivers secure, VPN-less remote access to Cisco Jabber and fixed endpoints.

The terms that are listed here relate to the Cisco VCS and Cisco Expressway Series Collaboration Edge components. Additional Collaboration Edge products, such as Cisco Unified Border Element, are also available.