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Conference Devices for CUCM

I'm posting this entry simply as a reminder that there is quite a variety of devices that could provide conferencing resources for CUCM. Primarily, for the customer's that I support, I see Router-based conference devices and software-based conference devices exclusively. However, there are several more options that are worth being mentioned.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports multiple conference devices to distribute the load of mixing audio between the endpoints involved in a conference. A component of Cisco Unified Communications Manager called Media Resource Manager (MRM) locates and assigns resources throughout a cluster. The MRM resides on every Cisco Unified Communications Manager server and communicates with MRMs on other Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports hardware and software conference devices; both hardware and software conference bridges can be active at the same time.

For conferencing, you must determine the total number of concurrent users (or audio streams) that are required at any given time.  Then, if you plan to use a software conference device, you create and configure the device to support the calculated number of streams (see the "Software Conference Devices" section for information about calculating number of streams). You cannot configure the number of streams for hardware conference bridges. One large conference, or several small conferences, can use these audio streams.

Note:  An audio stream is a two-way audio path in a conference that supports one stream for each endpoint/participant.

Possible Conference Devices
  • Router-Based Conference Capability
  • Software Conference Devices
  • Video Conference Devices
  • Cisco Conference Devices (WS-SVC-CMM)
  • MTP WS-X6608 DSP Service Card
  • Annunciator Support for Conference Bridges
  • Conference Bridge Types in Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration
Note:  Although a single software conference device can run on the same server as the Cisco Unified CallManager service, Cisco strongly recommends against this configuration. Running a conference device on the same server as the Cisco CallManager service may adversely affect performance on the Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

More Detailed Information
Cisco CUCM System Guide

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