SECURE VIDEO CONFERENCING
Combining hardware and cloud VC on a single platform
Author: Sathya Kumar - Chief Solution Architect,
A&T Video Networks Pvt. Ltd
Confidential, privileged and proprietary information - not be used, published or redistributed without the prior written consent of A&T Video Networks Pvt. Ltd
With the proliferation of cloud video conferencing platforms, hackers have become more active. Not so long back, hackers illegally entered online classrooms and business meetings and posted messages against Indian sensibilities. This had led to the Ministry of Human Resources Development issuing an advisory against certain cloud VC platforms.
Although these platforms continually upgrade their security systems, Govt. entities and many private enterprises have realized the importance of conducting video conferences in a secure, private channel. The Indian armed forces have been one of the earliest movers and have established secure VC over their private networks like ASCON and AFNET.
However, most of the external stakeholders (vendors, suppliers, contractors and such like) of Govt. entities continue to use cloud VC platforms and are reluctant to invest in secure VC for the limited number of conferences they need to hold with these Govt. firms.
This throws up an interesting conundrum. How do you deploy a single VC system that allows you to hold secure VC within your organization on your private network while having the capability to use the same system to connect to external stakeholders on cloud VC platforms?
In a recent deployment for Surat Municipal Corporation, A&T Video Networks have designed and successfully deployed a system that caters to precisely this requirement.
The following paper details how the Indian Railways can take advantage of Railnet to create internal secure VC sessions and cloud VC sessions with external stakeholders. An important functionality of this solution is that the hardware VC platform, associated software and accessories like cameras are from a single vendor.
A&T is the exclusive distributor for hardware VC systems in India for AVer of Taiwan. Their video conferencing Codecs have been deployed at many Govt. of India offices and PSUs such as Coal India, ONGC, Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Airforce, some Municipal Corporation offices, many Govt. educational institutes and others.
A&T Video Networks has designed a system that caters to precisely this kind of environment.
Since Indian Railways operates and runs Railnet, the Indian Railways can take advantage of this private network to create secure VC sessions between their offices. The system combines a hardware VC platform with the cloud VC, enabling the use of any one system depending upon the participants.
Overall system: The complete system consists of,
- Hardware VC Codec
- A dedicated PC with relevant cloud VC platforms installed
- One camera which connects to both
- Microphones which connect to both
1. The hardware VC Codec is deployed at the GM office
Model name: AVer SVC 500
- End-to-end encryption
- Supports dual camera and dual presentation
- Comes with professional full HD PTZ camera and microphone
- Supports AVer EZMeetup software that enables secure remote connectivity on PC or Laptop without the need for VC codec
- Supports WebRTC that enables connectivity on PC or laptop
- In-built 32Gb storage to record VC sessions
- Connects to audio mixer/ amp and display
2. The SVC 500 is connected a dedicated PC with all relevant cloud VC software preinstalled
3. The display, audio system (speaker/ mic/ mixer/ amp) and the camera of the SVC 500 are also connected to the same PC. Hence, a single camera and audio system is being used for both secure VC and cloud VC.
4. The SVC 500 is connected on RailNet while the dedicated PC is connected to the internet.
5. There are 3 methods by which DRM or other IR offices can connect to the SVC 500:
a. By deploying a Video Conferencing endpoint such as AVer SVC 100 or AVer EVC series. These come with their own cameras and microphones and can be used in conference rooms and meeting rooms.
b. By loading EZMeetup software from AVer on a PC/ Laptop – either a webcam or any other VC camera can be used to provide the video
c. By using Google Chrome on any laptop/ PC provided the WebRTC license is loaded on the central SVC 500. Either a webcam or the laptop camera any other VC camera can be used to provide the video
6. Solution presents 2 options in a single system:
a. To connect to other IR offices – turn on the SVC 500 and connect
b. To connect to external stakeholders – turn on the PC and start the relevant cloud VC
This system provides many advantages:
- A single system for internal and external communication
- Expensive hardware codecs are not mandatory at remote offices
- VC sessions on the Codec are end-to-end encrypted
- Pan-India installation and support services
- Up to 5-year warranty
- Available on GeM