[AG-TECH] Advice on versions, please!

Nagykaldi, Zsolt F. (HSC) Zsolt-Nagykaldi at ouhsc.edu
Thu Feb 9 15:37:41 CST 2006

AG Connector runs on 2.4 as well. The problem is that it is not reliable (I am guessing here: possibly due to the capacity of the ANL server?). For sure there are numerous reports and this is our experience as well that if you start the Connector from the AG Venue Client you may experience a looping drop of both audio and video where time and frequency is proportional to the number of parties in the session who use the connector (hence my capacity question). On top of that most of the time, since the majority of our networks are "multicast challenged", if you use the Connector you enter into a "stealth mode" (no sign of you in the venue, but you can still see and hear everybody at least until the connector quits on you). In my total desperation to make things work, I put together a VB app for Windows that pulls up the venue lobby of your choice and also opens a second VIC that points to the UMTP server's UDP video port. Now, if you go to unicast you can transmit video and audio through the venue client and receive constant (not looping) audio. Then you open an instance of the AG connector in the client and whoila(!) you have incoming video as well in a network where UDP ports can not be opened from the outside. Also, when video is lost through the UMTP server, audio stays, so you can at least communicate until video comes back. This can also be done by using 2 computers, one on unicast and the other using the connector for incoming video.
This is total misery and it should not go like that!  I ask the AG community to put the solution of the port/firewall issue ahead of all other tasks.
1) How exactly the AG connector calls the UMTP server? Yes, I looked into the python scripts, but it is not easy to get all of this from the ".py" files. I even hex dumped the compiled exes and looked into the embedded python scripts for clues. We need much more tech info on the connector!
2) Why can't we FIX the UDP ports for each venue room, so that when the server is re-booted, it will not require a new URL and a new port (seems totally necessary to me). This will allow us to give a "one-button" access to simple, lay users, who just simply want to join a conference without a master's degree in computer engineering.
3) Why can't we agree and narrow down the number of ports to a handful in each venue server? The debate on the real risk of this is absolutely unimportant in the face of what IT departments think and what is their practice. We can grumble, but that will not solve our problems, will it?
Anybody has a win32 compiled version of the "patched" VIC? Could you post it on the AG website???
_ _ _
Zsolt Nagykaldi, PhD
Research Associate, Clinical IT Specialist
University Of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Department Of Family And Preventive Medicine
Oklahoma Center For Family Medicine Research
900 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-8000 Ext.:1-32212
Fax:     (405) 271-1682


From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov on behalf of Randy Groves
Sent: Thu 2/9/2006 2:16 PM
To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: [AG-TECH] Advice on versions, please!

I'm faced with trying to determine if our present external network
connection will be sufficient for at least minimal AG connection.

We are behind a Netscreen firewall.  Up until a few months ago, we
had the capability to have incoming ports opened so that VIC would
work.  That was taken away in a sudden security fit.  We have ssh
inbound, and I believe the appropriate outbound settings that should
allow inbound if we initiate.

The process to get back to close to the old status quo is going to be
arduous, and heavily bureaucratic, so I'd like to see if I can piece
together something that will at least get me a single video and audio
feed through.

I'm multicast challenged as well, so all this will have to be bridged.

AG Connector seems like a possibility, but it seems it is somewhat
flakey and tied to 2.3.  True?  And do I need an AG Connector to talk
to?  I seem to see indications that there is one running at
ANL.  What are the specifics?  Are there others running elsewhere?

There is the VIC patch, which seems like it would allow at least one
video stream in.

AG3 is still too young.

I hate to say this, but my experience with inSors during SC '05 made
me realize that the connection over one port is definitely do-able,
and that it shouldn't be as difficult as it seems to be.

(Yeah, yeah I know, Jim, I might consider it - but we don't have any
budget ...)

Thanks in advance for any assistance!!


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