Video over IP options

* Virtela's video over IP solutions

While telepresence is all the rage, we also note that other video over IP options may be well suited for enterprises of all sizes - especially when the ROI for a full telepresence isn't proven, or when a video option is included as a feature that is bundled with a managed IP service offering. We recently spoke with Jason Redisch, the Principal Architect at Virtela on his company's approach to various video over IP solutions.

Virtela offers a managed video over IP service that also includes security and encryption designed to the desktop or video conference room using either standard or high-definition formats between enterprise sites, SOHO users and extranet partners. Using multiple access options that include a broadband VPN link (DSL, fixed wireless, and cable modems) or a Metro Ethernet connection, Virtela’s video is then optimized on the provider’s MPLS network. The MPLS network is made up of over 250 major carriers worldwide managed by Virtela’s Regional Policy Centers to provide core network management features like multi-vendor multi-backbone routing, and class-of-service mapping between carriers.The company’s video services are sold to carriers to provide supplemental service-area coverage to large enterprises, and even directly to small businesses. According to Redisch, Virtela has “seen take-up from much smaller businesses that would be expected.”

Virtela uses a variety of partnerships to offer support for various video platforms that could meet customer demands. The company works with A/V integrators such as Whitlock Group and PicturePhone, and in turn the A/V partners support Telanetix, Lifesize, Polycom, and Tandberg video codecs, among others. System integrator partners include IBM and Nortel.

According to Redisch, the company’s "Video Extranet product...can connect a customer on the Virtela network to their business partners even if they are on other providers' networks. We accomplish this through our various network connections that we have in place to offer our end-to-end services for our own customers." While the A/V partners and integrators provide the video expertise for premise delivery needs like conference room designs and desktop applications, Virtela brings the networking expertise specific to video requirements, something especially useful for A/V partners.

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