Q&A with Tom Toperczer of Nefsis
VSM: Tell me a little bit about Nefsis.
TT: We are a specialist in video conferencing software and cloud-based online services. We were founded over 12 years ago with a vision to provide a full-duplex, multipoint communications framework for multi-office companies; we’ve been involved in IP communications, firewall and proxy traversal ever since. Our first applications were secure pop-up messaging, adding high-payload web and video conferencing servers in 2003. In response to demand, we started offering hosted servers. Watching our product mix steadily march towards ‘hosted,’ our company made the years-long investment to deploy our fifth-generation technology as a truly distributed, cloud-based online service. Today, our global cloud and virtualized conference servers support customers in over 45 countries worldwide.
VSM: Why video conferencing in the cloud?
TT: There are two ways to provide business-grade, multipoint HD video conferencing. The first is via hardware-based multichannel units, or MCUs, video-routers, and, for desktop reach, gateway servers. The second is via cloud computing, where all those capabilities are provided by virtualized resources, as needed, in the cloud. Why? It’s less expensive and easier to expand for the customer.
VSM: Does server virtualization benefit the video conferencing experience?
TT: Yes. Nefsis virtualizes the conference in close proximity to the user, so there is a performance benefit in reduced round-trip latency. In addition, Nefsis includes a full suite of built-in, advanced collaboration tools. Everything needed for a productive meeting is provided by the virtual conference room. This provides a richer conferencing experience without the hassle of separate add-ons. These are Nefsis-specific benefits that are not necessarily provided by all virtualized or cloud-based alternatives.
VSM: How does the Nefsis distributed cloud technology accelerate multipoint video conferencing?
TT: In addition to virtualizing your conference room in close proximity, as I mentioned before, Nefsis also uses routing tables and other techniques for selecting the best virtualized server. Occasionally, a route to one server or region is congested. Nefsis simply picks another faster resource. Nefsis also uses parallel processing end-to-end, using all available processor cores on each PC endpoint and virtual conference server. The latter dramatically accelerates multipoint HD, especially when desktop sharing and other processor-intensive sharing features are being used. The net result is a faster, more fluid video conferencing and live sharing experience.
VSM: What is the virtualized conference server approach?
TT: In the grander scheme of things, the Nefsis cloud and virtualized approach brings video conferencing – traditionally an island of computing – into the fold of strategic, virtualized services management. In terms of features and functional capabilities, this approach provides automated load balancing, fail-over, and scalability—read: “easy to expand”—to the customer’s video conferencing application.