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Medianet Service Discovery and Auto-Registration: Building the dynamic media system – Part 1

August 3, 2011 - 0 Comments

We’re already seeing the beginnings of the transition from unified communications to pervasive video. Companies are not only starting to leverage video to enhance their communication experience but also they are finding new and innovative ways to leverage video to improve business operation and improve customer interaction. You only have to walk into a retail store or get on public transport to see video being used at the heart of the customer experience. As video becomes more ubiquitous this will drive two trends that impact how video endpoints and applications are deployed.

The first is the need to simplify deployment of those IP enabled endpoints. Deploying large numbers of video endpoints, often in a diverse range of locations and by personnel who are not skilled in IT and network deployment. We’ve already seen enhancements in earlier versions of medianets that enable devices such as surveillance cameras and digital media players that enable the installer to plug the devices in and have the network configuration automatically applied to the switch port. This simplifies the network configuration but challenges still remain in configuring the endpoint or application to connect to and register to application services. To address this issue, there are a number of service discovery mechanisms that can enable a newly deployed endpoint or application to automatically discover and register to its application server.

One option is DHCP service discovery. This involves the endpoint automatically requesting the address of its application server by making a DHCP service discovery request using options 43 and 150. This is ideal for the corporate environment which has a DHCP server where the addresses of the application servers can be configured centrally. A second option is DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD) which is related to multicast-DNS. As with DHCP Service discovery, DNS-SD enables the endpoint to send a DNS query to learn about the address of its application server. This is particularly useful when the endpoint is not on the corporate network but it is also already used by devices such as Apple i-Phones that enable them to learn about services on devices its not directly connected to.

Stay tuned, as we continue our discussion on the second part of this blog!

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