Posts in Category "Meeting"

Behind the Curtain: Making Multiple Connect Meetings or Seminars Appear as One

On those occasions when a Meeting invitation may attract more participants than expected or planned for at the last minute so that you are unable to increase Seminar capacity in a timely manner, a skilled host can use two or more Connect Meeting rooms and project them to participants as though it were one room as an emergency workaround. Here is a basic outline of how to split a large meeting onto multiple servers. It is prudent to not just have more than one Meeting in these cases, but also to make sure each Meeting is hosted on a separate server in a cluster to add robustness to the meeting. Load-balancing is a wonderful thing and you should always use it to its fullest.

Assume an example of a three-server cluster/pool of Connect servers and that you want to split a Connect Meeting onto all three servers; a simple 3-server cluster is depicted here to use as an example:

C9SSLCluster3Simple

For a working example, let’s place a Connect Meeting room hosted on each server; to do this you will need three separate URLs: One URL for each 1/3rd  of your attendees. Getting the attendees distributed among the three rooms can be tricky. One effective technique is to either send out three different invitations, with each targeting 1/3rd of your audience and each offering a different URL, or just point everyone to a page with  all three URLs and request/instruct the participants to alphabetically arrange themselves in subsets of users by URL selection. That way it is not random; I have seen this technique work fine; here are sample meeting URLs based on our picture above:

http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting1
http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting2
http://connect.domain.com/splitmeeting3

To make certain the each meeting is hosted on a separate server (rather than all three on one as load-balancing could easily prescribe), it will either require some effort to keep entering and leaving the room until your meeting lands on the server you want.

The way to tell which server you are on is simple: In any meeting room click Help and while holding down the shift key click About Adobe Connect. This will pop up an RTMP string that will identify the server that Meeting is hosted on and also which server a client is coming through as each client can be using multiple servers (just to add not only to the complexity, but also the overall robustness).

Here is what the RTMP strings might look like for each of the three servers in our simple example above ( I am inserting some URL parameters from a hosted meeting as I write this in order to create our hypothetical example RTMP strings – rtmp://arfms3.adobeconnect.com:1935/?rtmp://pcparapp07:8506/meetingas3app/89676385/630888204/)

rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/

The first name in the string (connectmtg0#) is the built-in Connect Edge server and the second name (connapp0#)  is the Connect origin server  hosting the meeting (each Connect servers runs both AMS/FMS and Tomcat together). The second name is the important one for our technique of splitting the attendees onto separate meeting servers.

In the hypothetical RTMP string samples above, I have made these artificially neat and tidy, the truth is that the first part of the string can be any of the three for any meeting participant regardless of the application server hosting the meeting. For example, you could come in to connapp01 through connectmtg03 – any combination is possible. Load balancing is done at more than one level as Connect leverages both a hardware-based load-balancing device and also its own internal clustering capabilities; combinations for various clients (including the hosts and presenters) in our example cluster depicted  above might include:

rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp02:8506/meetingas2app/847483076/1086833046/
rtmps:// connectmtg01.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp03:8506/meetingas3app/847483077/1086833047/
rtmps:// connectmtg02.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/
rtmps:// connectmtg03.domain.com/?rtmp://connapp01:8506/meetingas1app/847483075/1086833045/

The key to remember is that the second name is the one that matters; a distribution of participants approximating 1/3rd on each server is the goal targeting: connapp01, connapp02 and connapp03. After this is set-up, the pre-meeting preparation part is complete (this should be done at least one hour prior to the meeting).

Next comes the creative hosting venture during the split meeting: As the host, you will need all three meetings open in front of you to manage them as one. From the perspective of the participants, there is only one meeting (ignore the host behind the curtain). Be sure to hide the Attendee List Pod in the Presenter-only area as it will only present those participants in that specific Connect Meeting thereby allowing a peek behind the curtain or misrepresenting the size of the entire three meeting combination.

And here is where the techniques are very much up to you:

  • Splitting video among the three rooms is possible using a third-party option, one we have used successfully is: Splitcam.com.
  • For audio, if using integrated audio, be sure to use the same integrated telephony number for all three rooms.
  • If using VoIP, then allow one speaker only at a time to send audio via VoIP.

Some ways in which you can limit the amount of data being processed in your room and to improve the overall performance of these sessions are:

  • Optimize room bandwidth to DSL, regardless of your setting. In a Connect Meeting, at the top of the screen click on MEETING > Room Performance and Appearance > Optimize Room Bandwidth > DSL
  • Turn off cameras whenever they are not in use.
  • When in use, multiple cameras should probably be set to SLOW images (depending on how many and other variables).
  • Turn off VoIP if not talking.
  • Participants should directly connect to the fastest internet connection available and be on a dedicated DSL connection, at a minimum.
  • No clients or hosts on wireless – allow no exceptions.
  • Shut down Email, instant messaging, and any programs NOT being used for the presentation.
  • Shut down any VPNs as a VPN will potentially destroy the possibility for success.

When large Connect Meetings or Seminars become commonplace in your enterprise, this cumbersome workaround quickly becomes impractical and you should increase your Seminar or Webinar licensed capacity as needed to avoid this complexity and manual work. With that said however, this technique will work in a bind and will provide a robust Connect Meeting experience for a very large audience even if it challenges a seasoned Connect Meeting host.

On-premise Connect without Webinars Throws an Error when Moving Meetings

On-premise Connect customers running version 9.5 who do not have the Webinar option enabled will see an error when trying to move meetings via the GUI in Connect Central:

Webinar95Bugon-prem.fw

This will be fixed in an upcoming release and in the meantime we have two workaround options:

CSO: Resolved and Restored – DATE (09DEC2015)

From 9:05 to 10:30 AM MST, all Adobe Connect customers hosted on NA1 would have been unable to login or use any Connect related services. This has been repaired and customers are now able to login

Connect 9.5 Edge Server Installation Instructions

Connect 9.5 server installation instructions:

  1. Create a folder <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver
  2. Download the Edge 9.5 (based on AMS 5) installer
  3. Run the self-extracting .exe file downloaded in step#2 to <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver
  4. Refer the following articles for deployment options:
    1. http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2011/06/edge_server_deploy/
    2. http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2011/06/edge_server_deploy2/
  5. Run <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver/win32/vcredist_x64.exe
  6. Run the following commands as administrator:
    1. cd <Installation_Directory>/950/edgeserver/win32AMSAdmin.exe -install
    2. AMSMaster.exe -install
    3. sc start amsadmin
    4. sc start ams
  7. Confirm that services “Adobe Media Administration Server” and “Adobe Media Server (AMS)” are running
  8. If services need to run using specific user credentials, then be sure to set the credentials in service properties and restart the services

Moving Meeting Rooms to User Seminars Folder

In Adobe Connect 9.5, Meeting Hosts now have the ability to move normal Adobe Connect Meetings into their own User Seminars folder if they are part of a Named Webinar Manager group.

Previously, with the 9.4 release, we added new Seminar licensing called ‘Named Webiner Managers’. This essentially gives users in that new group, the ability to create and manage their own Seminar rooms (under their User Seminars folder).   In Adobe Connect 9.5, if you are a Named Webinar Manager and you are in the Meeting Hosts group and want to move one or more of your Meetings from your My Meetings folder (User Meetings > {username}) or the Shared Meetings folder to your individual User Seminars folder, you can now do this in the UI.

move

You will notice the new link location for User Seminars in the Move functionality.

Named Vs Concurrent Pricing Model

Problem: What is the difference between a Named and a Concurrent pricing model?

Environment: Hosted/Licensed

In order to understand the difference we present you with two different accounts having Named and Concurrent pricing models.

Named Host Pricing Model

As an example, I would take up the example of my local account. Below is the license information of my account.

We read the following information for a Named Host license.  In Named Host Pricing Model, you need to check two values.

  • Meeting Hosts
  • Concurrent Users Per Meeting

Named Host Pricing Model
Meeting Hosts:   5 / 5      (Consider this value as Mx)

Meeting Peak Concurrent Users:   Unlimited   (Soft Limit: Unlimited)
Concurrent Users Per Meeting:   100   (Soft Limit: 100)  (Consider this value as Mn)

Burst Pack Minutes (Total Used/Total Purchased):   0 / 0
(Balance:0 – Disabled)

Max meetings that can run simultaneously <= Mx

Total number of users who can enter in a meeting <= Mn

In this case Mx=5 and Mn=100

So you can run 5 meetings simultaneously with a cap of 100 users in each of these meetings.

So not more than 100 user can be present in any of these meeting rooms.

See this hierarchy:

Named_Host

Concurrent Attendee Pricing Model

For Concurrent pricing models we only consider ‘Concurrent Users Per Meeting’, since there is no restriction on how many concurrent meetings you can run.

As an example of the license info on my local account below :

Concurrent Attendee Pricing Model
Meeting Hosts:   16 / Unlimited  (Consider this value as Mx)

Meeting Peak Concurrent Users:   100   (Soft Limit: 100)  (Consider this value as Mn) 

Concurrent Users Per Meeting:   Unlimited   (Soft Limit: Unlimited)
Burst Pack Minutes (Total Used/Total Purchased):   0 / 0
(Balance:0 – Disabled)

Mx=Unlimited Hosts(There is no restrictions on number of hosts, hence not limiting the number of meetings you can run)

Mn=No of users who can join a meeting when counted together in all the active meetings.

Here Mn=100 and say we are running 5 meetings so In total 100 users can join.

User in Meeting1+Meeting2+Meeting3….+Meeting5<=100.

See this hierarchy.

Concurrent_new

Please Note : The above license limit values have been used here for demonstration purpose. Individual user accounts would have their own limits as per the license they have purchased.

Please refer our official document for complete information about these licensing models : 

https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/kb/named-host-license-update-faq.html

Please contact support if you have further queries on the same.

Adobe connect Add-in crashes / freezes on Windows 8.1

Problem:
Adobe connect add-in freezes on Windows 8.1 machine while meeting is running.

Description:
It freezes / crashes during the meeting usually around 20 minutes of screen sharing or camera sharing. Sometimes, the issue occurs randomly as well.

Reason:
This is a know issue and it has been documented in our bug tracking system. It is targeted to be fixed in the upcoming version.

Workaround:
We can configure Adobe connect add-in to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode. Follow the steps mentioned below:

• Go to the below location on your computer:
“%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\www.macromedia.com\bin\adobeconnectaddin”;

• If you are unable to find this location, open a meeting room which should launch Adobe connect add-in;

• Open windows task manager and select Adobeconnectaddin.exe from the list of processes running on the machine;

• Right click and choose open location;

• This shall take you to the location where Adobeconnectaddin.exe (Adobe connect’s add-in) is installed;

• This file shall be present at “C:\Users\<userprofilefolder>\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\www.macromedia.com\bin\adobeconnectaddin”;

Location of Adobe connect addin

• Right click on Adobeconnectaddin.exe and choose properties;

• Switch to Compatibility;

• Select the compatibility mode, click Apply, OK as shown below;

Adobe connect addin compatibility mode

• Close the existing instances of Adobe connect add-in;

• Once the previous instances have been closed, Adobe connect add-in should start getting executed in Compatibility mode;

The above mentioned steps should fix this problem.

Troubleshooting Verbose Meeting Addin Logging

On occasion it can be difficult to get verbose addin logging to work. The tech-note describing how to set it up is here: Enable logging | Meeting Add-in

The tech-note correctly describes where to place the customized mms.cfg file for use with both 64 bit and 32 bit Windows clients as well as for the Mac OS.

If after following the instructions in the tech-note, you still do not see any verbose addin logs, one possible cause is that there may be an additional mms.cfg file in an alternate location on the client that is blocking the log creation process. To remedy this, add the customized debug mms.cfg to the following locations after renaming any existing mms.cfg files (to allow them to be restored after verbose logging or debugging is complete):

Here are the locations (more than in the tech-note):

  • Windows (32 bit) :

In: C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
or C:\Windows\System32\mms.cfg

  • Windows 7 (64 bit):

In: c:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
or c:\Windows\SysWOW64\mms.cfg

After placing the mms.cfg in both folders, be sure to close all addin browsers and then to open the addin only in the one Meeting that you wish to troubleshoot.

TLS settings that may affect Meeting connection Test Results

Problem Description :

If you do not have any TLS version enabled in your browser settings, then your browser may fail to establish a secure connection to your Adobe Connect servers and thus may show the following symptoms :

  • Meeting connection test fails at Step 2 of connecting to the FMS server
  • Meetings connect however are very slow and experience frequent disconnects even if they get connected

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms with your meetings, it is recommended that you take a look at your browser TLS settings .

Most browsers nowadays, automatically have TLS settings enabled by default, however some browsers may still not have it enabled. You may need to enable it from the browser settings. Following is how it can be enabled in IE :

IE_9-Options

 

Environment : All Adobe Connect Hosted accounts

Reason Behind this behavior :

Due to security reasons , all Adobe Connect Hosted environments only support TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 versions. All SSL versions (SSL 2/SSL 3) are disabled due to security reasons and open vulnerabilities.

It is therefore required that your browser is able to support a secure ssl connection using any of the available TLS versions.

For better understanding, I’ve also put a screen capture as below :

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=na12cps.adobeconnect.com

SSL-Img