*VidMid Conference Call*
May 1, 2001
Ken Klingenstein (chair) - Colorado/Internet2
Tyler Johnson - UNC Chapel Hill
Ben Roy - Washington
Egon Verharen - SURFnet
Ted Hanss - Internet2
Mary Fran Yafchak - SURA
Renee Frost - Michigan/Internet2
Jill Gemmill - ViDe/Alabama at Birmingham
Bob Morgan - Washington
Mairead Martin - Tennessee
Ben Chinowsky (scribe) - Internet2
The meeting opened with a discussion of vendors and standards bodies VidMid will need to be involved with. There was general agreement that vendor involvement is not only acceptable but near-essential. Tyler stressed the importance of getting RADVISION involved, noting that almost all the videoconferencing products that work well make use of RADVISION's protocol stack. Tyler is meeting with RADVISION's Orit Levin later this week and will brief her on VidMid's plans; he has also sent a letter explaining VidMid to the RADVISION gatekeeper developers in Tel Aviv. [AI] Tyler will try to get RADVISION involved in VidMid. It was noted that Polycom has recently acquired Accord Networks; [AI] Mary Fran will ask Bob Dixon to see if he can get Polycom involved in VidMid. There was general agreement that Microsoft and NetMeeting are in very poor standing in the videoconferencing community; it appears that Microsoft is moving away from a focus on NetMeeting and toward a focus on SIP. An meeting between Internet2 universities and Microsoft planned for April didn't happen; [AI] Ted will contact Todd Needham to reschedule the Microsoft-Internet2 meeting on videoconferencing. [AI] Ken will try to get Microsoft involved in VidMid.
The group identified Orit Levin as VidMid's key ITU contact (she'll be able to tell the group what other vendors are influential there) and Bob Morgan as its key IETF contact. It was noted that ITU and IETF are pursuing SIP H.323 work independently of one another, and have only recently become fully aware of each other's work, possibly raising large compatibility issues. Tyler noted that his group will be preparing materials for the upcoming meeting of "Study Group 16", the ITU H.323 working group. [AI] Ken will send SIP URLs to Ben C. for the VidMid web site. Mary Fran suggested that VidMid also track the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF); Ken noted that their video work appears to be moving slowly.
Ken outlined other middleware activities of relevance to VidMid.
- It appears that many universities are now implementing *eduPerson*. VidMid may be able to make use of the eduPerson Principal Name (EPPN), which identifies an instance of an authenticated individual. Egon noted that the TERENA Task Force on LDAP Services Deployment (TF-LSD) is looking at modifying eduPerson, which is currently US-focused, to make it work in Europe; there will be a TF-LSD meeting during the upcoming TERENA meeting in Turkey.
- The *Shibboleth* project is about interrealm exchange of authorization information. Ken suggested that Shibboleth could be used as a SIP-like "hook", to produce an EPPN. As currently envisioned, Shibboleth will work over HTTP and LDAP; the project is also coordinating with a related corporate standards effort (SAML, the Security Assertion Markup Language) via OASIS.
- MACE-Dir is starting work on large-scale linking of *affiliated directories*; the Grid is one of the principal drivers of this work.
With respect to Shibboleth, Tyler pointed out that it will be a challenge to convince video and VoIP people to use anything they perceive to be a web-based tool. As the telephony world has already provided standardized approaches to authentication, and as many devices already authenticate themselves using these approaches, typing your information into a web-based screen will seem somewhat unnecessary and unattractive. Against this, Bob pointed out that "everyone already either ignores security or does it their own way"; on the other hand, H.235 appears to be PKI-based, and therefore faces the same obstacles as any other PKI. Tyler noted that H.235 also supports passwords, and cited H.225 Annex G as a promising approach to interrealm communication and sharing of resources. There was general agreement that VidMid needs to further investigate the Shibboleth approach for video. Egon asked if the directory of directories for Higher Education (DoDHE) would be concerned with videoconferencing; Jill pointed the group to Art Vandenberg and DoDHE lead Michael Gettes, who are working on a detailed proposal for the DoDHE. Ken described the DoDHE as a centralized deposit service for indexed information about people on campuses, and noted that due to the large number of duplicate results that the service can be expected to produce, the user-interface piece of this project will be particularly important.
There was general agreement that VidMid should make a high priority of producing scenarios for the use of middleware for various video technologies. Ken clarified the scope decision taken on the last call; while the group agreed to an initial focus on videoconferencing (comparable to MACE-Dir's initial focus on eduPerson), this was not intended to preclude later involvement in, and therefore immediate production of scenarios for, middleware for other video technologies. Also, middleware developed for one type of video is likely to apply to others as well. A short discussion affirmed the place of video data collaboration, streaming video, video on demand, and voice over IP in VidMid's work. [AI] Tyler will draft videoconferencing and VoIP scenarios for discussion on the May 29 call. [AI] Mairead will draft streaming and video-on-demand scenarios for discussion on the May 29 call.
Ken asked the group if there is a case to be made against SIP; no one on the call knew of any anti-SIP material. Tyler noted that there is a firm alliance between SIP and H.323; direct peer-to-peer is the alternative to the SIP-H.323 way of doing things, but is not yet well developed.
Finally, Tyler provided a short introduction to his thinking on accounting and billing issues for VidMid, stressing the importance of having "an integrated framework for everything". Jill noted that while Dave Lambert has produced a good model, based on how the cable companies do things, it's based on one-way delivery and is not a good match for Internet video. [AI] Tyler will produce a short writeup of his ideas on accounting and billing middleware as an essential part of an integrated framework for VoIP and video applications.
The next call will take place on Tuesday, May 29, at 15:00 UTC, which is 8am on the Pacific coast of the US and 5pm in the Netherlands.
[AI] Tyler will try to get RADVISION involved in VidMid.
[AI] Mary Fran will ask Bob Dixon to see if he can get Polycom involved in VidMid.
[AI] Ted will contact Todd Needham to reschedule the Microsoft-Internet2 meeting on videoconferencing.
[AI] Ken will try to get Microsoft involved in VidMid.
[AI] Ken will send SIP URLs to Ben C. for the VidMid web site.
[AI] Tyler will draft videoconferencing and VoIP scenarios for discussion on the May 29 call.
[AI] Mairead will draft streaming and video-on-demand scenarios for discussion on the May 29 call.
[AI] Tyler will produce a short writeup of his ideas on accounting and billing middleware as an essential part of an integrated framework for VoIP and video applications.