Avaya Adds MCUs, Video Assessment To Radvision Lineup

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Avaya Tuesday confirmed major additions to its Radvision videoconferencing portfolio, including video network assessment tools and a new multipoint control unit (MCU) said to reduce per-port HD video costs by 50 percent compared to other vendors.

New to the Radvision lineup is the Scopia Elite 6000 Series, an MCU capable of delivering 1,080p 60fps communications while driving down overall bandwidth requirements according to Avaya. Specifically, it provides H.264 Scalable Video Coding, multistream immersive telepresence, support for up to 40 full 1,080p HD ports on a single 1U video system, and a range of meeting controls.

"We've seen some partial support on competitive products, but this is the first time you're seeing 1080p 60 support for an MCU like this," Lawrence Byrd, Avaya director of collaboration, told CRN. "We've taken a standard Intel server, put a lot of functionality inside the software and added DSP accelerators to give us the performance, all in a 1U package."

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Key to the 6000 Series its its software-hardware approach, Byrd said.

"The pure software approach, while it sounds good, you're not getting a lot of capacity on each individual server, so you need lots and lots of servers if you want that level of capacity," Byrd said.

The MCU supports both Scopia Desktop and Scopia Mobile endpoints and integrates with Avaya's recently released Scopia Management System. Scopia Elite MCUs are interoperable with any standards-based telepresence system, including models from Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize.

Avaya Tuesday also released Evident, a set of video network readiness testing and monitoring tools. They include PreVideo, which allows network administrators to fault-test their networks for VoIP and HD video; RVMON, which provides realtime QoE monitoring of audio and video communications; and VQInsider, which tests voice and video quality by measuring the network and audio/video codecs.

The tools were developed by a Radvision R&D group and previously were only available to service providers.

"We've made it more deployable both for customers and for systems integrators that are going to be deploying audio and video on the network," said Bob Romano, Radvision global vice president for marketing. "We'll push this through enterprise channels."

Avaya acquired Radvision for about $230 million in June 2012 and in October opened up the broader Avaya Connect channel to sales of Radvision's Scopia products.

In December, Avaya enabled three-screen audio, video and data sharing between the Scopia TIP Gateway and Cisco video endpoints, making Scopia video products compatible with systems from all major competitors. It also added video capabilities to Avaya Aura Conference, supporting up to 7,500 concurrent or 75,000 total users using SVC-based switching.

While Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize all saw challenges related to their video businesses in 2012, Radvision actually grew, Byrd and Romano said.

"We took share," Romano told CRN. "And you're seeing more of our partners really embrace this."


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