What’s really BIG at CERN – the research organization that focuses on the smallest objects in the universe?
I’m not talking about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider that has been used to identify the Higgs boson. Nope, it’s the size of their VidyoConferencing deployment and its utilization.
Throughout 2012, the client downloads rose slowly from about 2000 to just under 14,000. Then, in January, the Vidyo service fully took the load and downloads exploded by more than 10,000 downloads to almost 24,000 in just five months.
But it’s not just the number of users that’s impressive, it’s how CERN leverages visual collaboration in their research. They are peaking 600 simultaneous connections at precise points in any given day. Some of these meetings may be small, connecting individuals to other individuals, or can be even larger, connecting groups with groups — in all, these meetings are averaging 2000 total connections a day. But it is the ability to hold large meetings that is really important to CERN’s collaborations. Since CERN started using Vidyo, they’ve had over 1400 meetings where the number of participants ranged between 25–50 connections. And this is all on a self-managed system with a worldwide deployment connecting people with mobile devices, laptops and room systems including legacy H.323 systems.
Two of CERN’s largest research experiments are ATLAS and CMS which are the largest international scientific collaborations in history, involving thousands of particle physicists, engineers, technicians, students and support staff from hundreds of universities and institutes. In April 2013 alone, ATLAS had 1860 Vidyo meetings and CMS had 1183 Vidyo meetings.
Steven Goldfarb, Outreach and Education Coordinator for ATLAS describes why Vidyo is so important to their mission:
“Much of our research is done outside of CERN, maybe 10 percent of us are here at CERN. We have to remain connected all of the time. That’s the only way to be able to make decisions and contribute to those decisions as a collaboration.”
In the video conferencing world, numbers like the ones discussed here are amazing numbers. CERN’s self-managed deployment involves more than 20 VidyoRouters spanning the world and 11 VidyoGateways clustered in three locations across the network. Users may connect over wired or wireless connections, and they are able to have large
multi-user meetings. Don’t you agree that this is simply incredible?
Note: you can look at this data yourself on CERN’s public dashboard: http://avc-dashboard.web.cern.ch/Vidyo.