Live Streaming Music & Messaging
for Cisco® VVB and CUCM

Exclusively from Easy On Hold®, a Cisco® Solution Partner

Streaming Queue Music for VVB Validated by Cisco® in February 2020

In the Spring of 2019, Easy On Hold® was chosen by Cisco® to develop the only Cisco-supported solution for streaming live content into VVB for callers in queue. The solution, provided both in the cloud and on-premise, has been fully validated by Cisco® for use in VVB version 12.5.

"We are excited to offer this solution to telecom professionals seeking an alternative to static files," said Easy On Hold® CEO Julie Brown.

  • Cloud-based streaming queue music is approved and best used for installations of up to 500 concurrent connections
  • For more than 500 concurrent connections (calls on hold) a premise based solution is available (VM Ware)
  • Beta testing is taking place at this time. If you would like to participate, please contact us.

    Free Consultation

    Contact us for a no-obligation consultation on using streaming moh in your Cisco installations.

    Streaming Queue Music For VVB Overview

    Questreamer Software for Local Appliance:

    The appliance is typically installed on-premise, on a LAN segment to be close to the VVB servers. The appliance maintains a live connection over the internet to a high quality https audio stream. That audio stream is locally transcoded and server to many local VVB clients, which received the audio as a decoded PCM stream.

    QueueStreamer® Dashboard Page

    Appliance Details

  • PC Appliance which can be imported to run on VMWare or Virtualbox virtual machines
  • Recommended machine is 1 core CPU, 1 GB RAM, 10 GB hard disk per appliance
  • Appliance uses a minimal installation of UBUNTU 18.04 LTS server, or equivalent
  • Appliance application runs within a Docker container environment
  • Number of clients

  • Server will handle multiple concurrent connections
  • Server has been tested with to handle over 1500 audio listener clients concurrently on a single appliance
  • VVB Client

  • Makes connections to the QueueStreamer PCM server
  • Handling of lost streams: client needs to recognize lost stream and attempt reconnect
  • After retry attempts are exhausted, client should fallback to an alternative source
  • If required, a load balancer / reverse proxy or a DNS approach can be used to provide redundancy between multiple QueueStreamer appliance instances
  • VVB Clients can be configured to access both local server or cloud hosted QueueStreamer servers
  • Status Monitoring

  • QueueStreamer provides a monitoring server with usage statistics and diagnostic information. This also enables remote configuration to allow remote support of the appliance.
  • Testing

  • Multiple client types tested: vvb, as well as curl, wget, ffplay, chrome, edge, firefox browsers (among others)
  • Cloud Streaming Service

    Cloud-based streaming queue music is approved and best used for installations of up to 500 concurrent connections. For more than 500 concurrent connections (calls on hold) a premise based solution is available (VM Ware)

    Number of clients

  • Each uniqe stream will handle multiple concurrent connections
  • Cloud solution has been tested with to handle over 500 audio listener clients on a single stream
  • Multiple cloud streams of any content can be created to supply more concurrent listeners
  • VVB Client

  • Makes connections to the QueueStreamer PCM server
  • Handling of lost streams: client needs to recognize lost stream and attempt reconnect
  • After retry attempts are exhausted, client should fallback to an alternative source
  • If required, a load balancer / reverse proxy or a DNS approach can be used to provide redundancy between multiple QueueStreamer appliance instances
  • VVB Clients can be configured to access both local server or cloud hosted QueueStreamer servers
  • Status Monitoring

  • Stream status and connectivity is continuously monitored; statistics avaialable on Easy On Hold® client portal
  • Testing

  • Multiple client types tested: vvb, as well as curl, wget, ffplay, chrome, edge, firefox browsers (among others)

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager

    Streaming Music On Hold (rtp)

    Frequently, Easy On Hold® receives requests for a streaming Cisco hold music solution. CUCM music on hold can now in the form of an rtp stream Call Manager can play.

    Rather than playing a music on hold audio file as the default MOH source, CUCM can use a multicast IP address to stream content such as custom messages, legal music and even licensed hit music by popular artists. The new Easy On Hold® 2-Channel Business Audio System can be configured to output an rtp stream CUCM likes. Think of it as an rtp music server.

    Note: Not available for CUCM version 10.5 (May, 2014) or earlier.

    How Cisco CUCM Music Stream Works

    Because the CUCM multicast is a broadcast, the RTP stream provided by the EOH 2-C BAS can be a resource to play music and messages on any number of lines. Essentially, Easy On Hold® provides the end-user a music-control portal used to set content preferences. Then, an https .mp3 stream is integrated into the EOH 2-C BAS device on-premise. The EOH device transcodes the content to an rtp stream on an IP address for the CUCM to broadcast.

    Why is the device needed?

    Cisco CUCM will not recognize a stream in http. Nor will it allow use of a streaming MOH source that is not hosted on its own network. Therefore, we mount a device on the Cisco network and let it do all the work of generating an acceptable RTP stream. The 2-C BAS device receives the stream from the EOH servers and broadcasts the rtp audio stream over the same, single ethernet connection.

    2 Channel Business Audio System for Cisco Music On Hold

    COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT NOTICE

    All music on hold must be properly licensed, either through the appropriate Performing Rights Organization in your country, or a licensed provider, such as Easy On Hold®. Beware of your licensing liabilities before putting music on hold.

    Setting up your Cisco Hold Music Stream

    Cisco streaming MOH set up diagram-A

    We identified the specific multicast group we were going to use for this application as a general pre-requisite before configuring CUCM. Next we configured an audio source in CUCM that leveraged the Sample Audio Source file but associated it to a new audio source ID (ID 2, in our setup). The reason we used a real audio source file is that if the media consumer (i.e.the device placed on hold) was not on a multicast network, we still wanted to send MoH. It would just be the Cisco sample audio source.

    Audio Source Configuration

    • Audio Stream Number: 2
    • Audio Source File: SampleAudioSource
    • Audio Source Name: BarixSoundFile
    • Play Continuously: enabled
    • Allow multi-casting: enabled

    MoH Server Configuration
    We only associate the multicast capabilities to one of the CUCM IPVMS nodes. This MoH server was configured as follows:

    • Run Flag: Yes
    • Multi-cast IP Address: 239.192.1.1
    • Multi-cast port number: 16384
    • Increment multi-cast on: IP Address

    Media Resource Group

    We create two media resource groups (MRGs). The MoH server is assigned to both MRGs. The only difference between the two is that one MRG is multicast enabled, while the other is not.

    Media Resource Group List

    We created at least two media resource group lists (MRGLs). One of these MRGLs contained the multicast-enabled MRG, while the other does not. The latter is assigned to devices on networks incapable of routing multicast, while the former is associated to devices that are on multicast-enabled networks.

    Questions About Multicast

    Multicast may not be enabled across all the subnets on your Cisco system. Multicast must be enabled across the entire V-Lan or subnets in order for all locations to access the MOH stream. The Barix Instreamer basically is presenting the RTP stream to the network in the form of an IP address, to offer MOH to virtual installations. If a soundcard is available, check with Cisco on the USB to audio connector that was popular before VM was commonplace.

    Case study shown is an example of one application of the streaming audio solution for Cisco UCM. Please contact Easy On Hold® for more information. Cisco is a registered trademark of the Cisco Systems Inc and is here used as reference only.

    Why streaming is a better solution

    • Audio is a clear 128k stream, not a compressed 8 bit audio file.
    • No need to continuously manage audio files.
    • Marketing content is streamed from customer portal by Easy On Hold.
    • Automated message scheduling is handled by the Easy On Hold Server.
    • Priority scheduling: more important content plays more often.
    • Flexible: just log in to your Easy On Hold account to make changes any time.
    • Low bandwidth consumption.

    Download the streaming MOH Technical Brief

    image of cover of the report, Streaming MOH

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