Frequently Asked Questions





What are the main eduCONF services

eduCONF provides three main services:

  1. The automated eduCONF VC system test , enabling users to launch test connections to and from their IP or SIP URI addressed videoconference systems and increase the confidence of a successful connection.
  2. The eduCONF Directory of H.323 videoconference endpoints, enabling users to search for videoconference equipped locations and connection details.
  3. The Global Dialing Scheme (GDS) Gatekeeper Monitoring Service , enabling GDS administrators within NRENs and globally to see a live status of the supporting gatekeeper system and receive email alerts if a section of the GDS is unavailable.

External services also supported by eduCONF are:

  1. Directory API
  2. NRENum.net Registration.

What is the eduCONF VC System Test?

The test is an easy way to check whether your system is reachable from another external VC system (in this case an eduCONF test system) and you are able to call outside (back to the educonf test system). You will receive an overview on the details of your system, that you can pass on to your collaborators to call you. You can also assess the reasons for any partial failures and learn how to make sure your system is as accessible as possible.

Who can use it?

The service is provided by GEANT for the primary use of Education and Research Networks worldwide, but the test can be performed by anyone with an H.323 videoconference system with an H.323 (IP, GDS) or SIP URI address.

H.323 or SIP. Which test should I choose?

You can select to run one or both tests. Your VC system will have been configured by your system administrator to have either a SIP or H.323 address, or sometimes both.

You may be able to identify which type of test is required for your system, but if in doubt just try both tests and see which one works.

H.323

If your videoconference system use H.323 then it can be called on an IP address [which looks like four groups of number with dots between e.g. 193.198.203.248]  or an e.164 number [which looks like a long international telephone number e.g. 003857580949999] then choose the H.323 test.

SIP

If your VC system uses SIP (many modern Desktop systems do) then you will have a SIP URI address [which looks like an email address and often includes an @ symbol e.g. VCsystem@educonf.net] then you need to select to do a SIP test. To do the SIP test you will need to dial letters, which can be difficult from some controllers.

Pass or Fail. What do the results mean?

If you pass all the tests it means that the eduCONF test system has been able to successfully connect to your VC system by either IP, GDS or SIP.  You will then have the option to set a location for your VC system and add the details to the eduCONF Directory for others to find.

If your VC system fails any part of the test this is often because the eduCONF test virtual endpoints did not receive a call from your system on the address provided, or the cannot call back your system on the address detected. It is often best to contact your institutional IT Support to advise you further, but some common reasons for failure are described below. if you believe that there may be an issue with the eduCONF testing service then please inform us immediately.  

Common Reasons for Failure

No connection to the internet

Firewall restrictions for incoming video or audio and/or NAT issues  

Unable to register with your gatekeeper

IP address misconfiguration of an endpoint

What is an eduCONF Certificate?

An eduCONF certificate is offered following a successful test of a videoconference system. The certificate is available on the final page of the testing process or if you return to your VC system details page to edit the details. You can download the certificate as a PDF and print it.

How do I add a VC system to the Directory?

To add a VC system to the directory you need to perform the VC System test. As soon as your VC system passes the test you can choose to add it into the directory. This makes your VC system visible to other directory users.

What can I use the Directory for?

You can search for available VC systems either in your location to be able to participate in a meeting or distant VC systems by your partners to reach them or invite them to a call.

Which systems appear in the eduCONF Directory?

The Directory includes VC systems added by their users or imported from collaborating directories. VC systems added directly to the eduCONF directory must pass the automated test to be sure that they are reachable.

What is Gatekeeper monitoring?

The eduCONF gatekeeper monitoring service monitors the global network of H.323 gatekeepers that enable videoconferencing calls to connect via the Global Dialing Scheme (GDS).

 

Monitoring periodically performs scheduled calls between all participating

Gatekeepers (usually at national level). That means a complete bidirectional path between every pair of gatekeepers is tested. Virtual H.323 test endpoints, running

on the GEANT service infrastructure are registered to the gatekeepers under test.

 

The first stage of each test is endpoint registration on each gatekeeper. Successful registration is a prerequisite for testing. Calls are then routed between the registered virtual endpoints. The same rules will apply to real calls. Exact call routing depends on the configured routing rules applied to the gatekeepers involved in the call. This may include the GDS infrastructure, ENUM/NRENUM based routing and static peers.

 

Results are available on the eduCONF service, and optional email alerts can inform gatekeeper managers of any failed tests, and encourage them to investigate further.

National Gatekeeper Status, and the availability of GDS in a country will appear on the Live Status map.

 

Who is eligible to use the gatekeeper monitoring service?

Managers of H.323 Gatekeepers at World, National, and Regional level are all invited to use the service. Managers should represent an organisation in the Education or Research sector. GEANT will manually approve requests to join the monitoring service, and retains the right to select participants.

 

How do I add a gatekeeper to the gatekeeper monitoring service?

 

To add a gatekeeper to the monitoring service. Log in and request an account upgrade to Gatekeeper Manager in your profile page. This is a manual authorisation process managed by GEANT to ensure the appropriate management.  Once authorization is granted you will receive an email informing you of this.

 

You can then choose “+add new Gatekeeper to monitoring”, from the eduCONF home page or once you have logged in.

Fill in information about your gatekeeper(s): Name; IP address; two GDS numbers and contact details. Two GDS numbers are needed to register test virtual endpoints at your gatekeeper. One number is used as the origin for outgoing calls and one for the destination for incoming calls. Be sure that there are no limits on your side either on network or call admission level and the numbers will not used by any other endpoints.

You can also choose whether you want to receive email notifications about any failed tests.

What is NRENum.net?

From a technology point of view NRENum.net is a DNS ENUM look up service that allows translation of telephone numbers to H.323 or SIP URIs that are used to reach IP telephony and VC systems. The NRENum.net Service is an end-user ENUM service run by the GÉANT Association (formerly TERENA) and participating NRENs (National Research and Education Networking organisations). The service is aimed primarily at IT administration and services within academia.

If you are representative of a NREN willing to participate you can fill a Delegation Reguest Form https://educonf.geant.org/delegationform.php  to obtain your E.164 country code delegation. If you are representing an institution willing to participate check the list of member https://nrenum.net/members/ to see whether your country joined and who you should contact to obtain prefix delegation.

Who do I contact for help?

Use email educonf-support@geant.net  or the contact form on the website to send your requests.