[Freeswitch-users] mod_conference scalability

Brian brian at proximosystems.com
Fri Dec 18 12:16:28 PST 2009

Hi  Michael,


Thanks for the invite, but I can't make it on the call. Anyway, I'm not sure
if discussing my specific case is meant for that type of call, is it?


After Brian's suggestion to use shoutcast and local streams, I was looking
at the code for those modules. I'm not familiar with shoutcast or icecast
capabilities, so I don't know if they can just pass though my audio stream
unchanged (as uLaw packets). I want to avoid converting from uLaw to mp3 on
the source server, and then back from mp3 to uLaw (or whatever phone codec)
on the other server. 


I was wondering if maybe there was a way to make a stream out of an existing
channel, and have all the other channels just listen to that stream. It
would be sort of halfway between conference and shoutcast. I would call in
to the secondary server like I already do, but only instead of entering into
a conference as a speaker, the channel would just start producing a local
audio stream for the listener channels to tap into. It would avoid the need
to have another piece of software to manage (shoutcast or icecast), and my
support team would be happier...


However, I would still need to do tests for the streaming idea to see how
that scales...





From: Michael Collins [mailto:msc at freeswitch.org] 
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 2:33 PM
To: freeswitch-users at lists.freeswitch.org
Subject: Re: [Freeswitch-users] mod_conference scalability



On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Brian <brian at proximosystems.com> wrote:

I was evaluating the technologies available, and I thought you would be
interested in my results. However, almost every other reply I get from you
to my posts, rather than being helpful, has been hostile and insulting.

Thanks for your input. Just so you know, Tony deals with people on a near
daily basis who want to spend time doing crazy schemes under the guise of
"load testing" or "researching a new solution" which are not grounded in
reality. At first blush this scenario sounded like one of those schemes.
However it definitely looks like you've built a test scenario that mimics
reality better than most. I think we can give you a pass for not being able
to get 500 people all at once to call in every time you need to test. :) 


My scenario is not a hypothetical one of "having robots call the conference
in a way that probably does not match reality". In fact, this will very much
reflect the reality of the application I'm building. Only instead of 300
listeners, I need to scale to over 2000 listeners minimum - per event, with
possibly more than one concurrent event. I want to pack as many listeners on
one server as I can. I'm trying to find a real solution to a real problem.

That kind of volume suggests that the icecast style solution would be best.
It takes much less resources to send audio in one direction than it does to
mix audio from multiple parties.  I like bkw's initial suggestion of
transferring a caller to the conference only when he/she needs to speak,
such as to ask a question. Like Tony mentioned, his focus is on quality not
quantity, so mod_conference probably isn't the best tool for this scenario.


I work with other open source projects and fund enhancements or fixes I
need. FreeSWITCH would be no different. 


Excellent! It looks like we don't already have a canned solution, obviously,
but as bkw likes to say, all the Lego bricks are there to build the
solution.  Hop on IRC (#freeswitch in irc.freenode.net) or join the weekly
conference which is going on right now and you might catch some of the devs
and leading community members and you can chat in real-time about your
challenges. (http://wiki.freeswitch.org/wiki/FS_weekly_2009_12_14)



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