No need to download or install software.
Everything you need to web conference should already be on any computer - whether you are at work, home, an Internet café, hotel or a friend’s place.
Accessible from anywhere.
Access needs to be quick and easy no matter where you are in the world, regardless of existing firewalls.
An Internet service needs to be as reliable as a desktop application – always ready, always on.
Client-less for Easy Access
Highly Redundant Server Infrastructure
It's so small you'll hardly notice this but the Virtualmerge client file size, inclusive of all components, language elements and graphics, is so small it will download in a matter of seconds. This means it can be downloaded every time you access a conference room, with minimum effort.
Taking part in an Virtualmerge session is similar to visiting any other website - you just navigate to a URL in your web browser by typing in the address or clicking on a link. Wait for the session to load and connect. The process is equally easy for moderators.
This platform is very different from our competitors, many of whom claim to be “client-less” but are not. Some rely on less common third party technology such as Sun Java to be installed on your machine. While Java is cross-platform technology it is only installed in about 65% of internet-enabled computers compared to the more popular Flash® plug-in Virtualmerge , almost ubiquitous at 99.9% penetration. There are two reasons for this: firstly the Flash® plug-in is approx 1MB and easy to download, whereas Java Virtual Machine is approx 23 MB. Secondly, popular services such as YouTube®, video portals and websites require Flash® to function, meaning users will happily install the plug-in, if it is not already installed.
Another technology you will find used by our competitors is ActiveX - a Windows®-only technology and usually requires the download and launch of an executable file (.exe). Due to the dangers of picking up embedded viruses, many customers find this off-putting.
Other competitors require the installation of entire applications, which is even more intrusive. Effectively this means people you want to present to online (e.g. customers or clients) may be unwilling or unable to install these applications just to receive your information. Additionally, virus savvy corporations often block employees from installing applications with high security restrictions.
Cost is another advantage of a client-less application. Installed applications need to be updated, fixed and maintained. With Virtualmerge however, every time a newer version, an improved feature or a fix for a security issue or bug arises, only the central server needs to be updated - leaving you free to get on with the business of doing business. IT and support savings are hard to quantify, but partners and clients tell us their support levels dropped by over 90% after they switched from client-based solutions to Virtualmerge - translating to considerable savings for them!
If you can watch YouTube® you can use Virtualmerge ™.
Forget about firewalls - Virtualmerge works with 99% of firewalls without prior configuration.
Security is a major concern today and rightly so. Personal computers today come with a built-in firewall, and multiple security layers protect corporate networks. This keeps unwanted intruders out but it can also cause difficulty for streaming internet applications such as web conferencing, as firewalls identify such traffic and shut it down.
Virtualmerge solves this by using an RTMP connection on standard ports. If this fails, Virtualmerge will re-attempt connection via RTMPT, or http tunneling. This disguises Virtualmerge’s packets as http packets, by changing their header information to that of standard internet traffic, enabling access through 99% of firewalls.
Virtualmerge’s RTMP packets are not UDP but TCP. This provides higher reliability in varying network scenarios since TCP is a “reliable” protocol, guaranteeing arrival of all data. Additionally, TCP is supported in all networks, UDP is often restricted making it easier to deploy. Virtualmerge will typically connect on ports 1935, 443 and 80, in that order. If the standardized port for RTMP 1935 is not open, Virtualmerge will attempt port 443 and then port 80. These two ports are the standard ports for SSL and website traffic, and therefore almost always open.
For strict corporate firewalls which may apply state full packet inspection and thus prevent RTMP traffic, Virtualmerge will automatically open a tunneled connection and wrap its data in HTTP packets to increase the likelihood of a successful connection - our expert technical support staff will work with you to get Virtualmerge up-and-running quickly and smoothly. Please contact us for further information.
Online services need reliability to serve high demand business users, and a web conferencing platform must be available wherever and whenever you need it.
Virtualmerge’s Service Level Agreements guarantee you 99.9% uptime on our hosted services.
Our global infrastructure provides the best connectivity and lowest possible latency at all times. As web conferencing is often international, with users connecting from across the world, the best server may not necessarily be the one closest to you. Our support staff will advise you on which particular servers will give you the best performance.
We only use top of the range hardware, optimized for high speed streaming performance and minimum server response time. We ensure surplus capacity at all times - even during peak hours. The system is backed-up on several levels so Virtualmerge works wherever or whenever you need it.
Contact us to find out more about our dedicated hosting plans and to discuss the levels of redundancy and security Virtualmerge can provide you with.
Virtualmerge is an online service with desktop availability – always on.
Security is a major concern to all customers, and rightly so. Web conferencing connects people as if they were in the same room, and the information shared should flow freely but be as confidential as you need.
We secure live video and audio communications from the moment of connection. Highly sophisticated authentication technology ensures that people who connect to any conference are who they say they are, and only connect with the tools they are authorised to connect with. The Virtualmerge client authenticates itself against the communication server prior to establishing connection, and the location of the Virtualmerge client is also verified - permitting access from authorised sources only. Only after the application connecting to the server has been verified do we authorise your authentication credentials - providing two levels of independent security.
No compromise - your data is always protected.
As video and audio communications are streamed live from client to server and then on to other participants, there is no caching of data. At no time is any information saved on the viewer’s computer, not even when watching a streaming recorded Virtualmerge session. This avoids the possibility of anyone raiding the browser cache and saving unauthorized information to the desktop. During transmission of audio and video data, Virtualmerge uses the RTMP protocol by Adobe. This is a proprietary protocol (unlike RTSP or HTTP, used by some of our competitors), which automatically reduces security threats.
Never run out of capacity. Scale into the 1000’s.
Scaling a multi-user server application is very different from scaling typical web applications whereby users access information on their own, because live information must be replicated across distributed servers in real time and at low latency. Virtualmerge’s origin-edge technology makes this possible without any perceptible difference for your users.
A single Virtualmerge server can support up to 1000 concurrent users in a single room or across rooms. If your deployment scenario requires higher capacity and Virtualmerge is deployed across multiple machines either in the same or in dispersed locations, on connection, your users will automatically be routed to a server with free capacity and/or optimal connectivity.
Our servers are high-end machines, with ample system and bandwidth resources to cope with high peaks in user numbers and traffic with no noticeable loss in performance. We achieve this by ensuring our servers are never overbooked, and that they connect to the internet backbone with the shortest possible distance at the highest possible speed.
All our customers confirm that no other web conferencing solution offers the same fluidity in conversation as Virtualmerge does.
Providing the highest quality internet connectivity and performance is one of our top priorities. Together with our partners, we work with premium Tier-1 bandwidth providers, ensuring minimal latency and fast connections to all points of the global Internet.
Traverse oceans in milliseconds.
Enjoy optimal performance under any network condition.
To create a stunning user experience under any network conditions, Virtualmerge uses Adobe’s Real Time Messaging Protocol, specifically designed for low latency network communications. In low bandwidth scenarios, the protocol will firstly drop video packets, then audio packets, and as a last resort data packets.
Understanding this behavior allows Virtualmerge to be optimized for any network condition. In a collaborative environment, crystal clear and low latency audio communication is crucial. So if bandwidth becomes a bottleneck, the user will experience a lower frame rate video, prior to experiencing any cuts or delays in the audio. No user interaction is required, because this behavior is automatic with Virtualmerge.
RTMP is a TCP-based protocol, maintaining a single persistent connection between client and server. It has the ability to split video and data into fragments to enable reliable communication in taxing environments.
. The communication protocol can be further customized, whereby you can fully configure video quality, frame rate resolution and audio sample rates - giving both users and system administrator’s full control over their bandwidth environment.
Launch Virtualmerge sessions from anywhere with a single click, whatever application you interface with.
We have a lot of experience of custom requests for Virtualmerge to operate out of the most diverse set of web applications. They range from professional proprietary Learning Management Systems such as WebCT or Blackboard, to open Virtualmerge technologies such as Noodle, Drupal or Mambo CMS. In some cases, we have even been approached by companies who are building an entire business model around Virtualmerge and need to launch branded, customized sessions directly from their own web application. For this reason we created our Application Programming Interface (API).
Our account centre API is powerful enough to allow you to perform approximately 90% of all functions from outside the Virtualmerge platform. You can launch sessions from anywhere within your application, retrieve lists of scheduled sessions, and even edit and delete scheduling data. The same flexibility applies with recordings and user records.
Our in-room API allows you to create customized experiences, hooking straight into the shared collaborative space model that Virtualmerge employs.
Please browse around our customers section to learn more about how clients have used Virtualmerge’s API to create some truly astounding interactive environments.
Cross Platform Compatible
Virtualmerge will always work, whatever computer you or your audience are connecting from.
If you are launching a large webinar, you have little control over what computer system your audience might be using to access it. Any system that is not compatible is automatically disqualified from participating - not a favorable option.
Even in a small web meeting, a participant may be travelling and accessing from an unknown computer, and installing software takes time. Excluding them from the meeting altogether is not an option.
So we designed Virtualmerge to be fully cross-platform compatible.
The Virtualmerge client software is designed to work on any computer system that can run Adobe Flash Player®, meaning it will run on Microsoft® Windows®, Apple OS X®, various distributions of Linux® and Sun Solaris™. Virtualmerge will even run on Windows® PocketPCs for true on the road access.
Virtualmerge is extremely efficient with bandwidth, and you can enjoy high quality, low-latency video conferences using modern mobile UMTS/3G cards, or even lower fidelity and audio calls using GPRS/EDGE network cards. Contact us to find out more about web conferencing from anywhere - even the most remote of locations.
For more detailed system specifications and server platform requirements, please refer to our knowledge base.
TCP ports 1935, 443 and 80
Additionally, using RTMPS, streams can be encrypted via SSL to 128kbit level. Custom authentication schemes validate the SSL connection prior to passing any data from the server to a client. Real time encryption is also provided, through use of the RTMPE protocol. This real time encryption thwarts third party applications attempting to “rip” the data from the transmitted streams, because only Virtualmerge is able to decode the data transmitted from the server to the client.
In addition to protecting your streams, all other file types you move in and out of Virtualmerge are protected by SSL encryption at all times. This provides the highest level of standard industry protection for your confidential data.
Access logs provide historic feedback on any access to sessions, streams or files, with full information about attempted security violations and IP tracking.
Ultimately, the only reliable means of maintaining a high security standard is evolution. To fight security threats, we continuously monitor and update our systems, adding new security features as they appear, reacting quickly to threats as they are identified, and reworking our security strategies to proactively avoid intrusion.
Virtualmerge security model
The edge server frees up valuable system and network resources by multiplexing connections from a large number of users into one single connection. Because every attempt to connect as well as the actual connections consume resources in addition to the actual stream data flow, bundling multiple connections into one link greatly increases the server’s ability to handle larger numbers of users. This process is completely transparent to clients.
Cluster with single origin
Origin/Edge deployment scenario
In short, edge servers distribute the load of connection requests, conserving bandwidth and system resources for high-volume conferences.
Edge servers can be deployed at geographically dispersed locations and within different networks - allowing you to channel high bandwidth stream data past connection bottlenecks and replicating this data to clients once a more favorable network environment is reached.it