During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for videoconferencing services has been growing, and with it, the load on the service platforms. Thanks to its participation in the EU-funded EaPConnect project, the Ukrainian Research and Academic Network URAN received servers for its digital cloud infrastructure, where its videoconferencing platform WebClass was created and has now been enhanced to allow more people to meet online.
How was it before?
WebClass is based on the BigBlueButton platform – an opensource software which is convenient and easy to use. Initially, research and educational institutions in Ukraine held WebClass events for a small number of participants and the system coped well with the load. Up to 150-200 people could use the platform simultaneously.
However, the need for online events grew, and with it grew the popularity of the service and the number of participants. It happened that several institutions held several events at the same time (for example, streaming lectures in universities), and the total number of participants reached 300 people or more. Then the limitations of the platform became clear – this load was excessive and URAN had to find a solution.
A disadvantage of our platform was the inability to scale it up and increase the capacity of the service, because BigBlueButton is not an industrial solution but is designed for private deployment within small organisations. With the help of the servers we received through EaPConnect, we were able to make the needed changes and scale up our videoconferencing support.”
How is it now?
URAN technicians implemented a solution based on the Scalelite load balancer, which allows you to scale up BigBlueButton and dynamically change the platform’s capacity by adding the required number of servers as needed. Each server can withstand a load of 150-200 participants, so now WebClass can hold large events for several institutions.
How to use?
Access to URAN’s WebClass platform is available with federated login (single-sign-on).