Conference Tool

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Overview

The Conference Tool helps sales teams to create a network experience for a group of users. Customers can access these via Access Codes or by connecting to their unique SSID that’s been scheduled and created for their event. We set out to ensure it was as easy to setup a private network experience for an event as it is to set up an outlook calendar appointment. It can be managed by sales and free your IT team.

For an in-depth look at the Conference Tool, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewhr3nH49fw

Conference Home

Figure 1 - Conference Home - Conferences

The Conference Home is the initial screen you will see when entering the Conference Tool. From this screen you can create, edit and view Conferences; view your conferences within a convenient Calendar view and view, create and send the Message of the Day.

Conferences

The Conference Tab within Conference Home is your main overview of conferences that have been setup by your team. You can see the Name, Start Date, End Date, Recurrences, Locations, The Passphrase, Security Level and The Conference Status.

Each Conference within the table has numerous actions available. These are View, Edit, Clone and Delete.

Calendar
Figure 2 - Calendar Overview

The Calendar Overview is simply a convenient way to view upcoming conferences, allowing users to better gauge time between conferences. Clicking on conferences that are active within the Calendar allows you to enter the Dashboard for that Conference.

Message of the Day

Send messages out to your delegates and notify them of changing details around the conference. These messages are viewable within the Platform and through the dedicated external organiser dashboard.

Add Conference

You can add a conference from anywhere in Conference Home. Simply click on the floating action button at the bottom right of the screen. This will take you into Conference Setup.



Conference Setup

The Conference Setup screen has been designed specifically to guide you through the conference setup, you don’t need to be a technical expert.

Details
Figure 3 - Inputting Details


The details Waypoint allows you to define the Conference Name, the start and end dates (duration), whether the event is an all day event and/or a recurring event.

You can also assign a contact that will receive updates upon completion of the conference, any updates that may occur during the conference and once the conference has ended.

Location
Figure 4 - Adding Locations

The Locations Waypoint lets you define where your conference network will be seen. These locations will be setup as part of your site setup and should already be available. Individual wall ports can be included, to bring wired internet access into the conference experience.

Network
Figure 5 - Configuring the Network

The network waypoint allows you to define the speeds, SSIDs and create access codes. SSIDs can be named to whatever you wish, they can be encrypted or open and you can define whether the Conference will have a portal page or not. There are several over options that can be toggled on or off. These are:

Threshold Limits

Triggers email alerts if usage breaches configured thresholds for bandwidth and devices.

Network Isolation

Enable this for most public networks, client devices will not see each other.

Priority Conference

Allocate uncontended bandwidth with a higher QoS priority.

DHCP Override

Set a private IP range.

Add Access Codes

Individual access codes (Vouchers) can be created to grant access, they can also be used for priority conference members (like a CEO or Presenter) in which they are allocated priority bandwidth.

Portal

A conference portal can include a logo or image for a specific event.

Review
Figure 6 - Reviewing your conference

A review of the conference setup. Contacts that were defined in step one will receive this review once the conference has published.



Conference Dashboard

Figure 7 - Conference Overview


Overview

The conference dashboard overview tab gives the user an overview of devices connected to the network and bandwidth used throughout the conference.

The conference overview tab also contains the link to the external URL that displays the event manager dashboard.

Contact

The contacts tab gives the user a list of conference contacts that have been put into the system upon system creation.

Devices

The devices tab gives the user a list of devices that are connected to the network.

Messages

The messages tab allows you to view and create messages left by your team that are attached to that conference.

Live View
Figure 8 - Live View - External

The live dashboard view can be accessed by anyone via an external URL. This dashboard holds the same information as the platform dashboard but can be given to anyone, despite them not having a login.

FAQ

Deployment Guide

Prerequisites

  • Gateway in managed mode
  • Ruckus SZ version 3.4.2
  • Zone Director version (?)
  • Ruckus SZ/Zone Director API accessible from the internet
  • Conference Tool enabled domain


Introduction

The conference tool provides the ability schedule SSID deployment with network restrictions, such as bandwidth limitations and/or captive portal deployment. It does this by taking advantage of the Ruckus Wireless Smart Zone (SZ) or Zone Director (ZD) API which runs on TCP port 8443 by default, to bring up and tear down SSIDs. The MikroTik plays an integral role in conference deployments, and is manipulated using managed mode to map VLANs to subnets, QoS and enforce bandwidth limiting.

Diagram A - Basic Network Architecture

Diagram A shows how Captive connects to the SZ/ZD and MikroTik HSIA gateway. Please ensure the SZ/ZD is accessible from the internet; as Captive is based on AWS there isn’t a source address list we can provide as IPs can change as the platform scales. The MikroTik “calls home” and there is no need any port forwarding or having an internet facing administration interface.


Ruckus SZ/ZD and Switch configuration

A WLAN group is needed per location; a location is an area within a larger conference space.

Diagram B - Physical Conference Room Setup

Diagram B shows a large single conference hall that can be split into three smaller rooms. Each smaller room can be classed as a location. In this example three WLAN groups named “Room1” “Room2” and “Room3” would need to be created.

Diagram B also shows six green boxes containing numbers, which represent wired ports. Each connected switch port should be configured as an untagged (access) port of different VLANs. For example:

  • port 1 = VLAN 101
  • port 2 = VLAN 102
  • port 3 = VLAN 103
  • port 4 = VLAN 104
  • port 5 = VLAN 105
  • port 6 = VLAN 106

See Diagram C of SZ/ZD configuration:

Diagram C - Example of SZ/ZD Configuration

Captive Initial Setup

Adding SZ/ZD to Captive

Select the site you wish to connect the SZ/ZD, then go to Network > ADD DEVICE. A modal window will appear. Once the window appears, select the relevant device. Enter the required information (see diagram D).

Diagram D - Adding a device
Create Bridges

Configure as many bridges as the number of concurrent conferences you want to support. A bridge config will consist of:

  • Bridge Port
  • Dedicated VLAN for wireless
  • IP Config (LAN ip/dhcp)
  • QoS groups for prioritization

These bridges should be created on the Managed MikroTik accessed through the Network menu

Creating Zones and Locations

Under settings click on 'Conference Settings'

Diagram E - Conference Settings

Next select the 'locations tab'

Diagram F - Network Locations

You will notice there are two concepts: Zones and Locations. As mentioned in the previous example, a Location is an area within a larger conference space. That larger conference space is what the system refers to as a Zone. In Diagram A the Zone “The Albert – Conference Hall” is the Zone, within the Zone are three Locations (each room).

We now want to add a Zone, which is done by clicking on “ADD ZONE”. Enter the Zone’s name. You will notice an option to enable the Zone as default. If the default option is enabled, when creating a conference, the system will automatically select this zone. This is useful if you have multiple Zones but use a single Zone more than any other.

Diagram G - Adding a Conference Zone

Next, we need to configure each location. This will map the WLAN group, Zone and location together. At this point you also add the wired ports (see screenshot below showing “Room 1” mapped to “Room 1” WLAN Group and associated with Zone “The Albert”).

Diagram H - Configuring Zones & Locations

Once you've added your zones and locations, your configuration should look similar to Diagram I.

Diagram I - Location Overviews

Supported Vendors

  • vSZ
  • Smartzone