Arraya Insights | February 11, 2021
Video meetings became the nervous system of the business world in 2020, connecting employees with each other and organizations with their customers. While video meetings allowed business to carry on, to some degree, as normal, the shift from in-person to remote meetings wasn’t without its challenges. From the user perspective, we’ve likely all spent our fair share of time over the last year dealing with lagging video feeds or choppy audio. Meanwhile, on the back end, organizational networks have struggled to keep up with traffic levels they weren’t built to handle.
One technology that has become increasingly important to fostering connections over the last year is Microsoft Teams. Microsoft’s all-purpose collaboration platform has seen its daily active user numbers spike as organizations moved operations off-site. Back in November 2019, which admittedly feels like a lifetime ago, Teams boasted roughly 20 million active users each day. By April 2020, during the still early days of pandemic-necessitated shutdowns, that figure had risen to 75 million. In November 2020, with the year mercifully nearing a close, Teams’ daily usage figure hit 115 million.
With video meetings and, specifically, Teams meetings, fixed to remain a key part of work lives as 2021 unfolds, organizations must address the challenges incurred by this arrangement in order to keep productivity levels high.
Microsoft and VMware set their sights on better meetings
It was with that goal in mind that VMware and Microsoft came together to develop Horizon Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams. This feature, available with Horizon 7 (version 7.13) and 8 as well as Horizon Cloud on Azure, rethinks the way in which virtual machines process Teams audio and video. The result should make end users and network admins alike happy.
Before we get into the changes made by Horizon Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams, let’s first look at how this process worked previously. When a remote user placed a video call, voice and video data would travel from the end point to the user’s virtual desktop. Even with Horizon’s built-in compression capabilities, these data sets were still large enough to tax the virtual desktops tasked with processing them. Video streams were then routed back to the endpoint so that the user making the call could see him or herself, adding on additional stress.
So how does that process work with Horizon Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams? Essentially, when a user places a video call, that data will now travel outside of the virtual desktop, from the end point to the internet. This is accomplished using a separate channel that is opened specifically for that call. The user, however, is none the wiser, as there is no indication that the call has ever left the virtual desktop. Using this method, all of the compute cycles that used to unfold in the organization’s network are now taking place on the end point itself. This results in less network strain and, potentially, a better user experience due to the streamlined path taken by call data.
Next Steps: Make better quality remote meetings a 2021 priority
Last year, for obvious reasons, was the year of remote work. Something that was once a perk became, for many of us, part of our daily lives. Ideally, 2021 will bring with it a return to normalcy. Although, some jobs that moved offsite in March 2020 may stay that way permanently. Even those folks who do ultimately return to the workplace may expect expanded access to work from home where once there might have been pushback from leadership. Because of this, organizations should continue to look for ways to provide the best (and most efficient) offsite work experience possible.
If you’d like to learn more about Horizon Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams, Arraya’s team is here to help. Our experts can help break down the network and performance benefits your organization could achieve through this solution. We can also help deploy and configure it and the necessary supporting solutions as needed for those organizations that make an ideal use case. Start a conversation with our team today!
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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