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Introducing Zoom Mesh, a Zoom native eCDN solution

December 2022 by Zoom

The last few years have made us fairly accustomed to virtual meetings, webinars, and online events. And now, as people return to the office and hybrid work becomes more permanent, video communications and virtual events remain critical for business productivity. But what happens if your office WAN or internet connection, already stretched thin by hundreds (or even thousands) of meetings, must support large-scale webinars or events, further burdening your limited bandwidth?  

To help businesses minimize such potential livestreaming constraints, we’re excited to announce the launch of our native eCDN solution, Zoom Mesh. Built to dramatically reduce your WAN or internet bandwidth usage, Zoom Mesh preserves the experience of Zoom Events and Zoom Webinars attendees and enables you to take full advantage of these products while eliminating the reliance on third-party eCDN solutions.
What exactly are CDNs and eCDNs?

So, what exactly is a CDN? To put it simply, content delivery networks (CDNs) are designed to enhance the speed and reach of content streaming over the internet. CDNs are typically composed of geographically dispersed servers built to distribute streamed content spatially, relative to end users. Think about it this way: if you’ve ever wanted to binge-watch your favorite streaming video show but remember it feeling painfully slow in earlier years, then you know the difference a CDN can make. 

Enterprise content delivery networks (eCDNs) use technologies such as multicasting, caching, and peer-to-peer forwarding to improve organization bandwidth utilization for broadcast-style, one-to-many media streaming events. Such events (think town halls or all-hands webinars) are notoriously bandwidth-intensive since they distribute large amounts of simultaneous identical media streams to remote office locations, often serving thousands of end-users. As a result, eCDN solutions in recent years have become an integral part of many organizations’ networking environments.

How Zoom Mesh works

On a high level, Zoom Mesh optimizes bandwidth by eliminating identical streams and relaying media between clients in the same location. In more technical terms, it relies on peer-to-peer technology to improve bandwidth utilization by reducing the number of simultaneous media streams traversing the enterprise WAN edge.

With Zoom Mesh, identical media streams are sent to select parent clients, which are then redistributed by the parent clients to child clients. 

The media streams are transmitted from the cloud only to dynamically selected parent clients. Once these parent clients receive the media streams, they then forward them to other clients in the same location called child clients. Each parent client can support up to 50 children, potentially reducing internet bandwidth consumption at a location by an order of magnitude. The Mesh configuration is created approximately 10 minutes before the start of a Zoom Event or Zoom Webinar and is dynamically adjusted during the event.

Zoom Mesh: efficient, scalable, manageable

We built Zoom Mesh not only to minimize bandwidth constraints but also to help organizations lower costs by removing the need for third-party eCDN solutions. And, because Zoom Mesh is easy to enable, you’ll be up and running quickly to minimize disruptions to your livestreaming content and maximize the full potential of Zoom Webinars and Zoom Events. 

Simple enablement 

Get up and running in no time. With Mesh’s seamless integration into the Zoom ecosystem, you can enable Zoom Mesh in minutes and start optimizing your webinars and events bandwidth immediately, with no deployment of any on-prem or client components required and no adoption activities needed.

Efficient performance  

Zoom Mesh works for webinars and events at office locations of your choice or for the whole organization using an internal network. Zoom Mesh is capable of improving your bandwidth utilization while allowing attendees to use all the native features of Zoom Events and Zoom Webinars, such as Q&A, polling, chat, reactions, surveys, etc. 

Reliable and scalable

Zoom Mesh is natively built on the reliable Zoom video platform as an overlay for the existing Zoom Webinars and Zoom Events framework and doesn’t negatively affect its performance. 

Part of the Zoom ecosystem, Zoom Mesh can scale to tens of thousands of users and hundreds of locations within your organization, all with minimal impact on the client performance or user experience, with child client latency measured in milliseconds.

Effective management  

The Zoom Mesh dashboard is a single admin console that makes it easy to monitor mesh performance, measure webinars and events bandwidth utilization, gain insights into attendee endpoint performance and analyze mesh ROI.

Say goodbye to third-party eCDNs

Third-party eCDN solutions can result in a loss of the Zoom Webinars or Zoom Events native experiences and cause most of its features to become unavailable. These solutions can also be costly to deploy and manage since in most cases they require on-prem components and proprietary clients.

Zoom Mesh addresses these third-party eCDN limitations by providing native integration with Zoom clients and backend, and allows webinar hosts and attendees to experience the solution’s full features, and ensures viewers can engage in your content. Because nothing is installed on-prem, Zoom Mesh can be enabled by an IT administrator in minutes and is fully customizable to address the requirements of even the most complex corporate networks out there. 

Give your audiences the experience they deserve  

Don’t let bandwidth constraints slow you down. Get started with Zoom Mesh today to minimize the burden on your office WAN or internet connection and give your audiences an enjoyable and productive experience.


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