If you’re using S4B today, you may be surprised to learn that the content you share during a screen sharing session can sometimes be quite delayed in appearing on the screen of other conference participants. I’ll discuss what one of our customers found during their testing and what you can do to improve the performance. Plus, a little musing on the topic of content sharing!
We were recently engaged by a client to provide a review of their quality of service configurations throughout their network, assess adherence to best practices, identify misconfigured devices, and provide remediation. During a run of the mill project status meeting, one of the client’s executives complained about the delay experienced during presentation of content while conducting a S4B conference.
The customer’s network team had begun to experiment and found noticeable delay – up to 20 seconds – occurred when a S4B participant would share their screen and enter data in Excel, change between pages in a PDF or slide deck, even change a background image, and so on. On their own, the customer tested different client settings and identified that while QoS Packet Scheduler was enabled on the PC’s NIC, the screen share was delayed. A quick disable of the QoS Packet Scheduler in the NIC settings resulted in an improved performance: an unscientific 11 seconds versus 20 seconds.
Of course we expect a penalty from RDP, but this was rather rough to watch. You may be wondering how did we find this delay? Well, that’s the other part of the story!
This particular customer is utilizing PC’s in their smaller conference rooms with S4B clients as PC-based video conferencing endpoints. Simple enough, now add that they’re booking the room PC (the room in Exchange) for the meeting and walking into the room with their laptop. Next, they join the conference from the room PC and then their laptop. The parties will share content from the laptop in lieu of a product like a Barco ClickShare or Crestron AirMedia. You can imagine the participants in the room are frustrated watching the slow feedback process as the two PC’s swim across the Internet to the O365 cloud and back.
Enter the Skype for Business 2016 client. Having previously read Jeff Schertz’s blog post regarding VBSS and its improvements in 2016 clients, I suggested our customer try two ’16 clients on a point-to-point call. Of course, with S4B clients it was an instantaneous content sharing experience. Sadly, VBSS is not presently supported in O365 cloud and will not support remote control. Bad news for our customer, this 11-second delay is their life, for now. I’ll now watch the O365 roadmap much closer for this feature support in the cloud…
I’ll wrap with a final thought on content sharing by quoting Jeff: “this is not standards-based H.264 content sharing“. As we consider our industry platforms for desktop clients – Spark/Jabber, S4B – we must remember these little things that standards adherence (or the lack thereof) create.