Getting Started

Getting Started

This Getting Started Guide will get you up and running with your new Voisus system, including:

  • An introduction to Voisus network configurations
  • Voisus server installation
  • Voisus web interface access

Once the server is installed and you have accessed the web interface, you can begin configuring communications and audio resources for your particular application.

Voisus Network Configurations

Voisus is a networked communications and audio system. At the heart of this system is the Voisus server, a powerful audio processing platform hosted on an off-the-shelf chassis. Depending on the number of network interfaces available on your particular chassis, network traffic can be combined or separated in a variety of configurations.

Basic Network Configuration

In the most basic network configuration, all network traffic shares a common network interface (Eth0).

Separate Network Configuration

When multiple network interfaces are available, network traffic can be segregated to ease congestion on each network.

Our example shows the Voisus web interface and DIS traffic on one network interface (Eth0) and software client traffic on another (Eth2). Eth1 is traditionally reserved for ACENet traffic.

ACENet

The Audio Communications Environment Network (ACENet) is a low-latency network for remote audio and I/O distribution. ASTi's ACE-RIU and ACU2 connect a variety of user interfaces to network, such as military headsets, PTT devices, HHT (Hand-Held Terminal) devices, and live radios.

Network Requirements

ACENet requires a closed network on Eth1, consisting of only ACE-RIUs, ACU2s, and ACENet-compatible Ethernet switches. No other traffic should be present on Eth1.

There are two possible ACENet configurations. ACENet devices (ACE-RIUs and ACU2s) can connect directly to the the Voisus server on Eth1 using a crossover CAT5e cable. Alternatively, ACENet-compatible Ethernet switches can be added for greater flexibility. A maximum of 6 hops (5 switches) and 20 ACENet devices are accommodated.

ACENet Cabling Requirements

Homemade cables are the primary reason for product performance issues. ASTi highly recommends using only manufactured, commercial, premium grade cable.

  • CAT5e cable or better
  • 100 meters (328 feet) maximum distance per cable
  • Wire according to 1000BASE-T specifications

ACENet Switch Requirements

All ACENet-capable Ethernet switches must adhere to the following core requirements:

  • Specifications:

    • Gigabit Capable (1000 Mbps)
    • OSI Layer 2
    • Must be a LAN switch, not a router or hub
  • Settings:

    • Auto-negotiate speed and duplex type
    • Disable all advanced Layer 2 protocols. These include, but are not limited to, 802.1p/q, spanning tree, and QoS.

ACENet with VLAN

  • Only port-based VLANS are compatible
  • Each VLAN must not see traffic from other ports
  • Each Voisus server and its associated devices must be on separate VLANs
  • VLAN tagging is not supported

Limitations

  • ACENet audio devices do not support daisy chaining to additional units or internal switching across networks.
  • Each ACENet supports one Voisus server. The Cloud / Multi-Server Configuration described below is incompatible with ACENet at this time.
  • Advanced protocols such as 802.1p, port priority, and spanning tree are not supported.

Cloud / Multi-Server Configuration

In Voisus software version 5.10 and greater, multiple Voisus servers can operate together as peers. This peer group is called a cloud.

The cloud configuration increases the number of software clients the Voisus system can support. The client load is automatically distributed among the servers in the cloud. This load will rebalance as needed when more clients join the exercise.

The cloud configuration provides centralized exercise management through the Voisus Web Interface. When servers are joined in a cloud their scenarios are merged. Changes made to a scenario on one server will be reflected on all servers in the cloud.

Create a Cloud

(See Voisus Web Interface below for access details.)

To join multiple servers in a cloud, simply assign each server the same Cloud ID in the Voisus web interface:

  1. Select "Network Configuration" from the wrench drop-down menu.

  2. Select the Settings tab.

  3. In the Cloud ID field, enter a cloud name of your choosing. The Cloud ID field accepts lower case letters, numbers, and underscore.

  4. Save Changes.

  5. Follow the system prompts to reboot your server.

  6. Repeat the same steps for each server you wish to connect to the cloud. Take care to enter the Cloud ID exactly the same for each server.

    Hint: Find other servers on your network and view their Cloud ID by visiting the Server Discovery page. It can be accessed via the monitor drop-down menu.

Connect a Software Client to a Cloud

Each software client provides the option of connecting to the server via its IPv4 address or Cloud ID. Enter the Cloud ID if you wish to connect the client to a cloud. If the client cannot detect the Cloud ID, you may need to adjust your Windows Firewall settings as described below.

For more information about Voisus Software Clients, reference the Voisus Client User Guide.

Windows Firewall

(Voisus software version 5.16.0 and greater)

The Windows firewall may prevent the client from detecting the Cloud ID. You can adjust the firewall setting to enable cloud detection.

  1. On the Windows PC running the client, navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall.
  2. Click "Advanced Settings".
  3. Click "Inbound Rules".
  4. Click "New Rule".
  5. Click "Port", then "Next".
  6. Click "UDP", then under Specific Local Ports enter 60006 and then click "Next".
  7. Click "Allow Connection", then click "Next".
  8. Under "When Does this Rule Apply?" ensure that all checkboxes are selected, then click "Next".
  9. Create a name for the rule, such as "Voisus Cloud Detection".

Considerations

  • Disconnecting from a Cloud:

    • To disconnect a server from a cloud, change the Cloud ID in the Voisus web interface, save changes, and reboot the server.
    • A disconnected server will keep all of the scenario data it gained while in the cloud. If changes are made to these scenarios while disconnected from the cloud, a conflict of data could occur when the servers are connected again. Typically, the most recent change to a scenario will prevail.
  • Networking:

    • Cloud membership is propagated via UDP multi-casting on a LAN (local area network) only. Servers separated by a WAN (wide area network) will not be able to join the same cloud.
  • Scenarios of the same name:

    • If two servers join a cloud, and each server brings in a scenario of the same name, both identically-named scenarios will coexist in the cloud. This is possible because the scenario IDs of the separately-created scenarios are unique, but may cause some confusion to the user.

Voisus Server Installation

The Voisus server and software are hosted on an off-the-shelf chassis. Each new Voisus system is shipped with the software already installed.

Equipment

In addition to the server chassis, you will need the following:

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Power cord
  • CAT5 or CAT6 cable
  • Network connection

Installation

To install the server:

  1. Connect the server to a monitor and keyboard. These are only necessary for initial software configuration.

  2. Connect the server's Eth0 interface to your local area network with the CAT5 or CAT6 cable.

  3. Turn on the server and allow it to boot.

  4. Log in as root:

    Username: root

    Password: abcd1234

    Or log in to the administrative account that may be used for non-root configuration:

    Username: astiadmin

    Password: admin

    Caution: Do not delete or rename the administrative account.

Assign an IP Address

  1. The server will not have an IP address without a DHCP network connection. To set the Eth0 IP address manually, run:

    ace-net-config -a xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -n yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
    

    where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP address and yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy is the subnet mask.

    This sets the IP address and netmask for Eth0, which is traditionally used to access the Voisus web interface.

  2. For more network setup options, type:

    ace-net-config -h
    
  3. To activate the changes, reboot the server with the command:

    reboot
    

Once you have configured Eth0, use the Voisus web interface to make additional changes to the network settings.

Voisus Web Interface

The Voisus web interface is remotely accessed by any PC on the same network as the Voisus server. The Voisus web interface remotely configures and manages Voisus server resources and networked devices, such as communications clients and live radios.

The Voisus web interface is compatible with the following web browsers. Other browsers may function in limited or unexpected ways and are not recommended.

Compatible Browsers
Browser Version
Google Chrome 30+ (newest available is recommended)
Firefox 24.6+
Internet Explorer 9+ (10+ is recommended)

Access the Web Interface

  1. Open a web browser on a computer sharing the same network as the server.

  2. In the browser's address field, enter the server's Eth0 IP address.

    http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/
    
  3. Log in with:

    Username: admin

    Password: astirules

The welcome page provides access to Scenario management, Voisus software applications, and drop-down menus for system administration.

Web Interface Help

The web interface includes an integrated help feature as well as build-in documentation. Turn on the built-in help by selecting "Turn Help On" from the ? drop-down menu.

Hover over elements outlined in blue to view help text and links to additional documentation.

Access Voisus documentation by selecting "Documentation" from the ? drop-down menu.

Licensing

Voisus software version 5.17.0 and greater requires a software license. Access the licensing page via the wrench drop-down menu in the navbar.

Licenses can be installed on the server via the "Choose File" button. An active license will display the features enabled on the system and will be highlighted in green at the top of the "Installed Licenses" table.

If an application is unlicensed, a warning will appear at the top of that application's pages. Minimum functionality may still be available on unlicensed pages. However, if you would like to use the application's full feature set, please contact ASTi to update your license.

Network Settings

Using the wrench drop-down menu on the start page, select Network Configuration.

Status

The Status tab will display the settings currently in use on your server. Select each Ethernet port to view individual settings and status.

Settings

Click the Settings tab to change network settings. Select each Ethernet port to view and change individual settings. When you are finished making changes, click Save Changes and reboot as prompted.

  • Cloud ID: By default, the cloud ID will match the hostname. To create a cloud with other servers, simply type the same cloud ID name in the Cloud ID field for each server. Save changes and reboot when prompted. The servers will then be connected in the same cloud and share Scenario data. For more information about clouds, see Cloud / Multi-Server Configuration above.

  • Hostname: Change the hostname if desired. This name will be used to identify your server on the network. When the hostname is changed, the Cloud ID will change to match it. Save changes and reboot when prompted.

  • Domain: Enter the domain for this server. This is also used to perform name-lookups for other servers on the network.

  • Gateway IP: This is the IPv4 address of another server that routes traffic for the network. This setting overrides the Default Interface setting below.

  • Default Interface: If a Gateway IP address was provided in the previous field, this field will be deactivated. If no Gateway IP address is provided, select a network interface the server can use to send network traffic.

  • Nameservers: A list of servers on the network to query when attempting to match hostnames to IP addresses.

  • NTP Servers: A list of servers on the network used to synchronize the system clock.

  • Mode: Select the mode of operation for this Ethernet device.

    • "Off" disables the Ethernet interface.
    • "DHCP" will request IPv4 and Subnet Mask information from another server on your network.
    • "Fixed" mode will require you to enter an IPv4 address and Subnet Mask.
  • IPv4 Address: Specify the IPv4 address for this network interface. Contact your network administrator for help with this setting.

  • Subnet Mask: Specify the subnet mask for this network interface. Contact your network administrator for help with this setting.

Hardware Devices

  1. Navigate to the Hardware Devices page using the wrench drop-down menu in the navbar.

    The Hardware Devices page displays all of the audio and I/O distribution devices detected on your Voisus server's network. There is a separate tab for each device type.

  2. ACU2, AI-S, and RIU devices must be added to your cloud before they can be utilized in a scenario.

    To assign a specific device to your cloud, use the checkbox to select the device, then press the add_to_cloud button.

  3. ACU2 and AI-S Only:

    Once a device has been assigned to your cloud, you can set the gains digitally by pressing the show_options button and filling in the fields appropriately.

    For AI-S, the preamp gain (dB) and sidetone (%) can be set manually.

    ais_gains
    ais_gains

    For ACU2, mic power can be turned on or off, and input and output gains can be set for each channel.

    acu2_gains
    acu2_gains
  4. Create a unique Channel Identifier for each channel and/or serial port connected to a hardware client interface. The Channel Identifier will be used on other web interface pages to link the physical channel/serial port to software-configured communications resources on the Voisus server. (See Voisus Hardware Clients in the Voisus Client User Guide to learn more.)

    Take note of the serial port/channel pairings on the ACE-RIU and ACU2. This pairing is important when you are attaching peripherals to both the channels and serial ports.

Scenarios

A Voisus scenario contains all of the communications and audio resources necessary for a particular application. The Voisus server can run one Scenario at a time.

Create a New Scenario

To create a new scenario, click "Scenarios" in the navbar.

  1. Select a scenario type from the drop-down menu. Use "Empty Scenario" to build your own from scratch, or select an example scenario with preconfigured resources.

  2. Click "+ Add New Scenario".

  3. To rename the scenario, click on its name.

Each scenario presents multiple options:

  • Open: Click to open a scenario and edit its resources. Scenarios can be edited dynamically while they are running.
  • Copy: Create a duplicate of the selected scenario.
  • Export: Export the scenario from the Voisus server to your computer's hard drive.
  • Import: Import a scenario from your computer's hard drive to the Voisus server.
  • Rename: Change the scenario's name.
  • Delete: Deletes the chosen scenario.
  • Run: Install the chosen scenario. The Voisus server can run one scenario at a time. A software license is required to install Scenarios.

Scenario Resources

Each app contains the specific resources needed to perform its function.

Reference the app user guides for details.