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Voisus App Note

Achieve Networked Communications with Hundreds of Operators (#109)

Distributed training exercises are often required to support realtime communications for hundreds of operators. The systems supporting these exercises must scale appropriately to meet high demands on processing resources.

There are two primary methods for scaling distributed systems: vertical scaling and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling, or "scaling up", increases the computation resources of a single node. For example, A website can be vertically scaled by adding more memory or a better processor to the web server.

Horizontal scaling, or "scaling out", increases processing resources by adding nodes to the system. A website can be horizontally scaled by increasing from one web server to three.

At ASTi, we use horizontal scaling to support large, distributed training exercises with our Voisus system. While a single Voisus server can support 100+ communications clients, a cloud configuration consisting of multiple Voisus servers can run several hundreds of clients, with the flexibility to scale on demand.

The Voisus cloud uses an intelligent algorithm to manage client load-balancing behind the scenes. When clients connect to the cloud, their load is automatically distributed among the available servers. If a server is removed from the cloud in the middle of an exercise, clients are redistributed in a matter of seconds, minimizing downtime.

Administrators centrally manage the Voisus system using a web-based interface on any computer on network. Changes to training scenarios are seamlessly replicated across all of the servers in the cloud, so you don't have to make changes multiple times. And, as with a single Voisus server, scenario changes are dynamically reflected in clients. For example, if an administrator changes the name or frequency of a radio net in the middle of an exercise, every client in the cloud will update automatically to reflect the change. This can be a major boon to exercise administrators' productivity (not to mention sanity)!

For some projects, ASTi has taken the Voisus cloud a step further by leveraging virtualization as well as public and private cloud infrastructures to support large-scale training networks. At I/ITSEC 2013, Bohemia Interactive Simulations used Voisus cloud technology in their live VBS demonstration. Players located around the world connected to a distributed VBS training exercise and used Voisus for their realtime voice and radio communication system. Data centers located around the world supported the geographically dispersed participants.

So, how can you leverage the Voisus cloud for your own exercise?

First, you'll need two or more Voisus Servers running a recent version of Voisus software (v5.15.0+). Use the Voisus web interface to navigate to the Network Setup page. Simply enter a new name into the Cloud ID field and save your changes. Repeat these steps for each server you wish to include in the Voisus cloud, using the same Cloud ID name on each server.

That's it! You have just harnessed the power of horizontal scaling to combine the resources of multiple Voisus servers into one powerful cloud. For more details, see the cloud/multiserver configuration section in our Voisus Quick Start Guide.