Although Cisco Meeting Server and Cisco Webex might seem solutions with similar functionality, these two are completely different in terms of architecture, licensing, and features they provide.
Cisco meeting server provides a similar experience as WebEx which is why most people get confused between these two solutions.
Here are some differences:
On one side Cisco Meeting server is a Secure On-premises Based solution and, on another side, Cisco WebEx is a highly secure cloud-based platform.
CMS comes with hardware as CMS 1000 and CMS 2000. CMS1K and CMS2K are basically UCS-B servers. CMS1K is a UCS-C220 server and CMS2K is a UCS-B200 server. Refer to the datasheets provided by Cisco for more details.
Based on Hardware, you can scale your HD calls per second.
CMS1K supports 30 x 1080P 60 fps calls, 60 x 1080p 30 fps calls, 120 x 720p 30 fps calls.
CMS2K supports 218 x 1080P 60 fps calls, 437 x 1080p 30 fps calls, 875 x 720p 30 fps calls.
Features of Cisco Meeting Server
There are a lot of features provided by Cisco Meeting Server, but to give a high-level overview below are some of the features.
- You have the privilege of customizing the audio, video, layouts, etc. of the meetings in the Cisco meeting server as per customer requirements.
- The CMA (Cisco Meeting App) in the Cisco meeting server provides the flexibility to create, join and run meetings from any Web Browser to anyone. You basically do not need any application to join meetings. Just make sure you are using a supported web browser and version.
- The web app is also the user’s portal to create meeting spaces, which they can then modify (for example, change the space’s name, add PINs, etc.) and share meeting join information.
- It provides content sharing facility as well.
- It provides flexibility to customize the branding of the Web pages provided you should have the license.
- CMS Provides support for dual-homing with MS platforms (Dual-Home conference is basically an integration of Lync/Skype for Business with CMS via Expressway)
- CMS supports recording and Streaming provided you should have the licenses.
- Management in CMS is done by Cisco Meeting Management.
- Components of CMS include call bridge, XMPP, WebRTC, TURN, Recording, and streaming.
Features provided by Cisco WebEx
- WebEx is a highly Secured cloud subscription-based platform.
- WebEx provides content share with Whiteboarding and annotations facility.
- WebEx provides Polling, file sharing, emojis to make the user experience as easy as possible without having the trouble to know how the technology works.
- WebEx management is done via WebEx Control Hub by Admin account. They just have to login to admin.webex.com
- There are options such as conducting training and events.
- Recording in WebEx is on the cloud itself.
- Most of the WebEx packages also provides a Teams facility which is easier to use for the organization for Chat, file sharing, calendaring, upcoming meetings, calling
- Multiple APPs are already available for WebEx on apphub.webex.com
- WebEx provides cloud-based device provisioning from which you can provision your video endpoints by generating tokens.
- Cisco WebEx Suite consists of Cisco WebEx meetings, Training, Events, and Support. Each has a different feature set based on informational, audio-video options, number of attendees supported, joining options, management, etc.
- WebEx has now a new solution as Cisco WebEx contact center which was released late last year.
So, What’s the Conclusion?
These are just high-level features for both Cisco Meeting Server and Cisco WebEx. The difference is that you have the flexibility of Customizing the audio, video, layouts, etc. of the meetings in the Cisco meeting server as per customer requirements whereas in WebEx, things are predefined, and WebEx is evolving at a faster pace.
The default meeting experience is aligned to WebEx and optimized for Cisco collaboration endpoints, allowing end-users to concentrate on collaborating without worrying about how the technology works. However, you need some knowledge and skills on how to configure CMS through Postman/API.
You can provision Video endpoints on Cisco WebEx provided you have the licenses.
Cisco’s leading offer for video conferencing is WebEx as all components are moving to the cloud and there is less overhead for operations and management.
We hope this article gives you an understanding of the difference between the Cisco Meeting Server and the Cisco WebEx solution.
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Senior Collaboration Consultant