Owens solutions works great for quick and video calls, but it is not a great solution if you need:
- To schedule and invite to a call
- Securely protect a call and only invite certain people
- Be sure that the call is end not listened in on
- Allow for host control of muting participants or kicking out if needed
- Scale to calls of 20+ people
At the same time, my friend Peter Tapio just started working on an offer to set up dedicated Jitsi servers for companies. When we tried Jitsi, we tried their free “Jitsi Meet” service, which has horrible latency. A dedicated server would work a lot better. Peter is offering us to be his test subjects for a month. All we pay for in the first month is the server costs of 50 USD per month.
A very interesting benefit of this is that Jitsi can use the Edgeryders Discorse as its single sign on server. You would be signing in to the video client with your Edgeryders account. Anyone can create a room on demand. We are no longer dependent on sharing the logins for some Zoom account.
I asked him for a quote.
We can easily try out configurations and test for a day with very low cost (that I would not bill).
If we get it working, I’m thinking around 50€ for the month depending on the server resources. After a month of testing we can see the bandwidth costs and all. It should fit within the budget, unless there is an unusually large amount of calls happening. We can even scale the server if we need more resources. Testing this should be flexible. The included bandwidth is ok for over 100 hours of 5 people chatting with video by my estimate. Extra bandwidth after that is 0.02€/Gig. The server is on a 500MB link, which would presumably support about 100 concurrent users. But this can be limited by other resources at some point as well.
Looks like all authenticated users can create rooms and usually anyone can join. You can password protect the rooms (individually on setup) if needed. There is also an option to stream a room to YouTube if that is interesting.
If that works well, we can continue with a reduced rate and I’ll start selling it to others more. I’m offering this initially for the quarantine times, to supplement my income. Depending on how well the business goes, I may continue afterwards.
Should we try this? It seems like at 50 USD, it’s a very worthwhile experiment.