What is the difference between Multiway, Multisite, and Mulitpoint?

Terminology can sometimes lead to confusion. For instance, multisite, mulitway and multipoint terms are often misunderstood.  A simple explanation of what multipoint means is multiple endpoints (three or more) participating in single call.

This type of call needs a bridge of some sort to support a multipoint call.  Multisite is the option key on an endpoint that enables that endpoint to support a multipoint call.  These multisite enabled endpoints are useful, but have limitations on the amount of concurrent endpoints that can be in the conference.

For larger conferences and other additional management features, a multipoint control unit (MCU) should be used.   One feature that can help to leverage your MCU resource is multiway.  Multiway allows endpoints to escalate a call from a point-to-point call to a multipoint call.  For example; Bill calls Bob, but then receives a call from Jill.  Bill would like to have Bob, Jill and himself in a single conference, but the endpoint Bill is using is not a multisite enabled device.  If multiway is configured, Bill can escalate the call to the MCU that will host the multipoint call.  From Bill’s perspective this is as simple as selecting a join button on his screen.

For a break down of what systems support multisite, and different MCU’s capabilities use the Cisco website or the links provided below.

Multisite
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/telepresence/infrastructure/articles/cisco_telepresence_mcu_configure_multiway_kb_166.shtml

MCU-4500
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps7060/ps11305/ps11317/ps11341/data_sheet_c78-627482.html

MCU 5300
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps7060/ps11305/ps11317/ps12283/data_sheet_c78-692890.html

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