BBB instances

Elena Zannoni
Thu Sep 22 19:27:36 GMT 2022

On 9/21/22 1:47 PM, Bradley M. Kuhn via Overseers wrote:

(Replying to some of the points only.)

> At the beginning to the pandemic, with help of a dedicated volunteer, SFC
> was able to get an instance of BBB up and running, hosted on OSU-OSL's
> infrastructure.  Many of our member projects are already using it for their
> team meetings (switching away from tools like Zoom and Google Meet that they
> had previously been using).  We're also using it for all our SFC's video
> conferencing needs, and many of you attended our chat sessions about the
> Sourceware application.
> Our initial findings confirmed the (obvious) hypothesis: scaling is
> extremely difficult for video chat.  Right now, we've tested a few
> (simultaneous) meetings with 5-10 people and our existing infrastructure can
> handle it.  We're currently talking with grant makers and partners about how
> we can increase capacity.
> Our current assessment is that it's unlikely that we can offer BBB services
> to the entire FOSS-developing *public* any time soon.  However, if
> Sourceware joins SFC, this is a great opportunity to expand slowly, which is
> definitely possible.  We at SFC generally would like to do that, and it fits
> with the types of grants and work we're already seeking to improve in our
> effort to build “FOSS infrastructure for FOSS projects”.
> We also think Sourceware makes an excellent partner to begin working on this
> for the reasons I mentioned above and others.

My observations regarding BBB is that it scaled well for the LPC
conference. We used it in 2020 and 2021 to host the conference as a 100%
virtual conference. We had about 1000 participants, with rooms at time
having about 200 participants. It was integrated with Matrix. It was
used again for this year's LPC, which was a mix of in person and hybrid
participation. It has had teething problems of course, but overall it
was a good solution.

There were some modifications that were made to BBB and are collected in
a github (yes I know) repo which is public. But I believe most of the
changes were upstreamed.

There is also a long blog by James, who actually worked on the Matrix
integration with BBB here, with good lessons learned in 2021:

The caveat with the video, was that we asked the participants to mute
the video and the audio, and unmute both only if participating actively.
That kept the load in the acceptable range. You can see that with a good
choice of the size of the servers (on cloud instances for easy scaling)
the CPU usage was not above 70%. We did talk to the Fosdem organizers as

Regarding the use of MongoDB, James tells me that we used something
equal or earlier than mongodb-org 4.4.16, on Ubuntu. In 2020, we used
Ubuntu 16 because BBB was working only on that version, so the MongoDB
would have been whatever was available on that Ubuntu server.

I believe there would be good opportunities to learn from the LPC
experience and the code is available for all the pieces.

> Ian Kelling via Overseers wrote at 20:23 (PDT) on Tuesday:
>> About BBB, It currently includes MongoDB in it's [sic] server software,
>> which went nonfree a few years ago. You can still run an older version
>> which is all free software
> Indeed, SFC's instance currently does this.  We published our methodology on
> how to do it as well.  It's important to note that the main database that
> BBB uses is Postgres, and MongoDB is only used for runtime session data.

Do you have a link to the article?

>> For simple web based video conference, I'd look at Jitsi Meet.
> FWIW, I also worked with an SFC volunteer on a test instance of Jitsi Meet.
> We found it to be more resource intensive than BBB.  While Jitsi Meet's UI
> is much better for impromptu meetings and chats than BBB, ultimately we've
> been reluctant to deploy a community-facing Jitsi Meet instance for fear
> we'd face resource constraints worse than we face with BBB.  However,
> FOSDEM's use of Jitsi Meet integrated with Matrix to run their event was
> intriguing, and we have it on our long-term list to work with the FOSDEM
> organizers on how they pulled that off and if it would be possible to set up
> a Matrix/Jitsi Meet combo instance in the manner they used for breakout
> rooms at FOSDEM.

We did look at Jitsi for LPC... we didn't find it as solid as BBB. But
this was 3 years ago (in 2020) maybe things have changed.

Anyway, I think it's good that we have alternatives and merging our
collective experiences we can achieve a workable solution.


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