Based on mature real-time signaling network, ZEGO launched self-developed interactive whiteboard, which has special advantages, including “real-time audio and video synchronization, real-time online collaboration of hundreds of people and undifferentiated experience across countries and networks”.
We provided the pilot app for interactive whiteboard. Scan the QR code below to download the app in iOS, Android, or Web, feeling the using experience of ZEGO interactive whiteboard in person.
In online classrooms, the transnational experience of interactive whiteboards is related to the availability of services, while the security of courseware data is the key factor to the education platform when selecting whiteboards. Then, how to realize the efficient interaction of whiteboard in transnational teaching and ensure the safety of courseware data when whiteboard is shared?
Based on nearly 20 years of technology accumulation in audio, video, and signaling service, we hereby share the solutions and technical practices of ZEGO interactive whiteboard in solving transnational interactive data security.
1. Optimizing the transnational communication plan to realize global ultra-low latency whiteboard interaction
In transnational teaching scenarios, one of the teachers and students is often not in China. If the global node deployment by whiteboard service providers is insufficient, problems such as high instability and latency of transnational network communication are likely to occur, leading to the following problems:
Foreign teachers are easily to be disconnected when they are teaching abroad, which will impact on teachers’ teaching pace and students’ progress in class;
The latency between teachers and students is too high, making it difficult to conduct effective classroom interaction, and to improve teaching quality;
When the network is poor, downloading the courseware is more likely to fail, resulting in the inability to open the courseware.
ZEGO’s transnational communication optimization solution realizes the global deployment of service clusters, and guarantees the high-quality experience of the whiteboard in the transnational teaching scenario through unified access, courseware content distribution, uploading and downloading optimization, etc.
In the transnational scenario of online education users, the geographical distribution of users mainly presents the following characteristics:
- The users are mainly in China, with a small amount of them abroad.
- The users are mainly abroad, with a small amount of them in China
By deploying service clusters at home and abroad, we support customers to switch between domestic and foreign clusters according to the characteristics of users’ geographical distribution, so that the cluster is closer to most users, enabling them to access nearby and have quickly access.
For a small number of users who need cross-border access to service clusters, we deploy multiple agent centers around the world to achieve users' nearby access and quick access.
Network access optimization
Traditional https requires repeated connection establishment, and each tcp connection requires three-way handshake. In transnational scenarios, the network environment is more complex. Therefore, this disadvantage is magnified, and the transmission latency is increased. For this reason, we have introduced the QUIC transmission protocol in network communication. QUIC protocol not only has the advantages of TCP and UDP, but also has excellent adaptability to the current network environment, especially in a weak network environment, which can ensure the reliability, stability, and efficiency of data transmission.
By adopting the access dispatching service based on QUIC protocol communication at the access layer between the client and the whiteboard signaling service, we improved the transmission efficiency of the last mile, optimized the access quality under the weak network environment, and reduced the network latency. At the same time, through the deployment of network dispatching nodes in many places around the world, precise dispatching is achieved based on user IP information, enabling users to access nearby and optimizing network access as a whole.
Courseware content distribution
Based on the object storage capabilities provided by cloud service provider, ZEGO realized the storage and distribution of courseware. After starting the whole-station acceleration, content distribution can be conducted by using the global CDN acceleration node of the cloud provider, so that customers can download courseware resources nearby, ensuring that teachers and students at home and abroad can open courseware quickly in the cloud classroom.
Uploading and downloading optimization
As the function of courseware becomes more and more abundant, the size of courseware is gradually increasing. In a weak network, the uploading and downloading of large courseware tend to fail. The reason is that the uploading and downloading of courseware generally use the https/http protocol. It is difficult to download the courseware data within a certain period of time under the weak network condition of the client. Re-downloading after the timeout fails will still face the same problem, causing teachers and students unable to open the courseware.
The optimization plan provided by ZEGO focuses on client. The interactive whiteboard sdk uses a set of file breakpoint uploading and breakpoint downloading mechanisms to be compatible with weak network scenarios to ensure the completion of uploading and downloading of courseware so that the classroom can proceed in an orderly manner.
2.Whole link safeguard, escorting the safety of core courseware data
As competition in the education industry intensifies, more and more education platforms invest a lot of manpower and material resources in curriculum development, so it is crucial to protect these core courseware data. When education platforms are selecting interactive whiteboard providers, they tend to pay more attention to courseware security issues in the teaching process, including the ability of protecting courseware from theft, loss, and damage, etc.
According to the overall process of whiteboard file sharing, ZEGO protects data security from file storage, access, and business.
We mainly protect the security of storage from the following two aspects:
- Encrypted storage
Both original courseware and the transcoded file are encrypted before being stored to ensure that the file itself is encrypted and safe, and the content is not leaked.
- Backup & disaster recover
Based on the backup and disaster recover capabilities provided by cloud service providers, ensure the reliability of courseware storage.
We use two-step verification to ensure the security of file access:
The document service supports auth key verification for the request to access the courseware. Only when the verification is passed can the relevant information of the courseware, such as storage information, be obtained.
Access to courseware based on authentication provided by cloud service provider.
By adopting the design of separating transcoding service and storage, storage is turned into an independent module to support third-party storage access. Customers can use ZEGO transcoding service and at the same time use their own storage service, to eliminate the security concerns of customers on sensitive courseware resources.
Through targeted optimization of each key link in the whiteboard interaction, ZEGO has significantly improved the whiteboard interaction experience in the online classroom in practice.