Mersive Solstice

Solstice Dashboard Quickstart Guide

Introduction

The Solstice Dashboard for Enterprise Edition is a centralized management tool that can be used to monitor, configure, and update Solstice Enterprise Edition Pods and Windows Software instances on a network. While each Solstice display can be configured individually via its local configuration panel, the Solstice Dashboard allows IT administrators to manage larger Solstice deployments from a central location.

While standard, non-Enterprise Edition Solstice displays appear in the Solstice Dashboard, they will need to be upgraded to Enterprise Edition licensing to be managed via the Solstice Dashboard.

This guide is intended to assist you in quickly installing the Dashboard, getting your displays imported to be centrally managed, and the basic configurations needed to get your deployment up and running. This guide assumes that you have already powered on your Solstice Pods or Solstice Windows Software instances and have the Pods either in WAP mode or connected to your network.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Step 1: Install the Solstice Dashboard
Step 2: Import your Displays into Dashboard
Step 3: Rename your Displays
Step 4: Set the Pod’s Date and Time
Step 5: Customize the Look and Feel (Optional)
Step 6: Connect the Pods to the Network
Step 7: Configure Basic Security Settings
Step 8: Enable Additional Enterprise Features
        Digital Signage
        Room Calendaring
        Kepler
Other Considerations

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Step 1: Install the Solstice Dashboard

The Solstice Dashboard is available as a free download and runs on a Windows host on the same network as the Solstice Enterprise Edition Pods and/or Solstice Software instances it will be used to manage (or where the appropriate IP routes exists). The Windows host may be a Windows 7, 8, or 10 computer or a Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 R2 with qWAVE installed and a quad core processor with 12GB RAM minimum. A Windows 2016 Server may be used if desktop experience is enabled. 

The Solstice Dashboard should be installed on a Windows computer that the IT administrator uses regularly. It can also be installed on multiple PCs to manage the Solstice displays on the network from multiple locations.

 

Step 2: Import your Displays into Dashboard

There are three ways to populate the Solstice Dashboard with Solstice instances for management:

Option 1: Discover

Import instances that are already running and connected to your network. You will need to ensure that the Windows computer the Dashboard is installed on is connected to the same network as the Solstice Pods or Windows Display Software instances. 

  1. In the Dashboard under Import Displays, click the Discover A list of discovered displays appears. Note: The list is populated with displays in WAP mode (for broadcast discovery) or are listed in the Solstice Discovery Service.
  2. Select the displays you wish to import. You can Shift+click or Ctrl+click to select multiple displays.
  3. Click the Import The displays are added to your list of Your Solstice Instances.

Option 2: CSV File Import 

Import instances using a comma separated values (CSV) file. This is a quick way to get started using the Dashboard and while simultaneously renaming your displays. The file can be created by writing an export script from Active Directory, database software, or other management software services. Alternatively, you can create the CSV file using a spreadsheet program. Click here to download an example template. Note: Adding the port information is optional. If no port is supplied in the text file, then the default Solstice communications port (53100) is assumed and used.

  1. Create your CSV file.
  2. In the Dashboard under Import Displays, click the CSV File button.
  3. Browse to and select the CSV file, then click Open. The instances will be imported into the Dashboard. If any errors with the import process occur, a pop-up will appear listing the error log.

Option 3: Manual

Import a new Solstice instance manually. This method is best used if you want to quickly add a display and do not currently have the display broadcasting in WAP mode, or do not have Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) running.

  1. In the Dashboard under Import Displays, click the Discover The Add Display pop-up will appear.
  2. Enter in the Display Name and IP Address for the instance you are adding. You can also change the default port if desired (optional). If you do not know the IP address for the display, you can find it on the display’s main welcome screen.
  3. Click Add. The display is added to your list of instances. Note: If your display information was entered incorrectly, the display will appear under the “Other Instances, Unknown Versions” list. To remove the invalid display, right click on the display then select to Remove from Dashboard management.

 

Step 3: Rename your Displays 

  1. Select a Pod from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Appearance and Usage tab.
  3. In the Display Name section, change the Name to one that corresponds with the location or room the Pod is in. For example, you can change the Pod name to North Conference Room to match the name of the conference room it is in. This makes it easier for users to know which Pod they are connecting to.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for all Pods in your deployment.

 

Step 4: Set the Pod’s Date and Time 

Solstice Pods will need to have their time settings set. Windows Software Displays will inherit the time settings on the PC the software is installed on.

  1. Select the Pod from the list of Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the System tab.
  3. To set the date and time using a time server:
    1. Enable the Set Time/Date Automatically option and enter the time server URL in the corresponding field (the default timeserver URL is pool.ntp.org).
    2. From the Timezone drop-down, select the timezone the Pod is in.
    3. Click Apply.
  4. To set the date and time manually:
    1. Disable the Set Time/Date Automatically A pop-up will appear.
    2. Click Ignore, Keep Manual Time Setting.
    3. In the Date and Time field, enter or select the date and time you wish to use for the Pod.
    4. From the Timezone drop-down, select the timezone the Pod is in.
    5. Click Apply.

 

Step 5: Customize the Look and Feel (Optional) 

How to Change the Pod Background Images 

  1. Select one or more Pods from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Appearance tab.
  3. Under Customize Welcome Screen, select the Modern Splash Screen option.
  4. Under Background images, click on an image you want to change. A file explorer window opens.
  5. Browse to the image you wish to add, select the file, then click Open.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 as needed, then click Apply.
  7. To change the images back to the default background images, click the Reset to default images button, then click Apply.

How to Add Custom Instructions to the Welcome Screen 

  1. Select one or more Pods from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Appearance tab.
  3. Under Connection Instructions Overlay, select the Custom instructions overlay option. 
  4. In the field that appears, enter up to 7 lines or 350 characters of instructions. Both plain and rich text formats are supported.
  5. To add a dynamic IP address to the instructions, enter the network name in brackets, e.g. [INTERNAL]. The string will be replaced with the corresponding IP address when it displays on the welcome screen.
  6. If you wish to remove instructions on how users can connect using AirPlay or Miracast, deselect the Show AirPlay and Show Miracast options.
  7. Click Apply.

 

Step 6: Connect the Pods to the Network 

The Solstice Pod is designed to attach to existing WiFi/Ethernet networks that users can access to connect and share content to the Pod. The Pod hardware includes two distinct network interface cards (one Ethernet and one wireless card) to provide various options for network connection.

Option 1: Attach via Ethernet (Recommended) 

The recommended deployment method is to attach the Pod to the primary user network via Ethernet.

  1. Plug a network-connected Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the back of the Pod(s).
  2. In the Dashboard, select the Pod(s) from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  3. Go to the Network tab and ensure Ethernet is enabled.
  4. Select either DHCP for the Pod to be dynamically assigned an IP address, or select Static IP to enter your network configuration manually.
  5. If your network is 802.1x authenticated:
    1. First, ensure there is network access between the Pod and the Windows machine running Dashboard. You must also ensure that the Pod has access to a timeserver so that it can validate the certificate.
    2. Select Enable 802.1x.
    3. Select the EAP Method and the Phase 2 Authentication (if applicable) from the drop-downs.
    4. Browse and select the certificates needed. Supported certificate file types are .cer, .der, .crt, .pem, .pfx, and .p12. Note: If loading a .p12 certificate, the Password field is for the .p12 file.
  6. Click Apply.

Option 2: Attach Wirelessly 

Alternatively, the Pod can be attached to the primary network wirelessly if an Ethernet connection is not available in the deployment space. To attach the Pod wirelessly to the host network, go to the Network tab of the configuration panel, select the correct network, and enter the network credentials.

  1. Enable Wireless Settings.
  2. Select Attached to Existing Network radio button.
  3. Hit Apply to populate a list of networks. The list may take a few seconds to populate.
  4. Click on the drop-down and select a wireless network.
  5. If you are unable to find the network you want to connect to:
    1. Click Add Wireless Network.
    2. Enter in the name of the network in the SSID field.
    3. Select the type of network from the radio buttons listed below it.
    4. Click Ok.
  6. In the Password field, enter the network password.
  7. Select either DHCP for the Pod to be dynamically assigned an IP address, or select Static IP to enter your network configuration manually.
  8. If your network is 802.1x authenticated, additional fields will appear. Follow the steps below to load your certificates:
    1. First, ensure there is network access between the Pod and the Windows machine running Dashboard. You must also ensure that the Pod has access to a timeserver so that it can validate the certificate.
    2. Select the EAP Method and the Phase 2 Authentication (if applicable) from the drop-downs.
    3. Browse and select the certificates needed. Supported certificate file types are .cer, .der, .crt, .pem, .pfx, and .p12. Note: If loading a .p12 certificate, the Password field is for the .p12 file.
  1. Click Apply.

Option 3: Dual-Networks (Attached both via Ethernet and Wirelessly) 

Many deployments take advantage of the Pod’s dual-network capabilities to support secure collaboration between users on separate networks, such as corporate and guest users. The Pod’s two network interface cards are completely distinct with separate routing tables, enabling seamless collaboration without compromising the security of either network. Mersive recommends attaching the Pod to the primary network via Ethernet and connect to the secondary/guest network wirelessly (follow the steps for both Option 1 and Option 2).

Option 4: Wireless Access Point (WAP) Mode (Not Recommended) 

While the Pod’s WAP mode is great for evaluating Solstice’s collaboration features, it is not recommended for permanent deployments due to performance limitations and potential security risks. The Pod will come with WAP mode enabled by default. Mersive recommends disabling WAP mode by either disabling the wireless settings or attaching the Pod to an existing wireless network instead.

Additional Network Configurations 

For more detailed information about the Pod’s network options and to learn about other important network factors such as opening the necessary network ports and enabling additional sharing options such as iOS mirroring and Miracast, please refer to our Network Deployment Guide. For more information on the various network settings in the Dashboard, see the Network Tab section of the Dashboard Admin Guide.

 

Step 7: Configure Basic Security Settings 

While Solstice comes equipped with many built-in security features and additional settings that can be enabled, there are two basic security configurations that should be implemented in most deployments:

  • Preventing unauthorized users from making configuration changes to the Solstice displays. This ensures that only administrators or authorized personnel can make changes.
  • Preventing unauthorized users from joining a collaboration session. This ensures that only participants in the room can share and control content on the display.

Prevent Unauthorized Configuration Changes to your Solstice Displays 

This can be accomplished two ways: by disabling the ability to configure the display locally which will ensure configuration changes can only be made from the Dashboard, and/or by requiring a password to be entered to update the display’s settings to ensure that only authorized personnel can make changes.

How to Disable Local Configurations 

You can prevent users from making in-rom changing by disabling the ability to configure the display using the local configuration panel (accessed directly via the Pod) or the web configuration panel (accessed via a web browser).  

  1. Select all your displays in the list of Your Solstice Instances. Note: If you have multiple instance groups, you will have to apply the change to each group separately. For example, you will need to apply the change to Pods and Windows Display Software instances separately.
  1. Go to the Security tab.
  2. In the Administration section, disable the Allow Local Configuration option.
  3. Disable the Allow Browsers to Configure Pod option.
  4. If you Pod is connected to two networks, enable the Restrict Configuration Access from Guest Network option, then select the guest network (Wireless or Ethernet).
  5. Click Apply.

How to Password Protect Configurations 

Once an admin password is set, anytime the Dashboard is opened, you will be required to enter the password in order to change any configuration settings. It is also highly recommended that you set the same administrator password for all your Solstice instances. This password will also be required to retrieve usage logs from your Pod or to perform a factory reset.

  1. Select all your displays in the list of Your Solstice Instances. Note: If you have multiple instance groups, you will have to apply the change to each group separately. For example, you will need to apply the change to Pods and Windows Display Software instances separately.
  1. Go to the Security tab.
  2. Enter in an Admin Password.
  3. Click Apply.

 

Prevent Unauthorized Users from Connecting to a Session 

To ensure that unauthorized users cannot connect to a collaboration session, Solstice has implemented security features that ensure that only users in the room can connect and share content to the session.

  • Screen Key requires users to enter in the screen key that is visible on the Solstice display before they are able to connect.
  • Moderator Mode allows a user to start a moderated session where they can approve or deny requests from other users to join the session or post content to the display.

How to Enable Screen Key 

  1. Select the displays from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Security tab.
  3. Select the Screen key enabled A pop-up warning may appear.
  4. If you agree with the requirements of the warning, click Yes, enable Screen Key.
  5. Click Apply.

How to Enable Moderator Mode 

  1. Select the displays from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Security tab.
  3. If not already disabled, deselect the Moderator approval disabled option.
  4. Click Apply.

Additional Security Configurations 

For more information on hardening your deployment from a security standpoint, please refer to our Baseline Security Standard (BSS) guide. For more information on the various security settings in the Dashboard, see the Security Tab section of the Dashboard Admin Guide.

 

Step 8: Enable Additional Enterprise Features 

Digital Signage 

Solstice’s digital signage feature gives you the ability to extend HTML-based signage to displays when they are not being used for wireless collaboration. This feature allows you to add signage feeds to your Solstice-enabled meeting rooms, huddle rooms, and transitional spaces without the additional cost or complexity of deploying dedicated signage hardware.

The following signage content sources are supported. However, certain individual feeds, even from these sources, may not work with Solstice. If the URL you are attempting to run is resource intensive, stability and performance can be negatively affected.

  • mersive.com
  • Appspace feeds
  • Google Slides + Sites
  • Screenfeed
  • Static images such as custom web-based welcome screens

The signage source URL must be viewable within an inline frame (IFrame) when Footer and/or Overlay signage modes are enabled. IFrame support is not required when signage is enabled in Full Screen mode. Always validate signage playback is working by completing the process above when you enable the feature.

How to Deploy Digital Signage 

Not all signage feeds are supported by Solstice. Always validate signage playback in a test environment before making it live across your deployment. 

Step 1: Configure Digital Signage

  1. In the Solstice Dashboard, select the display from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Go to the Digital Signage tab.
  3. Select Enable.
  4. Choose a signage mode from the list of options:
    • Full Screen: Web/signage content is displayed in full screen mode on the Solstice display. No Solstice connection information is shown — users must know Solstice display name in order to connect.
    • Footer Only: Only the Solstice welcome screen footer is shown over the web/signage content. Users that are familiar with Solstice will be able to see the Solstice display name and/or IP address in the footer area in order to connect and share content (requires the source URL to be viewable within an iFrame).
    • Footer + Overlay: The Solstice welcome screen footer and overlay instructions are shown on top of digital signage to provide users with full connection instructions and/or room calendar information.
  1. In the Source URL field, enter the source URL of the web content you’d like to display between Solstice sessions.
  2. In the Start After field, select the desired signage start time interval.
  3. Click Apply. A pop-up confirmation window appears.
  4. Click Yes

Note: Some signage providers require you to confirm/register signage endpoints. Please refer to your signage content providers documentation/instructions to complete this process as needed.

Step 2: Validate the Digital Signage Feed

  1. Physically go to the location of the Solstice Pod where you enabled signage.
  2. Confirm the signage feed is visible.
  3. Connect to the Pod and share a piece of content.
  4. Disconnect and confirm the signage feed automatically reappears, plays the entire feed, and restarts the feed from the beginning.

 

Room Calendaring

Using Solstice’s Room Calendar integration, any Solstice-enabled display can receive and display room calendar information to show the schedule for the meeting space when no one is sharing content. Participants can easily see if the space is currently scheduled or available, as well as the next three upcoming meetings in the space.

Solstice integrates with any Office365 or Microsoft Exchange account. The use of any other 3rd party calendaring system will require advanced configurations using our OpenControl API. If you use an Office365 or Microsoft Exchange account and do not supply an impersonation or delegation account, the personal calendar for that account will be used. 

How to Integrate a Meeting Room Calendar with a Solstice Display 

  1. In the Solstice Dashboard, select the display from the list of Your Solstice Instances.
  2. Ensure Modern Welcome Screen is enabled (Solstice Dashboard > Appearance and Usage tab > Appearance section).
  3. Go to the Calendar tab.
  4. Select the Enabled option.
  5. From the Calendar Type drop-down, select the type of calendar you are integrating: Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, or 3rd-party only. Note: Only select ‘3rd-party only’ if you are using Solstice’s OpenControl API to integrate a third-party calendar.
  1. In the Server URL field, enter the Microsoft Exchange server URL if that is the type of calendar you are integrating.
  2. In the Authentication type drop-down, select the type of authentication your Microsoft Exchange server is using: Basic or NTLM.
  3. Enter in the Username and Password for the Microsoft Exchange account.
  4. If you are a using an Impersonation or Delegation Mailbox, enter them into the corresponding fields.
  5. By default, the meeting titles and meeting organizers will be visible on the display. If you wish to hide these, disable the corresponding options under Privacy Settings.
  6. Click Apply.

 

Kepler 

Mersive Kepler is a cloud-based application that provides metrics and intuitive analytics on your meetings and monitors the health of your Solstice deployment. Capturing the data behind how your deployment is used provides key insights that allow you to adapt your meeting spaces to respond to workplace demands. By monitoring your deployment, Kepler can alert you to any technical issues so they can be resolved before impacting meeting productivity.

Kepler is available for all Enterprise Edition Solstice Pods version 3.4 or later. To utilize Kepler, Solstice Pods must have internet access and active Solstice Subscription.

How to Set Up a Kepler Account and Onboard Your Pods 

  1. Open the Solstice Dashboard.
  2. From the list of your Solstice instances, select the Pod displays you wish to connect to Kepler.
  3. Go to the Kepler tab, then click Connect. A list of your selected displays appears.
  4. If needed, select or remove additional displays, then click Next.
  5. Read through the terms of service. If you agree to the terms listed, select the Agree checkbox, then click Next.
  6. Enter your email address, then click Next. If no Kepler account is associated with the email address entered, a prompt to create your password displays.
  7. Enter a password, confirm the password, then click Next. A notification confirming the displays have been added to your Kepler account appears.
  8. Click anywhere on the notification to proceed.
  9. Click the My Account link to be directed to the Kepler login page via a web browser.

After you log in to your Kepler account, you can begin to configure alerts, monitor the health of your deployment in real-time, and invite additional users to join. For more information on how to use Kepler, see our Kepler Quickstart Guide

 

Other Considerations

Configure Settings for Networks that Don’t Allow Broadcast Traffic 

If your corporate or campus network does not allow broadcast/multicast traffic, turn off Solstice broadcast discovery by disabling the Broadcast display name on network option (Network tab > Display Discovery section). Make sure List display to Solstice Discovery Service remains enabled if you are using Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) as a broadcast alternative.

Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) 

Typically, SDS is used when multiple Solstice displays are deployed on an enterprise network (or any network that does not allow UDP broadcast traffic) and is installed during the initial deployment phase. SDS should be installed on your network to enable and support these scenarios:

  • To enable users on your network to connect without entering an IP address
  • To enable use of Solstice Multi-Room capabilities
  • To enable users to view which displays/rooms are in use

For more information on how to install and configure SDS, see our SDS Guide.

Installing Future Software Updates via the Dashboard 

There are several components of the Solstice product suite that should be updated when a new software version is released. A current Solstice Subscription is needed to access software updates. For more information on how to access and install software updates, see Updating Solstice.  

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