Deploy a Pod Quickstart Guide

The Solstice Pod connects to a meeting-room display and leverages existing WiFi/Ethernet networks to facilitate wireless content sharing and collaboration. This document provides technology managers with instructions for quickly deploying a single Pod.

Looking for Something Else?

  • Demoing a Solstice Pod: For instructions on how to try out a Solstice Pod, see our Pod Demo Guide.
  • Pod Admin Guide: For a detailed list of configuration options and other reference information, see our Pod Admin Reference Guide.
  • Using Solstice: If you are looking for information on how to use Solstice to share content and collaborate, please go to our Solstice User Guide.
  • Deploying on a Managed Network: For information on how to deploy Solstice on a managed IT network, see our Network Deployment Guide.
  • Security Guidelines: For information on deploying Solstice in a security-conscious environment, please refer to the Solstice Pod Baseline Security Standard (BSS) document.

Table of Contents

Your Initial Rollout
        Before You Begin
        Step 1: Name the Pod
        Step 2: Attach the Pod to your Existing Network(s)
        Step 3: Make Pods Available for Connection with Solstice Discovery
        Step 4: Understand and Validate Baseline Network Performance
Large-Scale Deployment Considerations
Long-Term Deployment Management

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Your Initial Rollout

For your initial rollout, we recommend attaching your Pods to your existing WiFi/Ethernet networks for improved performance, security, user workflows, and to give users access to the internet while using Solstice. In this section, we’ll cover this and other important rollout considerations.

Rollout Considerations

There are 4 core considerations for any Solstice deployment:

  • How are the Pods attached to your network(s)?
  • How do users connect to the Pods?
  • How should the Pods be configured, functionally and visually?
  • What is the long-term management plan?

By following the steps in this section, we’ll address the options for each of these considerations. However, it’s also important to think through each rollout consideration within the context of your organization and involve the appropriate stakeholders, such as the IT department for attaching Pods to your host networks, each step along the way.

Before You Begin

There are a few ways to configure your Solstice Pods that you should be aware of before you begin. Every Solstice Pod can be configured via the individual Pod’s configuration panel. The Pod’s configuration panel can be accessed locally by connecting a USB mouse/keyboard to the Pod, or it can be accessed via web browser from a separate device by entering the Pod’s IP address and clicking the Settings icon  in the lower right-hand corner of the quick connect page. Note that the browser configuration can be password-protected but Pods ship without a password to make the initial configuration easy.

Did you know?  The Solstice Dashboard allows technology managers to centrally monitor, configure, and update all Enterprise Edition Solstice hosts on their network.

In addition to the Pod’s individual configuration panel, Pods with Enterprise Edition licenses can also be configured via the Solstice Dashboard software application which provides additional features and capabilities including one-to-many management. If you have purchased Enterprise Edition licenses and want more information about how to use the Dashboard for one-to-many management, check out the Dashboard Admin Guide.

The steps below access the local configuration panel via a USB mouse and keyboard connected to the Pod. This method will work for every Pod individually.

Step 1: Name the Pod

All Pods are shipped with the default name of “SolsticePod”, so we recommend changing the name for identification purposes. Pods should be named based on the location they will be deployed in, e.g. “Conference Room 201” or “Dave’s Office”.

How to change the Pod name:

  1. First access the local configuration panel by attaching a USB mouse and keyboard to the Pod and clicking the Solstice icon in the lower right-hand corner of the Solstice display interface.
  2. Select System > Configure. The configuration panel will appear.
  3. Under the Display tab, change the Display Name to a descriptive name for your Pod.
  4. Click Apply.

Step 2: Attach the Pod to your Existing Network(s)

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.

  • Attach via Ethernet (Recommended). The recommended deployment method is to attach the Pod to the primary user network via Ethernet. To do so, simply plug a network-connected Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the back of the Pod.
  • 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.
  • Dual-Networks. 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. Attach the Pod to the primary network via Ethernet and connect to the secondary/guest network wirelessly. NOTE: The Pod’s two network interface cards are completely distinct with separate routing tables, enabling seamless collaboration without compromising the security of either network.
  • 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.

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, hardening your deployment from a security standpoint, and configuring static/dynamic IP addresses,  please refer to our Network Deployment Guide and Baseline Security Standard (BSS) documents.

Did you know?  The wireless card in a Gen2i or Gen3 Solstice Pod may use 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels to seamlessly integrate with your existing network.

Step 3: Make Pods Available for Connection with Solstice Discovery

Solstice is designed to make it easy and intuitive for users to connect to a Solstice Pod. A user may always connect to a Pod by typing the Pod’s IP address into a browser window or the Solstice app. However, Solstice “discovery” can streamline the connection process by listing all Pods available for connection and enabling users to simply click a Pod’s name to connect. There are three discovery methods that will enable this click-to-connect functionality in your Solstice deployment:

  • Broadcast Discovery (default)
    By default, each Pod will broadcast its name and IP address on the host network via UDP broadcast packets. While this usually works great for smaller organizations with simple network configurations, UDP broadcast traffic is often not allowed on larger, IT-managed networks. Broadcast discovery can be disabled in the Pod’s configuration panel under the Network tab.
  • Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) Application (recommended)
    SDS is a light-weight Windows application created for networks that do not allow UDP broadcast packets. Basic SDS use requires an administrator to associate each Pod with the SDS host’s IP address. This can be done in bulk very quickly using the Solstice Dashboard (requires Enterprise Edition Pods). Users’ SDS host will be set automatically when they download the Solstice app directly from a Pod, or users can enter the SDS host IP address in the Settings menu of their Solstice apps (General tab > Solstice Discovery Service Address field).
Did you know?  SDS is a simple but important component of Solstice deployments on host networks that do not allow UDP broadcast/multicast traffic. It provides the display list and other information about which displays are in use (or even scheduled) so that the app discovery screen is useful and easy to use.
  • Universal SDS Override with DNS Entry
    With this option, users will not be required to enter the SDS host IP address in order to leverage the non-broadcast discovery that SDS provides. For this to work, an administrator must add an SDS DNS entry on the local network. For more information on adding an SDS DNS entry, refer to the SDS Guide.

For more information on discovery options see the Network Deployment Guide, or jump straight to the SDS Guide.

Step 4: Understand and Validate Baseline Network Performance

Solstice has been optimized for high performance across a broad range of network conditions, but administrators should be aware that, as a live video streaming solution, Solstice’s performance is dependent on the host network. Therefore, the network should meet the minimum requirements outlined below. These statistics are measured between a Solstice host and end user device for two common use cases.

To quickly see how well Solstice performs on your network, connect to the Pod from a laptop and share the desktop. The laptop you use should be representative of those that will be used in production. NOTE: Solstice requirements of user devices are not intensive by modern standards. However, very old devices with underpowered graphics processing capabilities may exhibit poor performance when live streaming to Solstice displays.

Notice desktop audio sharing is toggled on by default. Open a video file on the laptop, or navigate to YouTube and choose a video to play via the web browser. You should experience a smooth viewing experience with synchronous audio. If the video playback is not smooth or audio is choppy or not synchronized, you may have a network performance issue.

There are additional considerations when it comes to validating network performance, such as ensuring Apple AirPlay mirroring is configured correctly and fully functional if required for iOS users. To fully evaluate the performance of Solstice on your network, perform the validation steps in the Network Deployment Guide while monitoring your network with your preferred tools.

Large-Scale Deployment Considerations

When Solstice is deployed at scale, there are additional considerations for administrators. As a first step to prepare for a large deployment, we encourage you to schedule your deployment with Mersive so that we can stage resources to support the on-site deployment team.

In addition, please review the major deployment considerations, which are covered at length in the Network Deployment Guide. These include:

  • Host Network Considerations
  • Network Deployment and Configuration
  • Required Open Network Ports
  • Setting Up Display Discovery

Long-Term Deployment Management

Solstice is designed as an every-room solution, and large deployments may involve dozens or even hundreds of Pods, so ongoing, long-term management is important. In this section, we’ll cover the tools and resources available to support long-term deployments.

Solstice Dashboard

The Solstice Dashboard is an invaluable tool for monitoring and managing large deployments. We recommend the technology managers responsible for the Solstice deployment use the Solstice Dashboard as their primary tool for ongoing management and maintenance of the deployment. This may be the IT team, the AV room-owner, or a third party such as the AV integrator.

NOTE: In order to use the Dashboard for management of the deployment, the Pods to be managed must have Enterprise Edition licenses.

Download the Solstice Dashboard >>
View the Solstice Dashboard guide >>

Solstice Discovery Service (SDS)

Solstice Discovery Service (SDS) is an important component for long-term deployments on managed IT networks. In addition to facilitating the user connection process, SDS is also required for several enterprise features including Solstice Multi-Room.

Download SDS >>
View the SDS Guide >>

Solstice Kepler

Solstice Kepler is a cloud-based room monitoring solution which will provide alerts, real-time deployment status, usage data, and other valuable analytics. Kepler will be an add-on service for Solstice enterprise deployments.

Learn more about Solstice Kepler >>

Solstice OpenControl API

The Solstice OpenControl API exposes much of the management and control functionality found in the Solstice Dashboard for integration with third-party systems such as room control panels and other workplace technologies/systems.

View the OpenControl API Guide >>

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