WebRTC: the new standard for real-time communication in the Cloud?

The Cloud covers most IT applications ranging from services in SaaS to infrastructure in IaaS. Integrating Communication as a Service (CaaS) into the mix means providing real-time data processing for audio and video communication from browser to browser.

a new standard under development

Developed by the IETF and the W3C, this new standard will make it easier to integrate real-time audio and video communication services (Web Real-Time Communication) into browsers and applications running on the Cloud with no plugins required on the user side.

Major players in cloud computing signaled the need for a new CaaS standard over a year ago. This is now being developed by two organizations: IETF and W3C. Called RTCWeb by IETF and WebRTC by W3C, the new standard will establish the protocol and APIs needed for audio and video communication between users.

chart showing the WebRTC architecture


how it works

A WebRTC client and 2 APIs, called Media Stream and Peer Connection, are built into the browser.

  • the WebRTC client, in HTML5/JavaScript, processes the call (HTTP/WebSocket) between the browser and the WebRTC server
  • after login, media is transmitted on the Peer Connection API (RTP/UDP)
  • the Media Stream API then manages (In/Out) the various interfaces on the terminal (microphones, speakers, webcams, etc.)

beta versions already available

The WebRTC standard will provide fast access to communication services in an HTML5 browser.

It is seen as a new way to provide communication services in the Cloud for various fixed and mobile devices. It will also make installation and updates much easier.

While the standard has yet to be finalized (coding, NAT traversal, interconnection, etc.), most Web browsers are starting to offer beta versions for use with their technology.


This blog post was originally published in French here.

Photo credit: © Logostylish - Fotolia.com

Jamil Chawki
Since 2008, I have coordinated cloud standardization activities at Orange Labs. I worked for 10 years developing optic and Internet networks at France Telecom, taking part in 2006 in the development of SaaS activities for 2.0 companies. I also managed a telecom operator in Lebanon, where I introduced an online billing service in 2001. I’m currently head of the work group on cloud standardization at UIT-T and ISO IEC JTC1.