Zoom Mesh for Webinars and Events

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Zoom Mesh is a native, zero-click, and zero-install client-based Mesh (eCDN) solution for Zoom Webinars and Events. The Zoom Mesh service minimizes network congestion for Webinars & Events while preserving the native Zoom attendee and host experience. Overall with Zoom Mesh, customers can take advantage of:

  • Host media is delivered only to select endpoints (parents), which is then re-forward to others (children) within the same network.
  • Significant bandwidth reduction due to media only needing to be transmitted from the Cloud directly to a fraction of Zoom Clients.
  • Native Zoom experience for hosts and attendees that is seamless integration between the Zoom Cloud and Zoom Client.
  • A transparent process for hosts and attendees.

This article cover:

Prerequisites for Zoom Mesh for Webinars and Events

  • Account owner or admin privileges
  • Webinars add-on or Zoom Events license
  • Zoom desktop client
    • Windows: 5.13.0 or higher
    • macOS: 5.13.0 or higher
    • Linux: 5.13.0 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • Android: 5.13.0 or higher
    • iOS: 5.13.0 or higher

Note: Zoom Mesh supports the VDI plugin versions 5.14.0 or higher.

What is Zoom Mesh?

When multiple attendees and participants are connected to a Webinar from the same local network, this can put an unnecessary strain on the network due to the requirements for the incoming bandwidth to handle the webinar media streams from the Zoom Cloud to each webinar attendee. Zoom Mesh lowers this bandwidth using a number of clients to route media from the Zoom Cloud to the rest of the attendees within the network.

This is achieved via the service designating a number of Zoom Clients connected to a webinar as Mesh Parents. The parent clients send and receive media from the Zoom Cloud and distribute incoming streams to the other Zoom Clients (designated as Mesh Children) connected to the webinar within the same local network as the Parents.


Features of Zoom Mesh

Zoom Mesh features include:

  • Cloud-based peering algorithms for controlling client-based media re-distribution.
  • Utilizes media redistribution native to Zoom clients instead of 3rd party eCDNs. 
  • Preserves the full native Zoom experience for hosts and attendees.
  • Utilizes Zoom’s existing media technology.
  • Entitlement-based mechanism (limited change to the base client binary size).
  • Peer-to-Peer media distribution.
  • Cloud-based orchestration service to instantiate and manage the mesh functionality.
  • Parent/Child client model for media redistribution with redundancy.
  • Mesh built based on Zoom’s historical knowledge of client performance.
  • Automatic pre-meeting topology discovery, mesh formation, and monitoring.
    In-meeting dynamic mesh management and remediation.
  • Centralized management and administration from within the Zoom Web Portal.

Zoom Mesh architecture

Normal Zoom Webinar and Events architecture

In the normal Zoom Webinar and Events experience, all attendees joining the webinar or event from the same local network receive individual but identical streams from the host. If the attendees are for the most part working in the office this can cause a large strain, or even overwhelm an organization's WAN or internet connection, especially if the Host and attendees are in different offices or branches. To accommodate the bandwidth necessary to handle the streams, an organization would need to ensure the WAN or internet bandwidth is provisioned based on the potential maximum attendees in each branch or office in the organization.

Zoom Mesh Webinar and Events architecture

With the Zoom Mesh architecture, only Zoom Clients designated by the Mesh service receive the stream from the Zoom Cloud. These designated hosts forward the media stream to the rest of the attendees within their LAN, greatly reducing the WAN or internet bandwidth necessary to stream to all attendees. 

For information on the network requirements for Zoom Mesh, please see the firewall rules for Zoom Mesh.

Zoom Mesh survivability

An important part of the Zoom Mesh is the survivability component. During an event or webinar, if a Mesh parent ends up losing connectivity, its children as well as the sublayer parents will automatically be distributed amongst the other active parents.

In the event that all Mesh parents are down, and there are no other clients that meet the requirements to be a parent, then all attendees will connect directly to the Zoom Cloud for the media streams.

VPN considerations

When utilizing VPN with Zoom Mesh, there are special considerations for VPN routing:

  • Standard routing: When using standard routing all media is routed through a VPN tunnel to/from the data center and from there to the internet. In this case, Zoom Mesh will be effective and will work similarly to a non-VPN environment
  • Split tunnel routing: When using split tunnel routing media is routed from the VPN endpoints directly to/from the internet bypassing the data center. In this case, Zoom Mesh will be ineffective in saving bandwidth. In this case, it is recommended that VPN subnets are excluded from Zoom Mesh. 

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