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The Cloud, the TV, and The Cable Show

ConradBy Conrad Clemson, VP of strategy, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group 

Well, we’re nothing if not patient. For those of us who’ve been active in cable VOD (video on demand) since it began, 12+ years ago, it’s totally great to finally see glimmers of acknowledgement for the category. It’s like knowing your kid is truly gifted at something, but not seeing validation of it until a dozen years after it seemed “time.”

I’m talking about this item, from the May 20 edition of the New York Times. Titled “Viewers Start to Embrace Television on Demand,” it plucks out all kinds of killer data points — like the fact that VOD views of ABC shows are up 32% (without fast-forward) over the last year. Cisco’s own VNI forecast issued 5/29 shows that VOD will be the fastest growing and highest penetrated residential TV service globally, with 402 million subscribers, reaching 29% of digital TV households globally by 2017.

Of course what started as movies on demand has changed over the years. It’s now more like Read More »

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That’s A Wrap: Cisco Partner Summit Summary and Takeaways

It was a great Cisco Partner Summit, and whether you joined us live in Boston last week or participated in Virtual Partner Summit, we hope you found the sessions, discussions, networking and parties as valuable, nurturing and fun as we did. Watch this video for a look back at the week that was:

Partner Summit may be over, but the key conversations that highlighted the event are just beginning. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be looking in detail at many of those conversations, from partner evolution to services and technology innovation. Check back often for new interviews with our executives and partners, and get ready to advance these discussions over the next few months. We’ll also be announcing our Partner Summit contest winners this week so stay tuned!

For now, let’s rewind and cover the big news and events of Partner Summit day by day. We also have an executive summary that you can download of all the major news and partner announcements from Partner Summit 2013.  Read More »

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Companies Innovate with Cisco Video Technology

Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

irobot - cisco tp imageWe at Cisco know this to be true. As leaders in telepresence innovation, we have paved the way for organizations around the world to improve the way they communicate through video. Our industry-leading portfolio is built on a foundation of interoperability and great experiences, enabling others to create new, compelling ways to collaborate over video.

Let’s explore a few recent examples:

  • Video Collaboration Robots: Renowned for its advanced technologies, iRobot used the Cisco TelePresence EX60 personal system to create an industry-first self-navigating video collaboration robot. Named iRobot AVA 500, this new device is powered by a standards-based, high-definition Cisco video system atop an autonomous, intelligent robotics platform unlike any other on the market.
    Read More »

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Cisco @ #Cable13 – The Cable Show: See you in Our Nation’s Capital!

If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’re on your way or already in Washington, D.C., where you’ll spend the next few days attending this week’s Cable Show. We’re there too, not surprisingly, with a lot to share with our cable friends and colleagues. And I do mean a lot. Let’s see if I can be brief about it.

By now (I hope!) you’ve heard about our Videoscape Unity platform. That’s the one that’s focused on a sophisticated but easy-to-use, consistent interface that blends video, social networking and other information, using the best screen for experiences that are personalized, synchronized, and more social…All at the “speed of now.”

At the Show, we’re highlighting the Videoscape Open API framework, an Read More »

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Don’t Take Your Eyes off VDI – We’re Certainly Not!

This blog post promises to avoid telling you about all the fantabulous (I know that’s not a woUCSrd) growth expected in the number of hosted virtual desktops to be deployed by 2016.  What I do want to share, is how Cisco is ramping up our investments in accelerating your path to virtual desktop success, and how we’re tapping into the fundamentals of our Unified Computing System (UCS) to deliver new VDI efficiencies; the same efficiencies that have made Cisco the 2nd most preferred x86  blade server vendor* worldwide, in just 4 years!  So why are so many organizations moving away from their legacy compute solution, and choosing UCS for VDI workloads and more?

Differentiated capabilities that address VDI pain points: TCO and Manageability

It’s no secret to anyone that VDI is not simple to deploy.  You essentially have to bring together multiple seemingly disparate solution elements (server, storage, virtualization, broker, network, security, etc.) and make them work in a cohesive manner, and then be certain that your implementation will scale from a small pilot of 50 users to hundreds, thousands, or more!  Clearly with such complexity, the last thing you need is a complex compute infrastructure underneath it all.  There are 3 key things at the heart of this, that speak to why UCS is better for VDI:on-board

1.)    Server-resident flash.  Our “On-Board” Architecture for VDI intercepts the rapidly proliferating use of flash based storage solutions that offer expansive IOPS capacity and huge performance.  UCS takes it a step further by offering an integrated solution leveraging our partner Fusion-io.  We’ve additionally delivered reference architectures that extend the use cases and attractiveness of flash-based solutions with appliance approaches (that direct-connect the storage array to our fabric interconnect) as well as more traditional multi-tiered architectures.  More on that in a moment…

service profile2.)    We’ve made it easier to provision and manage the hosts for your virtual desktop deployments.  UCS Service Profile Templates enable rapid deployment from bare metal, creating a zero-touch, mistake-proof, stateless operations model.  Now, when you add the On-Board, server-resident flash to the configuration, you extend the reach of this management model to include high-performance, economical storage, completely provisioned and managed as part of the blade configuration/profile!  No SAN or associated expertise required!  Perfect for floating, non-persistent desktops.VIC

3.)    Granular visibility across the virtualized infrastructure.  With user desktops now running amidst other mission-critical workloads in the data center, there’s more reason than ever to ensure that you can impart QoS, security and manageability across the multitude of virtual machine traffic flows traversing the data center.  Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and Cisco Nexus 1000v provide the visibility and controls that make this possible, extending physical world policy and administration to virtual.

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