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User Traffic Analysis by Medianet Performance Monitor

February 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm PST

Network operators are tasked with providing a foundation network that can deliver a variety of applications to their users at any time. For the most part, the network is in the background, humming away while users enjoy the applications. However; once in a while, the application will slow down, or hiccup, and the first suspect is usually the network.

Figure 1 - Poor video quality caused by packet loss.

Sometimes this is not without just cause; the network may be composed of various administrative domains in various states of work, and many things that are outside the domain of control of any network operator (bad fiber, rain clouds, bulldozers, floods etc.). There is the common experience of the ping test passing, but still something wrong within the network. Or the other case, where the ping fails intermittently, but there is no clue about the location of the problem.

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How to get IPv6, now

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know by now that the IPv4 address pool is exhausted and you need to start using IPv6.  In fact, you may even be convinced.   How can you get your network connected to the growing IPv6 capable Internet, ideally in time for World IPv6 Day

Start with your Internet service provider (ISP).  Although not every ISP currently provides IPv6 service, the list grows in proportion to customer demand.  Free, Comcast, and Softbank are just some examples of prominent ISPs who have large scale public IPv6 trials and rollouts.  Even if your ISP has not announced an IPv6 plan, contact them.  You might be able to become early adopter on an unannounced trial.

In the event that your provider has not yet seized the opportunity to provide IPv6 service, you can seek out a public tunnel broker, a service that allows you to “tunnel” IPv6 packets across an IPv4-only connection to the IPv6 capable Internet.  A number of tunnel broker providers like Hurricane Electric, SixXS and Freenet6 provide tunneling points of presence at many locations worldwide and will gladly issue an IPv6 prefix (or several!) for no charge.  Some tunnel brokers will even provide a BGP feed.  This is an excellent way to start gaining experience with IPv6 connectivity in your network.

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Medianet Readiness Assessment: Is your network ready for medianet?

Video applications such as telepresence, desktop video conferencing, video surveillance, digital signage and WebEx have become an essential part of the enterprise work environment, greatly improving efficiency and productivity in organizations.

Enterprise network IT operators are adding more and more of these applications on their IP network. Due to the nature of video traffic, these applications exert more demand on the existing IP network. If a network is not capable of handling these applications, then the application performance will degrade, resulting in a frustrating user experience. In this situation most of the network operators will tend to solve this problem by adding more bandwidth and capacity into the network, but that may not always solve this problem. 

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Convince Your Boss to Participate in World IPv6 Day

At this point, the technical community should already understand that IPv4 addresses are gone and that IPv6 is the best way to keep the Internet growing. Although we have known for years that this day would arrive, the community doesn’t always see the need to act. The common refrain is that there’s no killer app and no return on investment. Well, the Internet itself is the killer app -- if a business uses the Internet for any reason at all today then that business needs deal with the fact that the public Internet will deploy IPv6 and react accordingly.  That encompasses a pretty broad set of scenarios -- hosted services, online banking, student registration, government services, telecommuter access, remote site connections, backup network connections, partner sites, on-line advertising, retail, social media … the list goes on. 

Clients have started to demand IPv6 accessible services.  The U.S. Government is demanding IPv6 compliance as a condition in its procurements and organizations like ARIN will require IPv6 accessibility of vendor as a condition on their external contractors.  In the rapidly growing mobile telephony space, providers are looking to roll out native IPv6 service in order to reduce the network complexity and the reliance on Network Address Translation services.  Enterprises that provide native IPv6 connectivity will have an advantage in this space.

You may already have some ideas or plans to roll out or test IPv6, or may have spent some time testing in the lab. But how can you really see if your enterprise is ready to provide IPv6 services?

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Where are you? Location and Media – How location awareness will affect rich media applications

February 14, 2011 at 7:53 am PST

Does it really matter where you are? Increasingly it might; even for the rich media applications that customers are starting to deploy on their networks. Location services are already emerging as a powerful transformative force in consumer electronics. Smartphone applications can already use your location to do anything from finding you the nearest Thai restaurant to locating the nearest available parking space. Increasingly essential tools for modern life in the big city. But location is also emerging as a subtle and yet important service when applied to rich media applications.

Modern network infrastructure is increasingly able to pass location information to connected endpoints enabling a new range of location based endpoint services. At the mundane level, these location services are useful in logistical management of rich media applications. For surveillance, the ability to locate and track the movements of IP surveillance cameras enables improvements to dynamic asset tracking and loss prevention. This doesn’t just apply to the increasing number of wireless IP surveillance cameras but also to wired cameras. Relying on a connectivity test may enable an administrator to check whether a camera is still active but that’s no guarantee that the camera is still located in the correct location and is monitoring the right “scene.” For digital signage applications prevalent in retail and entertainment venues, the most common method of determining which content should be streamed to a particular media endpoint is usually based on location. The media endpoint located in the lobby of a sports stadium is highly likely to be playing media content which differs from that sent to a player in an executive suite. By applying location services, dynamically learnt from the network, it’s possible to automate the provisioning of these media endpoints and even ensures that the correct content is played, even if the endpoint is moved from one location to another.

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