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Medianet at Cisco Live Las Vegas 2011

It’s been a few weeks from this year’s US Cisco Live event, and we are energized from the excitement and resonance from our partners and customers. Also a little bit exhausted (see what was going on).

This year we saw the build out of the visibility pillar of the medianet architecture. With features like performance monitor, mediatrace, and IPSLA Video Operation, we have added very powerful tools existing cisco tool chest (think regular IPSLA, NetFlow, etc.) to aid in the deployment and maintenance of rich media applications. There were also a number of management solutions from our CDN partners (CA Technologies, Cisco, SevOne, ActionPacked and Plixer) ready to exploit these features.

The week started on Thursday night (4 days before the event) with the enablement of the cat3750s and ISRs in the Cisco Live production network with the mediatrace and performance monitor feature. There were a number of media endpoints in the network this year ranging from IP Video Surveillance Cameras, IP phones, to Cisco TelePresence equipment. In fact, the Cisco TelePresence Content Server (TCS) was performing a pilot at cisco live where 46 sessions were recorded leading to 111 GB of video content. Medianet performance monitor was monitoring the audio and video traffic generated from the C90 and stored at the TCS. The video surveillance setup consisted of over 50 cameras (HD and SD) storing over 10 terabytes of data. Medianet performance monitor was also analyzing the video traffic here for anomalies. Fortunately, nothing bad occurred on this portion of the network but we were ready to identify and fix it quickly!

Figure 1 Voice Services at Cisco Live were Monitored using Medianet Performance Monitor

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Medianet QoS Design – New Technical Collateral

The explosion of media traffic and video applications calls for a foundation network that is ready to provide intelligent priority-based services for them, and one cannot agree more with the paramount role of QoS in deployment of medianets. QoS Technologies have traditionally helped administrators exert control over network behavior with differential treatment of various traffic classes, and this becomes a much more compelling requirement in today’s landscape with a lot of low latency and delay sensitive traffic consuming a big part of the total available bandwidth pool.

Many of you would nod in agreement when we talk about the complexities involved in QoS deployment. The complexities stem from a plethora of reasons: platform inconsistencies in provisioning and feature sets, divergent hardware capabilities across product lines, lack of a centric management application to provision and manage QoS etc.

In order to alleviate these pain points, we have the pleasure of introducing a series of QoS-Simplified AAGs (At-A-Glance) documents especially as an aid to expedite Medianet QoS deployments. The goal of this AAG series is to drive QoS Simplification, enable an administrator to understand and configure campus QoS features like Trust, Per-Port/Per-VLAN support, ingress/egress QoS features and Auto QoS, use QoS effectively in WAN/VPN deployments and to provide a CLI quick start guide for beach head platforms like cat3k, cat4k, cat6k, ISR and ASR1k.

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Learn more about medianet with a new Techwise TV episode and a Workshop

Here are two new opportunities to learn more about medianet from Aamer Akhter from the medianet team. Learn how you can get the most of your network to deliver optimal video, voice and data!

  • TechWise TV Episode 93:  Automating Video Delivery on the Network, recently recorded at Interop, Las Vegas last May. Discover how the latest Cisco innovations enable automated device configuration for any media type, minimize troubleshooting, and ensure a high-quality user experience anywhere.
  • Workshop: Optimize Your Network for Video and More with Cisco Medianet . Join Cisco TechWiseTV Chief Geek Jimmy Ray Purser as he hosts Aamer Akhter, from the medianet team, for a technical, deep-dive session on how you can get the most out of your video network with Cisco’s medianet.  Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PDT. Register here

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Hey HP…Really? Time for a reality check!

Cisco doesn’t usually weigh in on rumor, speculation, or just plain nonsense, but we simply had to address some blatantly misleading information that HP has been sharing with customers and reporters in the wake of Cisco’s industry-changing Catalyst 6500 announcement of earlier this week.  I’m a big fan of Dragnet, so in the style of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday, let’s talk about “Just the facts”:

First, Cisco emphatically stands behind the claim of 3x the performance at 1/3 the price when you compare a simple upgrade of Catalyst 6500 versus HP’s A9500.  HP is suggesting we should instead be comparing the Catalyst 6500 against their replacement platform, the A10500.  We’re perfectly happy to do this but we found it’s really hard to do a comparison with a product that doesn’t yet exist.  Don’t believe us?  Go look at the HP web site.  You won’t find any details to support HP’s claims.  Yes, HP did ‘launch’ the A10500 in May, but it still hasn’t been posted to their configuration tool, nor does it appear anywhere on their networking product pages.  So is the A10500 real, or is it just marketing until it gets off the factory floor?

Second, HP’s claim that the E-Series has only been around for months is incorrect.  The Catalyst 6500 E-Series has been in the market for seven years and is in 80 percent of our installed base customer networks.  80 percent!  So, for 80 percent of our customers, migrating to the Sup2T really is as simple as a $38,000 list price upgrade.  That’s all it takes to get that 3x performance increase, 4x scalability boost, and access to over 200 new software features.  Investment protection has always been a key criterion for Cisco and its customers.

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Cisco Live 2011 In Review Through the Switching Prism

I’ve spent the majority of my time last week mixing it up with the record-breaking crowd of over 15,000 customers, partners, press, analysts, and other Cisco enthusiasts and it was truly gratifying to feel the positivity generated by the basket of Catalyst switching innovations we announced at the show (please take a look at my previous post for details).  Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

Catalyst 6500 – The most widely deployed modular switch gets a big refresh and is poised to take on another decade of challenges

Kumar Srikantan, VP of Marketing for the Scalable Networks Business Unit, discusses the motivation behind the new enhancements made to Cisco’s flagship networking solution, the Catalyst 6500, and its impact to customers.  Watch his interview at Cisco Live – The Vibe Extra.

Listen in as Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior, summarizes the new product additions in her keynote.

And, from a customer perspective, Ed Wilson, network test engineer and system design specialist from Penn State University, describes his experience with the new Catalyst 6500 products.

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