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Challenges in Deploying IP Video based Applications – Part 1: Introduction and Predictability

November 19, 2010 at 9:27 am PST

The deployment of network video applications presents several challenges for the network and application administrator. These challenges can be categorized into having predictability, offering performance, and delivering quality.

The deployment and integration of voice into the network was relatively simple compared to the challenges being brought by multi-faceted IP video applications. As with Voice over IP (VoIP), video over IP allows the reuse and convergence of communications infrastructure. Where different types of delivery mechanisms (satellite, DVDs, taps, and coax) were needed for the various types of video, a single transport system can now be used. With VoIP, there was concern regarding some aspects of network characteristics such as delay and jitter. If the video application is an interactive one like video conferencing, then delay and jitter do remain important. However, in other types of video applications (for example video surveillance), the amount of raw bandwidth to deliver high quality video can also be a limiting factor. Additionally, unlike voice, minute network degradations can result in easily noticeable impairments that remain on screen for a longer amount of time.

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All Applications and No Performance makes Work a Dull Boy: Part 2

In my earlier blog, I introduced the concept of Application Velocity and how Cisco is addressing the application performance issue as a holistic approach under Borderless Networks Architecture. I touched upon one of the key components – Visibility – under this concept and the need for it.

Let’s focus on the other two components under Application Velocity starting with Optimization…

Optimization: The second component to Application Velocity addresses the traditional role of application and network optimization. This includes compression, caching and protocol optimizations like Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) as well as quality of service (QoS) based controls to deliver speedier responses to endpoints.

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All Applications and No Performance makes Work a Dull Boy

At your last visit to the endodontist for that rootcanal (ouch!), you were pleasantly surprised that she had all your case history in her office—on a sleek tablet, no less. While you recovered from the procedure, did you notice how the front desk sent your prescription off to the nearest drug-store, filed your insurance claim, and also updated your family dentist with your procedure outcome? All digitally. Impressive, eh? And this was in the hills of Santa Cruz, where your son had trouble accessing his apps on the mobile phone.

You noticed the endodontist throw the tablet on the seat next to hers, when she drove off after your appointment. Nice.

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SEO Poisoning: When Safe Searches Turn Nasty

Recently Tim Wilson wrote in Dark Reading that news has become more dangerous to search for than porn (22.4% of top search results are infected/compromised vs. 21.8% for porn), illustrating that the bad guys never rest and threats that have been around for a while continue to evolve. When the bad guys corrupt or poison search engines such that legitimate searches send the user to bad places, often with the intent of infecting or compromising the users system or exposing the user to objectionable content, we call this SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Poisoning.

People have been manipulating search engines for personal advantage for about as long as there have been search engines. Early efforts were fairly transparent, with examples such as misleading meta tags and hidden background colored text. Search engines were able to engineer around many of these early efforts and advances like using inbound link information in addition to the content of the page (Page Rank) helped keep things (somewhat more) honest.

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Cyber Security for the Holiday Season and Beyond

November 10, 2010 at 10:38 am PST

Yesterday I was going through my mail at home, and a nicely decorated print ad caught my eye with a title “Cyber Monday Event.” Wow, it’s only early November, but retailers are already racing to jumpstart the holiday shopping season, including online shopping promotions. Are you ready to dive in?

In my previous blogpost, I shared information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October and how Cisco supported this great event. I attended the October 6 “A Unified Message for Cybersecurity” forum at Intel and other related activities. With the “Stop. Think. Connect.” message in place, the support of excellent public and private partnerships, and participation from numerous organizations and individuals, I feel that the cybersecurity awareness campaign has reached critical mass this year. In the meantime, the need for cyber security is further evidenced by a number of events, such as Firesheep and new online banking security flaws disclosed within the past 30 days.

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