Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja could moonlight as a national highway planner. Ask him how Cisco is helping communications service providers meet the challenges of moving video and other “rich media” around the Internet, and the senior vice president/general manager of Cisco’s Service Provider Routing Technology Group sprinkles his response with highway and traffic analogies.
Cisco’s CRS family of routers corresponds to national highway systems worldwide, he says, and its recently announced CRS-3 increases the number of lanes and boosts the speed limit, allowing video and other traffic to move faster. Edge routers such as Cisco’s ASR 9000 have expanded the capacity of the freeway system and brought greater intelligence to the edge – that is, to the Internet’s on-ramps and off-ramps. For the special “quality of service” requirements that Cisco has developed for video, think carpool lanes or toll highways, says Ahuja. And for storage capacity where video can be locally cached and buffered in the network, then accessed via technologies like the CRS-3’s Network Positioning System, think parking lots.
The point is, solving the challenge posed by soaring amounts of video traffic traversing service providers’ networks requires more than a piecemeal approach. In fact, Ahuja says, it requires a re-engineered Internet.
“That’s the fundamental challenge of the future,” Ahuja says. “How do you build the ‘next-generation’ Internet which can enable rich media experiences that are going to be critical for delivering video and cloud-based applications and services across the fixed and mobile network environment?”
Cisco is unique in the holistic nature of its approach to solving this challenge, Ahuja says. In addition to the basic networking foundation provided by massive-capacity routers like the CRS-3, the company offers data center, compute and storage components, as well as virtualization, the ability to do caching in the network and delivery of a video-based architecture dubbed Medianet. Add to that the intelligence to determine where video originates – from a cell phone or high-definition camera, for instance – and to adapt it in the network so that it is available to a variety of end points – such as a high-definition TV in the home, a laptop or a mobile device using Cisco’s mobile Internet strategy, Ahuja says.
“The ‘next-generation’ Internet is not just going to be about person-to-person or site-to-site communications,” Ahuja says. “It’s going to be about access to any content, anywhere, on any device.”
To read more about Cisco’s video strategy and the next-generation Internet, please see News@Cisco story, “Cisco Betting Big on Virtualization to Solve Video Challenge.”