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Time Travel for an Industry

Flashback: It’s 20 years ago. If you have video and voice plans, you likely subscribe to different service providers. If you have a cell phone (you big shot, you), it weighs 5 or more pounds and you subscribe to an even different provider (not to mention building muscle toting around the briefcase sized device). For some of us, home security features are becoming increasingly available (though were much too expensive for me to consider). The networks are silo’d, with each supporting a different service, the fates of each respective provider tied solely to that service’s well being.

This is how the game myPlanNet begins, and it’s your task as a service provider CEO to evolve your company’s network from one that’s oriented around point solutions to a platform that changes the way we live, learn, work and play.

Fast forward 20 years to today. If you still have a cell phone that weighs 5 pounds, you’re at a Saved by the Bell museum. If you don’t have Internet access for 5 minutes, you develop a case of the shakes (“hyperconnectivitis” my doctor calls it…). In this world (and if you’ve mastered the myPlanNet game), your service provider’s network has become an IP Next Generation Network -- a single platform that enables all of us, at work, at home, or on the move, to have the “anys” -- any device, any content, anytime, anywhere – enabling us to connect and share our lives like never before.

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T-Systems Creates Innovative Managed Service Based on Cisco WAAS and NetQoS

With the proliferation of applications across the enterprise -- LAN, WAN, and data center – the need to optimize applications across wide area networks is greater than ever, and performance becomes the new vanguard in network and service management. As the borderless enterprise takes hold, with distributed workers and branches collaborating over video, mobile, and other multimedia applications, enterprises are looking for service providers that can help improve the user experience with quality of service (QoS) guarantees. This means service providers need to have the ability to deliver end-to-end performance assurance and management of applications using application performance management (APM), optimization and acceleration solutions like Cisco Wide Area Application Service (WAAS).

data centerEnterprises today are grappling with increasing complexity in their applications environment, and with server sprawl in their data centers. Let’s consider a global pharmaceutical company. It has numerous IT applications, such as the corporate ERP system, R&D, supply chain management, and FDA-related compliance applications. The corporate HQ is in Bonn, Germany; the R&D center is in Bern, Switzerland; and the distribution centers are in Salt Lake City, USA, and Sydney, Australia; while the compliance center is in Portsmouth, England. The problem is that with users and applications spread across the globe, round-trip latency and sub-optimization are constant headaches. What the enterprise needs is the capability to assure performance across the WAN, from end to end. This is the gap that legacy service providers, who currently focus only on fault and availability metrics, fail to bridge, thereby losing customers.

The answer to this problem is twofold. First, it lies in building a system that provides enterprises with end-to-end visibility of applications across the LAN, WAN, and data center (APM); and second, it requires implementing a set of capabilities the service provider can invoke to assess, deploy, right-size, and proactively operate customer networks. T-Systems has achieved just that by pioneering a complete suite of innovative service offerings built on the Cisco WAAS solution and the monitoring suite of NetQoS, a Cisco APM partner. This leading-edge offering helps customers benefit from enhanced WAN performance end-to-end and acceptable levels of application delivery.

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NBC Leverages Cisco Video Network at 2010 Olympic Winter Games

This February, Cisco enables NBC to make history once again with the broadcast of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The event marks the largest all-IP video network deployed for a televised sporting event and highlights the groundbreaking capabilities of an end-to-end medianet -- an all-IP next-generation network optimized for rich media.

Medianet enables the delivery of a unified video experience while allowing users to have a more personal, social and interactive experience.

NBC Deploys Medianet Technologies
Craig Lau, Vice President of Technology for the NBC Olympics, shares how NBC and Cisco are revolutionizing the viewer experience at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games with SP Medianet Technologies.

XXI Olympic Winter Games
Sue Bostrom, Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco Systems, reflects on the successes from the Beijing Olympics and shares how NBC and Cisco are revolutionizing the viewer experience at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

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Looking to 2010: Video to Immersive Participatory Networking

2010 Happy New Year from Cisco

As we close out 2009, recall that in one of my blogs, March 11 2009, I wrote about teleportation.

It was no surprise for me that one of the top 50 inventions for the year 2009 cited by Time Magazine, Inc., was Teleportation, in the context of quantum information processing itself.

Video whether consumer generated over the Internet via a Flip High Definition/Ultra High Definition Videocam, or via business interactive, e.g. TelePresence, is evolving to be  even more interactive and personal.   Think about a “participatory” event like a commercial such that you become part of the advertising experience; or a sport venue like a baseball game where you are in the game and so on.  The possibilities of 4 dimensional holographic spaces where individuals can indeed immerse themselves in a participatory cyber-space with other individuals.

What are the consequences for the network?

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The Genesis of medianets

Gazing into crystal balls, technological or otherwise, can be hazardous to your health! But the temptation is irresistible, and we all succumb from time to time. After all, the experts can surely discern underlying technology trends and market forces, so the future should be reasonably predictable. The only caveat being that sometimes new technologies can emerge unexpectedly, to upset the best made plans of mice and men.

consumer video contentAt least in one area, that of the future of TV, some predictions would appear to be reasonably safe. The demand for high-definition TV and video content is mushrooming, and it appears that consumers demand video content anytime, anywhere, and on any screen at their disposal, whether it will be TV, PC, or cell phone. Online and mobile video technologies have transformed the video experience, leaving service and content providers scrambling to meet consumer demand. Most experts now accept that video traffic will dominate growth of service provider networks over the next decade, and the widely used Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) provides an excellent measure of this trend.

However, will content distribution networks evolve to handle the anticipated massive increase in bandwidth-hungry video traffic? A recent article from Cisco in the IEEE Communications Magazine, “IPTV and video networks in the 2015 timeframe: the evolution to medianets” addresses some of the underlying video technologies that are rapidly evolving to meet these needs. The IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) optimized to deliver video traffic will derive massive scalability from the use of the underlying optical fiber-based IP over DWDM (IPoDWDM) and IP/MPLS transport technologies, in which Cisco is a recognized world leader. To extend the large bandwidth capacities required to the access and aggregation network domains, Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) transport technologies will increasingly come into play for SP networks. For cable networks, increased penetration of new ultra high-speed DOCSIS 3.0 technologies will provide the huge capacities needed for next generation broadband cable services, including interactive video services.

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