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Savvis Symphony VPDC is Music to the Ears

At VMWorld in August, Savvis unveiled its not-so-secret Project Spirit, the company’s platform for enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service virtual computing services.  In December, they announced Cisco’s UCS (Unified Computing System)  as the platform for Spirit, and introduced Symphony – the range of Cloud offerings including Project Spriit.  Savvis calls the Spirit portion of this portfolio a Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC).  Effectively the service offers infrastructure as a service (compute, storage and more) as a service to a large number of customers through a simple web interface.

cloudCisco is mentioned as a key strategic partner in helping Savvis create this service.  Savvis uses many elements of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution, including the UCS for compute nodes, Nexus  and Catalyst switches including Application Control Engine and  Firewall Services Modules for data-center networking, and a Cisco-powered IP NGN network interconnecting their data centers.

Of course, we’re very proud that we’re providing the infrastructure solution.  But that wasn’t what I meant by the title to this post.

What’s exciting to me is the fact that cloud computing is moving from the hobby shop to the production floor, and service providers are beginning to offer world-class cloud offers to their customers.

The Savvis offering is distinct from other IaaS offers in several ways, but in my opinion, the most important is the fact that Savvis Symphony VPDC includes the types of features that enterprises will require if Cloud Computing is to become a staple element of every business.

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Social Media Marketing for Service Providers – Connecting with Customers with Elyse Tager (Elymedia)

Elyse Tager shares her view on how businesses are using social media as an opportunity to get closer to customers. In this video with Cisco’s Zoya Fallah, Elyse discusses social media marketing techniques that can be used for business to business and business to consumer.

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A View from This Year’s “Tech Emmys” in Las Vegas

By Bart Spreister, VP/GM Digital Media Networks, Service Provider Video Technology Group

The 61st Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy AwardsIt’s always gratifying to be part of a winning team, even (and perhaps especially!) as a behind-the-scenes contributor. I’m talking about the 61st annual Technology & Engineering Emmys, put on by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Las Vegas, during the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

I had the good fortune to sit with friends and colleagues at Fox Entertainment Group, which won a Tech Emmy for their “pioneering efforts in development and implementation of network distribution workflows for ATSC DTV Development.”

Here’s what that means: Fox, which, with all other U.S. broadcasters, switched to all-digital transmissions in 2009, pioneered a way to maintain a consistent and high-quality look and feel of its video feed, including graphics transitions amongst affiliates. The Fox national feed reaches 294 affiliate stations, so the ability to automate the process was a big deal, internally.

Maybe this sounds obvious - to splice between national and local content and graphics, without degrading picture quality. Turns out it’s not -- or it wasn’t, prior to Fox’s work.

Prior to the digital cutover, any national feeds entering a local station often required decoding and manipulation (e.g. to insert a different logo or message), then re-encoding, prior to airing. Each time a piece of video is manipulated, the potential exists to degrade quality -- which is why it was and is important to maintain a clean, high-quality feed, between national and local locations.

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NBC Olympics SVP, Digital Media on How Medianet Enables Coverage of 2010 Games

Perkins Miller knows a thing or two (or ten) about the Olympic Games. As Senior VP of Digital Media Olympics for NBC Universal, Miller oversaw the push to deliver the Games on multiple digital platforms, back in 2008.

This year, he says in this video interview, it’s all about capturing the culture of the Games - from fans, journalists, and athletes (except when they’re actually competing, obviously) - while vastly improving the behind-the-scenes editing workflows.

That means putting Cisco Flip cameras in the hands of participants, before the games, as well as NBC talent and producers to gather “the rest of the story.”

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Announcing Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Solution for Service Providers

A very happy new year to you all!

Today, we announced the Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution for service providers. Service providers are looking for new ways to enter the market for IaaS (providing compute-on-demand, network-on-demand and storage-on-demand for their customers)

Cisco is working with Service Providers to provide them with the tools, design guides and advanced services to be able to “fast-track” the implementation of IaaS offerings. The benefit for our SP customers is that they are able to develop a service with greater confidence and are then able to realize revenues faster than would have otherwise been possible.

Any customer of the SP can now gain access to cost-efficient resources at SP scale. Not having to deploy these services on their own makes your customers more agile and productive.

The benefits for the customer include:

  • Access to world-class IT services on-demand
  • Highly efficient, low-cost services without up-front investment
  • Security and management provided by their service provider

The benefits to Service Providers include:

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