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Fog Can Help Shape the Future of IoT

Whenever I hear about a serious train accident, mugging or shootout on the streets of a city, my thoughts often turn to Fog Computing.  The same is true when I too am stuck idling in a traffic jam or at home and there’s a power outage during a winter storm or a summer heat wave.

fog

Why do I think about Fog Computing?  Well, my job at Cisco is to not only identify the latest disruptive Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, but also to validate where they might be applied to improve overall quality of life..  Whether it’s drones, artificial intelligence or robotics, my passion is to accelerate the art of the possible.

 

Lego Smart City shows what is possible

Consider Fog Computing.  Fog extends cloud computing to the edge of the network.  This provides a virtualized platform for compute, storage and network services between devices and data storage centers in the cloud.  Because of its low latency, location awareness, real-time interactions and wide geo distribution, Fog Computing can sense and respond to situations in the real physical world almost instantly.

The speed and power of Fog to connect people, data, processes and things opens up a new world of practical solutions.  For example, Fog Computing, when combined with sensors and wireless networks, can immediately alert the train operator as soon as there is trouble on the tracks, such as a slow-walking pedestrian or a stalled vehicle.   With Fog, energy loads can be automatically re-balanced or re-routed to alternative sources during spikes in demand or low availability.

In a Smart+Connected Community, acoustic sensors deployed around streets that are connected to Fog Computing infrastructure can identify gunshots, perpetrators, victims, accidents, or even cries for help with high accuracy while also alerting appropriate authorities.

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Cisco Delivers Improved Lync Interoperability

Did you know that Lync is a fully supported client in Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room (Cisco CMR) meetings.

When we say interoperability we mean it. Even when that means supporting proprietary protocols. For instance, to ensure that Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business users can fully experience the power of Cisco conferencing.

IDC released the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2015 Vendor Assessment last month. In it, Rich Costello notes that Cisco is “perennially the worldwide market share leader in enterprise IP telephony solutions, as well as advanced capabilities such as telepresence, Web conferencing services, and enterprise session border control (SBC).” (Thank you IDC.)

That doesn’t mean we’re the only option. People sometimes need to use third-party endpoints and applications to connect to Cisco meetings. We’ve enabled Lync users to participate in Cisco conferences with high-quality voice and video for years. Now we’ve enhanced that experience by enabling them to also fully share and view content.  Read More »

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Cisco Honored at 20th Annual XChange Conference

I’ve had a great few days here in Washington, D.C. at XChange 2015. You might have seen David Durham’s blog from Monday with the event details, but if not, take a look at his post to get up to speed on the XChange event and Peder Ulander’s keynote that kicked off the event for Cisco.

On Monday and Tuesday we continued with excellent keynotes, tech symposiums and breakout sessions. I was also able to participate in some fantastic meetings where I got great feedback from partners on Cisco’s security strategy. You can rest assured I will take that back with me and continue shaping our strategy.

Your input is invaluable and I love coming to events like XChange in order to get that information directly from you. You never hesitate to let us know how we’re doing and it is much appreciated. It’s how we continue to provide partner programs that work for you.

While we’re talking about your feedback, I also wanted to thank you for providing your insight to The Channel Company, sponsors of XChange. They hand out the Annual Report Card (ARC) awards each year and those awards are based strictly on feedback from our partners. Read More »

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Cisco Receives “Best of InfoComm” Awards from rAVe

Last week I wrote about how much we enjoyed talking with everyone who came to see us at Cisco Live as well as InfoComm, a conference with thousands of products from hundreds of exhibitors and more than 39,2015 attendees.  It was great to learn how our video solutions are adding value to your businesses. We’re very honored that rAVe awarded us Best of InfoComm awards in two categories.

Best New Videoconferencing Product: Cisco SX80 Codec

The SX80 codec is a powerful audio and video platform that enables integrators to incorporate high-definition video collaboration applications into large and purpose-built meeting rooms. In addition to its technical capabilities, the SX80 is also a standout on aesthetic merits having received the Red Dot design award last year.

More details about the SX80 here:

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World, Meet Thor – a Project to Hammer Out a Royalty Free Video Codec

Video codecs remain an area of active research and development. The current generation video codec is H.264 – in widespread usage on the Internet. Cisco has actively worked towards making H.264 the foundation of real-time communications on the web. The next generation codecs are just beginning to emerge. There are two of note – Google’s proprietary VP9 codec, and the industry standard H.265 (HEVC) codec, which is the successor to H.264 (AVC).

Unfortunately, the patent licensing situation for H.265 has recently taken a turn for the worse. Two distinct patent licensing pools have formed so far, and many license holders are not represented in either. There is just one license pool for H.264. The total costs to license H.265 from these two pools is up to sixteen times more expensive than H.264, per unit. H.264 had an upper bound on yearly licensing costs, whereas H.265 has no such upper limit.

These licensing terms preclude usage of H.265 in any kind of open source or freely distributed software application, such as web browsers. They also preclude its usage in freemium products – like WebEx or Cisco Spark – which have versions that users can use for free. Thus, while H.265 is still a good fit for hardware products like our telepresence room systems, it is not something that can serve as a universal video codec across hardware and software. Thus, we believe the industry needs a high quality, next-generation codec that can be used everywhere. Read More »

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