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The Gateway to the Future

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.41.41 PMBy Joe Chow, vice president, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Every couple of years, dating way, way, way back, someone boldly questions the future of customer premise equipment (CPE), and in particular, the set-top box. (To test this logic, do a search on “the death of the set-top box.”)

This week is all about shaking off old perceptions, and building anew. So I’ll say it – set-tops are not what they used to be. They will continue to transform dramatically. The Connected Home is evolving to gateways. Allow me to explain. Read More »

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How Can Satellite Service Providers Deliver At The Speed Of The Web?

In the go-go-go marketplace that is pay television, one of the most important raw ingredients for success is the ability to rapidly respond to competitive interlopers of all stripes — online and over-the-top, in addition to the “known” / traditional video purveyors. This is particularly true for satellite video providers. Their ability to quickly upgrade the installed base of consumer premise equipment (CPE), and all the associated services, is somewhat trickier than their competitors, for many reason reasons.

Most of the installed base of boxes lacks a two-way or “return” channel, and where there is one, it doesn’t necessarily operate in a “managed” environment. Meaning the satellite provider doesn’t control it, and there is no guarantee of connectivity.

So how can satellite-based service providers efficiently build Read More »

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SDN and NFV Use Cases in EPN

My last post reviewed some of the building blocks of SDN (Software Defined Networking) and positioned the protocols and APIs (Application Programming Interface) into categories so that the multitude of technologies associated with SDN can be positioned in a coherent framework. This month I’d like to start looking at some use cases where some of these things are used to deliver benefit in a service provider network.

I will review a consumer oriented offering and next month, one targeted at enterprise services.

As always, it is important to define the business outcome we are trying to affect when making a change to the network infrastructure. This case will consider an operator Read More »

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What’s in the Cisco Evolved Services Platform’s Orchestration Engine?

We created the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) to help our customers increase service revenue while driving down costs. In doing so, we needed to make it expansive to include the breadth of technologies and solutions that would apply to many domains (such as access, Wide Area Network (WAN), and data center) and technologies (such as cloud, security, and video).

And we addressed the fact that a virtualized network function (VNF) is only as good as the automation of orchestration capabilities that are used spin it up and expand it to fit the required job. Given all the VNFs (greater than 40, just counting our own) that we could conceivably be orchestrating, we had to ensure that the Cisco ESP was sufficiently broad and inclusive of multivendor technologies.

The following diagram shows the big picture—the applications and network services made possible by an open, elastic, and application-centric architecture. Read More »

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Cisco SPotlight Series – Connected Devices in the Connected Home

chowj-300x4001By Joe Chow, VP & GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Our home entertainment centers are rapidly changing. For decades, the television has been the center of American living room, but with the advent of cable, video games, streaming services and the cloud, our definitions of TV and set-top boxes have evolved. These days, a cellphone can be remote control and a remote control can be a security system. Consumers can watch movies on-demand or access second-screen content with their tablets or they can check their Facebook over their TV sets. Meanwhile society demands are expanding to include environmental concerns as well greater efficiencies.

To address many of the questions of the changing market, Cisco is launching a new video SPotlight series. Through the course of several videos, key Cisco executives will answer questions and provide commentary on many of the hottest topics in television and video.

In the inaugural video, Read More »

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