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LiveAction 2.2 helps with media monitoring and network validation for video applications

May 3, 2011 at 10:39 am PST

On April 14th, 2011, ActionPacked! Networks successfully completed the interoperability testing with Medianet 2.2 for its product LiveAction 2.2 (press announcement) through the medianet systems management Cisco Developer Network  (CDN) program.

LiveAction 2.2 support for medianet has been covered in our previous blogs: performance monitor as well as IPSLA Video Operations. However; with the the CDN program, the LiveAction 2.2 software has formally worked through an intensive test review against a purpose built medianet-enabled network.

Performance monitor collects performance statistics including loss, delay and jitter at the network elements. This approach provides the most extensive visibility because all the flows between video source and sink must go through the network infrastructure. It also eliminates the need for expensive probes, which could lead to increased costs for data collection and operational expense.

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Performance Monitoring with Plixer’s Scrutinizer 8.5

April 28, 2011 at 10:36 am PST

In a previous blog, we discussed medianet performance monitor and how it can provide greater confidence within the network with its ability to analyze voice, video and data traffic and report on loss, latency and jitter.

Plixer International delivers a complementary solution that supports the medianet performance monitor feature through the medianet Cisco Developer Network  (CDN) program. CDN for medianet systems management offers application programming interfaces (APIs) and documentation to enable network and application management vendors to support enterprise medianet features that offer customers a range of management and operation solutions.

On March 29, Plixer’s Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer version 8.5 successfully completed interoperability testing with Medianet 2.2 (press announcement). Scrutinizer provides detailed reports including the medianet performance monitoring statistics (round trip time, jitter, packet loss, bit/byte and packets, MAC Addresses, IP Addresses, VLANs, Domains, application recognition) to help you monitor and troubleshoot video, voice and data applications. These reports can help the network operator perform fault isolation of network issues affecting rich media applications, as well as track historical performance of various parts of the network.

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Smarter endpoints and smarter network: An end to end Medianet becomes a reality!

April 25, 2011 at 9:12 am PST

Finally it’s here. Cisco has been working on integrating the Media Services Interface (MSI) into the WebEx Meeting Client.

For those unfamiliar with the MSI, it’s an SDK developed to enable applications to interact with a Cisco Medianet. One of the long standing challenges IT organizations have faced has been to harmonize the needs of applications and endpoints with the network services required to meet those needs. It’s been a case of ships in the night as network administrators have done their best to deliver services while having limited interaction with the endpoints and applications that leverage those services. Asking endpoints and applications to consistently implement all the networking protocols to enable them to leverage the network has often led to mixed results; inconsistent or incomplete protocol stack implementations led to interoperability issues with the burden usually falling on the end customer.

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IP SLA Video Operation Part 2 – How to use it? When to use it?

Last week, we introduced the new IP SLA Video Operation tool to assess the readiness of a network by generating synthetic traffic to mimic real applications. When you use IP SLA VO to generate simulated RTP traffic between two sites, you can use the medianet Performance Monitor feature to measure the performance of this synthetic traffic across the network. You can also use Mediatrace to discover the network elements on the paths between the two sites. For each network element discovered in the network path, Performance Monitor can collect metrics to detect potential capacity bottlenecks and proactively identify quality issues.

In addition to the obvious use for pre-deployment assessment, many enterprises understand that the network and applications are constantly changing so it is necessary to do continuous assessments. For example, after a major scheduled network maintenance or upgrade during non-business hours, you can use IP SLA VO to simulate real application traffic and assess the impact of the network changes to minimize potential business disruption or even downtime. Another example is prior to an important event, you can use IP SLA VO to stress test the network and verify that it can handle the rich media traffic without impacting existing application performance.

Whether you are doing an initial assessment for a new deployment, an expansion to an existing deployment, or ongoing operations, IPSLA VO, Performance Monitor and Mediatrace are effective tools to identify and proactively resolve rich media problems across the  network. Put this handy tool in your toolbox and you will like it.

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IP SLA Video Operation – A powerful tool to mimic the real traffic demands on your network

With video increasingly becoming part of how you collaborate, you need to consider the impact of this incremental video on your network. Video brings many new challenges in order to meet user expectations for a flawless quality of experience. So is your network ready for rich media?

IP SLA video operation answers this question by synthetically generating traffic  mimicking real application traffic. The ability to generate realistic RTP stream similar to real life Cisco TelePresence allow you to stress the network and assess the demands these applications will impose on your network. Each type of media application can be expressed for the synthetic media generation system by media application profiles that contain personalities which incorporate characteristics such as bit rate, burst sizes, inter-packet-gaps, etc. These application profiles allow, for example, a catalyst switch to simulate the video playout from multiple places in the network. There may be multiple personalities based on different software versions or configurations of the media application. Cisco will make a set of comprehensive media application profiles available for download. IP SLA video operation, an enhancement to IP SLA, was announced on April 6, 2011 at ISC West in Las Vegas and is first introduced in IOS 12.2(58) SE on Cisco Catalyst 3750 and 3560 series switches. Over time, more products will be implementing this new operation.

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