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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.

What we’ve managed to do here is take brand new technology like media monitoring that includes features such as performance monitor and mediatrace through the MSI enabled an application like the WebEx meeting client to fully participate in the Cisco medianet architecture. We’ve pushed the boundary of the network right out to the endpoint application enabling them to analyze the same network performance metrics as the network devices. In fact, it goes beyond that. With automated, inbuilt thresholds the WebEx Meeting client will be the first application that can dynamically retrieve diagnostic information from the network for the flows it’s generating and receiving. For the rich media applications, the network is no longer a cloud or some sort of black hole, through mediatrace the applications are given real visibility into what is going on and what is affecting the quality of experience which is going to be a major factor in enabling customers to transition to a pervasive video environment where users default to video rather than voice calls. It’s not just good for the application admin; imagine being a network administrator and having the applications participating in an end to end system that enables them to troubleshoot an application and not just an endpoint with an IP address.

An IT/conference manager can identify where a problem occurred using Mediatrace in real time during a WebEx session.

What makes this special is that at the outset we have applications that are actively talking to the network and leveraging leading edge services that will make deployment and operations easier for the end customers. Although the main focus is for video applications, this could just as easily be applied to voice or indeed data applications. With Medianet and this integration by the WebEx meeting client, this heralds a new era of integration between client and network. Networks can be laser focused in their applications of services and applications such as WebEx, traditionally a cloud service, can be more relevant to the enterprise network than ever before.

Meet the medianet team at Interop, Las Vegas, May8-12, 2011 to learn more and see a demo of the solution.

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