Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Enterprise Networks

Where are you? Location and Media – How location awareness will affect rich media applications

February 14, 2011 at 7:53 am PST

Does it really matter where you are? Increasingly it might; even for the rich media applications that customers are starting to deploy on their networks. Location services are already emerging as a powerful transformative force in consumer electronics. Smartphone applications can already use your location to do anything from finding you the nearest Thai restaurant to locating the nearest available parking space. Increasingly essential tools for modern life in the big city. But location is also emerging as a subtle and yet important service when applied to rich media applications.

Modern network infrastructure is increasingly able to pass location information to connected endpoints enabling a new range of location based endpoint services. At the mundane level, these location services are useful in logistical management of rich media applications. For surveillance, the ability to locate and track the movements of IP surveillance cameras enables improvements to dynamic asset tracking and loss prevention. This doesn’t just apply to the increasing number of wireless IP surveillance cameras but also to wired cameras. Relying on a connectivity test may enable an administrator to check whether a camera is still active but that’s no guarantee that the camera is still located in the correct location and is monitoring the right “scene.” For digital signage applications prevalent in retail and entertainment venues, the most common method of determining which content should be streamed to a particular media endpoint is usually based on location. The media endpoint located in the lobby of a sports stadium is highly likely to be playing media content which differs from that sent to a player in an executive suite. By applying location services, dynamically learnt from the network, it’s possible to automate the provisioning of these media endpoints and even ensures that the correct content is played, even if the endpoint is moved from one location to another.

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Improve Application Performance via PfR

In the evolution of IP routing, Cisco performance routing (PfR) is a more advanced routing mechanism. Compared to traditional IP routing protocols like Static routing, RIP, OSPF, EIGRP or BGP that use static metrics to provide reachability information to the higher layers, PfR enhances traditional IP routing by selecting the best path based on live measurements and configured policies.

As we move from applications hitherto satisfied with simple reachability to applications whose performance is directly tied to network performance, traditional IP routing protocols fall short. They cannot guarantee complex application SLA requirements as these parameters are not included in the decision making process. This void can be filled by a routing mechanism that takes applications’ requirements while making routing decisions. PfR makes adaptive routing decisions based on criteria like latency, packet loss, jitter, traffic load and configured cost policies. This ability to configure flexibility into the routing decision process makes PfR closer to applications.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Come learn with the Enterprise Medianet team at Cisco Live 2011 in London

Get prepared to deploy Medianet with Cisco Technologies!  This year’s edition of Cisco Live London Jan31-Feb3, 2011 has numerous sessions that cover the design and deployment of rich media networks.

You can get your hands dirty and learn how to configure the brand new Medianet IOS features Mediatrace and Performance Monitor in the Enterprise Medianet Lab (LTREVT-2300). This lab session also provides the opportunity for hands-on experience on medianet technologies such as QOS, Netflow, Performance Monitoring, Mediatrace, IP SLA video operation and PfR and video applications such as Physical Security, Telepresence, Video Conferencing, Digital Signage and WebEx.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

It’s 9 o’clock. Do you know how your media applications are performing?

Enterprises have reported upward increases in bandwidth requirements due to video applications which stem from several sources:

  • Video applications move from standard to high definition resolutions.
  • New applications are coming online.
  • Number of video endpoints is increasing.
  • Utilization of video is increasing due to improved quality and easier user experience.
  • More video applications are moving to the converged IP network.

All of these are driving increases in bandwidth requirements. As video is deployed on your network, evaluate your bandwidth, but do not stop there. Other important topics are management tools and services in the network for ease of configuration and quality of service guarantees for applications. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Business Video Increases Demands on the Network

The use of video in enterprises has been growing rapidly as many enterprises are realizing the value of video. Many enterprises use video for multiple aspects of their business operations including corporate communications, team meetings, e-learning, digital signage and the use of video assets within their business processes. Likely a combination of video technologies and tools are required to meet the enterprise needs.

Different video applications will behave differently and put different demands on the network. The chart below illustrates a range of business video applications with different characteristics and network requirements.

Telepresence is two-way real-time video while streaming video is one-way broadcast video. Telepresence has stringent network requirements and it is highly sensitive to latency, jitter and loss, whereas streaming video can better tolerate delays; by buffering a larger amount of content before rendering it, in order to smooth out the video experience and compensate for network jitter.

Generally speaking, it is straight forward to provision the network for Telepresence as long as you know how many rooms are in your network, the typical usage pattern (e.g. 60% usage between office hours) and the traffic characteristics. In contrast to Telepresence, it is much harder to provision the network for desktop collaboration video as the usage pattern is not as well defined. Worst yet, do you know how many users are equipped with high definition web cameras built into their laptop on your network? The situation is exasperated by new collaboration tools with one click away, what started as a low bandwidth instant messaging session could end up be a high bandwidth video desktop collaboration session.

These are just some examples of the challenges associated with deploying, managing and assuring quality of business video applications. As more types of video applications that pose different demands into the network are deployed, the need for intelligent networks like medianets become critical. Medianets can simplify and reduce costs of deploying video, as well as efficiently use network resources and dynamically adapt to changing network conditions and demands from different video applications to deliver optimal video quality.

Tags: , , , ,