A belated Happy New Year from Cisco Live London 2013! This is our last year in London, and it was an excellent sendoff bringing the latest for medianet to our great partners and customers in the European market. With the greater adoption of medianet technologies, we saw the incorporation of medianet features within the general design sessions related to Jabber deployment, to Access Switching, WAN Network Designs  and even a few Management  sessions. (Some of the session links provide a video capture of the session as well as a download of the content)
Meanwhile, the event brought an introduction to Medianet Flow Metadata  as well as Media Services Proxy , which allows the sharing of attributes of flows with the network. The network can then use these attributes for advanced classification, for example, to match the audio leg of a Jabber for Windows session. We had a demo station setup where we showed the quality of metadata-based classification of Jabber video compared to other forms of video that did not benefit from advanced classification. Of course, there were a number of other demo stations showing the network management utilization of medianet features for monitoring and reporting on network performance, namely Performance Monitor  and Mediatrace .
Aamer Ahkter, Technical Marketing Engineer from the Cisco Medianet team, recently led an hour-long webinar presentation hosted by ActionPacked! Networks, a Cisco Developer Network (CDN) registered partner. The title of the webinar presentation is “Optimizing Networks for Video, Voice, and Data.”
ActionPacked! Networks has posted the entire one-hour recording of the webinar on YouTube. Those wanting a more detailed overview of Cisco Medianet technologies from a leading Cisco SME should be sure to check out this excellent and insightful presentation.
You are probably thinking that the title of this blog seems a little bizarre given that I work at one of the largest networking companies in the world. The truth is I felt compelled to write about the role of the network in today’s collaboration solutions because the importance of the network is not always apparent and well understood.
A good example of how network-enabled collaboration solutions can be used is that of a hospital or healthcare organization. The hospital is only as good as its network of services, providers and the accompanying medical infrastructure that support the organization — they all leverage each other in various different ways. Physicians can take advantage of mind share and resources and have information at hand from different sources to make the right decisions. This is what enables doctors and nurses to perform their best work and provide top quality care to the people they serve.
Collaboration technologies and solutions make that collaborative work environment a reality and aid in the diagnosis and care of patients — in some cases even being able to remotely provide medical care by a specialist that may be located half way around the world. The importance of the underlying network in this instance is critical to both physicians and patients alike. How would the network have any effect on the use of interactive video in telemedicine? Well, let’s think of it from the experience point of view. What would the consequences be for a patient if the video stream they were using in a telemedicine consult was choppy or grainy and the doctor couldn’t get just the right view of the patient to make the right diagnosis? Let’s just say I would not want to be the patient in this scenario. A sub-par experience would be unacceptable because even minor details can have an enormous impact on a diagnosis or treatment plan. These collaborative exchanges are what ultimately give the patient the best experience and outcome possible for their individual treatment. A strong network foundation is critical to the delivery of the service and experience in this instance.
Collaboration technologies gaining significant traction in the enterprise today include streaming video, web conferencing and other forms of interactive and dynamic communications — known as rich media. The reason for the uptick in their use is that they offer the most life like, “in-person” collaboration experiences possible today. That is what people want and what ultimately drives them to be more engaged with one another. As described above, the network is critical to the delivery of these types of media. Not just any network architecture will suffice. A network-based architecture optimized for rich media such as Cisco (medianet) provides the intelligent services needed in order to scale, optimize and enhance the performance of voice, video and data – all critical to the delivery of the collaboration experience.
A year ago, I met our customers and partners at Cisco Live London and demonstrated the power of medianet for Cisco TelePresence for my first time. It was a time of a few other firsts including my first time in London, first time eating fish and chips, and first time being stranded in an airport.
Continuing on this theme of “firsts,” we have some exciting new things to showcase at Cisco Live London this year! For the first time, we will be showing the value of medianet end-to-end with demos in both our Enterprise Network and Collaboration areas. We have expanded our portfolio of medianet-enabled products to include Cisco Jabber, Cisco VXI, and more Cisco TelePresence endpoints. Stop by the World of Solutions and experience the quality difference between non- and medianet-enabled endpoints. And what’s new with our core networking? You can learn how we made our networks much smarter with abilities to recognize third party endpoints and applications.
The medianet team recently added a Cisco Medianet Playlist to the Cisco YouTube channel. The playlist archives videos produced by the medianet team over the last few years and will be updated as new videos are created.
Medianet is Cisco’s recommended best practice architecture for video and collaboration. Medianet simplifies and reduces the cost of deploying and managing video and collaboration applications, with features that help you perform faster troubleshooting and enhance the quality of user experience end- to-end. The videos in the playlist will help you learn more about Cisco Medianet features and technologies through general overview videos and technology demos.