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Getting Started with Media Monitoring

Networks and applications have become increasingly complex as new rich media applications and networking technologies have been adopted. In some cases, this layer of complexity has led to stalled deployments and a loss of confidence in the network by both the network and application operators. Today, organizations rely so heavily on their networked infrastructure, it is imperative to move beyond reactive management techniques of old and assume a more proactive approach by instituting scalable performance management.

Medianet introduces Performance Monitor and Mediatrace embedded in the network and the endpoints/applications, a collection of capabilities that will address these challenges. The frequently asked question is how to get started. Here is one way to get started.

Cisco Prime Collaboration allows you to monitor video collaboration systems. You can run a worst endpoint/session report to identify sites based on the lower performing end systems.

Useful Prime Collaboration reports include:

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ActionPacked! Networks Completes Interoperability Verification and Testing of the Live Action Software!

We are excited to announce that ActionPacked! Networks successfully completed interoperability verification and testing of LiveAction for the MSI management CDN program. This makes them the first management partner to support the MSI’s REST-based management interface (v3.1). This support gives LiveAction the ability to monitor and troubleshoot issues on any MSI enabled endpoint. LiveAction supports both certificate-based and username/password based authentication to MSI-enabled endpoints.

LiveAction is also a Medianet Systems Management CDN partner supporting Medianet capabilities on the network elements. With their current enhancements to support the MSI management interface, LiveAction becomes one of the first products to support Medianet capabilities on endpoints as well as the network.

This successful IVT also underlines the fact that Medianet is based on open standards and was designed from the start to be an open, interoperable architecture.

A few additional highlights on LiveAction:

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Medianet at Cisco Live 2013 London

February 6, 2013 at 7:20 am PST

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 [1] and even a few Management [2][3] 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 [4] as well as Media Services Proxy [5], 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 [6] and Mediatrace [7].

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Cisco Medianet Webinar: “Optimizing Networks for Video, Voice, and Data” Posted on YouTube

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.

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Who Cares About The Network When Collaborating?

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.

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