If you are at Cisco Live in Las Vegas next week, stop by for a chat with Cisco technology experts on your video & network implementations. The Enterprise medianet team has the expertise and experience to help you evolve your network to support emerging video requirements. Come visit the Medianet booth to see the Enterprise Medianet demos, we will feature demos at the Borderless Network and the Video booths:
Cisco Prime Collaboration Manager (CPCM), which provides support for mediatrace and IPSLA video operations, will also be doing demos at the Cisco Prime and Collaboration booths:
- TelePresence endpoints being managed – get an at-a-glance view of the whole video infrastructure, and respond to problems related to video in time
- Telepresence deployment being managed and monitored with CPCM 1.1.
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Tags: business video, enterprise networks, IPSLA VO, media monitoring, medianet, mediatrace, performance monitor, rich media applications, video
The announcement earlier this week focused on the Borderless Networks services with new capabilities for Centralized Policy, Unified Management and Automated Video and Voice. For more information on the announcement, see Marie Hattar’s blog.
Automated Video and Voice highlights the unique capabilities in the network infrastructure to simplify the deployment and optimize the network for video.
Because it is not a question of IF it is coming to Enterprise networks, but WHEN. As you can see from the chart from Forrester Research (Jan. 2011) the adoption for video applications and technologies is on the significant growth path because they are adding value for businesses.
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Tags: Cisco Borderless Networks, IPSLA video, medianet, mediatrace, performance monitoring, video
A few weeks ago, we introduced a new tool for network operators called mediatrace. On the router and switches, a mediatrace report presents several stanzas of data collected along a particular path. While the report is useful, there is a very high information density and the network operator could overlook an important item at a casual glance.
Mediascope was created as an intern project at Cisco to help in the visualization of mediatrace data. Mediascope uses the IOS Web Services Management Agent (WSMA) interface to execute mediatrace commands. As a flash based tool, mediascope can be hosted on a regular web server in your network and be available for general users (well except for ipad/iphone!).
The user initially logs into the mediascope tool with a mediascope specific password. Then the target router is identified and credentials for that node are provided. At this point, the user can ask mediascope to dynamically configure IOS performance monitor to discover the flows traversing the target router. The discovered flows are dynamically displayed in a list allowing the user to select the interesting flow and then continue on to the specific metrics to be gathered (lower part of Figure 1 below).
Figure 1. Mediascope Flow selection and Data Retrieval Selection
Figure 2. Mediascope Result Visualization
In Figure 2, we can see the result of the mediatrace run. Note from Figure 1 that the y-axis in the chart is selectable, as are the meanings of the color. In our example, the height of the circles conveys number of IP packets seen for the monitored flow, size conveys CPU utilization, and conditional coloring based on number of packets lost and jitter values. Of course, a much simpler chart could be constructed, but we wanted to show how easily very dense information could be represented.
Using the chart the operator is able to quickly identify the node that is at high CPI, but also the node that seems to be seeing packet loss.
We had a lot of fun creating mediascope. Check out our multi-language demos on YouTube! We invite you to make your own audio version- with the challenge of no English words at all. I’m hoping we’ll see one in Klingon soon!
Mediascope demo: English German Spanish
Mediascope is open sourced under the BSD license.
Tags: business video, enterprise networks, medianet, mediascope, mediatrace, performance monitor, rich media applications, video
The classic traceroute tool has become an essential tool for network engineers. Traceroute is able to discover layer-3 nodes (routers) along the path towards a destination. This information provides operators with visibility about the path towards a destination.
However, there are limitations to traceroute such as issues with traceroute following the right path (as it’s IP source address might be different), no layer-2 (switches and bridges) discovery and really only a single piece of information is returned (IP address of the router).
With mediatrace, which shares the IP header of the flow you would like to trace, you can have much better path congruency—and confidence in the discovery. The mediatrace will also not only discover the routers (as with traceroute), but also switches that are only doing layer 2 forwarding.
Mediatrace does not need to be enabled on every hop. If it is not enabled on node, the mediatrace packet will simply be forwarded through that part of the network. This is exactly what would happen in the case of your traditional MPLS-VPN network.
Figure 1. Mediatrace tracing a flow while the operator chillaxes
Now for the best part! Mediatrace can dynamically engage the performance monitor feature we talked about a few weeks ago. This allows a dynamic surgical monitoring policy to be applied for the flow we are tracing that results in hop by hop performance measurements such as loss and jitter. As is the case with all mediatrace runs, the information is brought back into a single report where it can be quickly analyzed.
Figure 2. Mediatrace integration with performance monitor
Despite the name, mediatrace is not only for voice/video flows. It is able to trace any IP flow, and is even able to engage performance monitor to gather hop by hop TCP stats.
Mediatrace is a new tool that cisco released in IOS 15.1(3)T for the ISR platforms as part of the medianet program. Over the course of 2011, this feature will proliferate across cisco’s enterprise line of routers and switches.
Mediatrace Configuration Guide
Tags: business video, enterprise network, medianet, mediatrace, performance monitor, rich media applications, video