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User Traffic Analysis by Medianet Performance Monitor

February 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm PST

Network operators are tasked with providing a foundation network that can deliver a variety of applications to their users at any time. For the most part, the network is in the background, humming away while users enjoy the applications. However; once in a while, the application will slow down, or hiccup, and the first suspect is usually the network.

Figure 1 - Poor video quality caused by packet loss.

Sometimes this is not without just cause; the network may be composed of various administrative domains in various states of work, and many things that are outside the domain of control of any network operator (bad fiber, rain clouds, bulldozers, floods etc.). There is the common experience of the ping test passing, but still something wrong within the network. Or the other case, where the ping fails intermittently, but there is no clue about the location of the problem.

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Medianet Readiness Assessment: Is your network ready for medianet?

Video applications such as telepresence, desktop video conferencing, video surveillance, digital signage and WebEx have become an essential part of the enterprise work environment, greatly improving efficiency and productivity in organizations.

Enterprise network IT operators are adding more and more of these applications on their IP network. Due to the nature of video traffic, these applications exert more demand on the existing IP network. If a network is not capable of handling these applications, then the application performance will degrade, resulting in a frustrating user experience. In this situation most of the network operators will tend to solve this problem by adding more bandwidth and capacity into the network, but that may not always solve this problem. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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