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How the World’s Most Advanced Network Processor is Making the Internet of Everything Possible

Over the last 30 years the Internet has transformed multiple times. Most of us take it for granted these days. We expect to watch videos on Netflix, run our meetings over WebEx, talk to our friends across the globe on Skype, and have access whether we’re at work, home, or on the go. But we forget that the Internet wasn’t originally built for this – it’s been barely 20 years since email, the World Wide Web, and always-on network access have become realities. The changes have occurred at a dizzying pace.

In the beginning the only way to handle the work of the Internet – routing and forwarding packets – was by using general-purpose computer chips. This didn’t last long as the explosive growth in network bandwidth drove Cisco and other infrastructure providers to use more customized silicon. Indeed, Cisco’s market success was driven in large part by our ability to offer industry-leading solutions with the best combination of price, performance, and capabilities. This in turn was fueled by Cisco’s use of internally developed network silicon using advanced ASIC development models ahead of competitors who continued to rely on general purpose CPUs or FPGAs to power their products.

Now the Internet is on Read More »

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The Top Six Things to Ask a Prospective DRM Provider

With over 25 years’ experience in content protection and over 250M VideoGuard secured devices, we at Cisco know a thing or two about security. We are harnessing this knowledge to further develop VideoGuard DRM, an open, comprehensive solution built to meet the Pay TV provider’s unique needs.

For that reason, we’ve compiled our Top Six List of Things To Ask a Prospective DRM Provider.

  1. Is it capable of multi-platform protection? Some solutions may protect video on IP-based screens, like tablets, laptops and smart phones. Others may protect video running on traditional digital set-tops, built for QAM/MPEG-2 transport. The ideal solution bridges legacy and new, offering integrated security and seamless cross-device experience.
  2. How widely is it deployed? If so, ask for details. To how many client devices and on Read More »

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The Programmable Network: IP and Optical Convergence

Someday soon, personal sensors, wearable gadgets, and embedded devices and services may make today’s PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones look quaint by comparison. But as the Internet of Everything­ (IoE) ─ with its diverse array of devices accessing a plethora of existing and new services ─ continues to rapidly evolve, user friendly interfaces mask growing complexity within networks. An article on today’s digital designers in the September 2013 issue of Wired captured how the focus is now “creating not products or interfaces but experiences, a million invisible transactions” and that “even as our devices have individually gotten simpler, the cumulative complexity of all of them is increasing.”

Which inevitably takes us behind the curtain to the exciting challenge of building hyper-efficient programmable networks using virtualization, the cloud, Software Defined Networking (SDN), and other technologies, architectures, and standards.

So far, this blog series on The Programmable Network has described various new and exciting capabilities leading to greater efficiencies and cost benefits. We’ve shared with you how you can now:

  • Visualize and control traffic using path computation via a network controller
  • Monitor and optimize traffic flows across network connections
  • Order services through an easy-to-use online portal which then launches automated service creation tasks

These capabilities are all Read More »

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Open UX Snowflake: Making Great Even Greater

Visitors to the Cisco booth at this year’s IBC will no doubt be curious to see our new Open UX Snowflake.

Snowflake, the Videoscape Unity flagship UI, is now offered on HTML5, powered with cloud technology. As a multi-award winning UI, Snowflake never fails to turn heads, which makes it the Formula One race car of UIs. The kind you want to brag to your friends about. No matter what device subscribers use, Snowflake provides an engaging and consistent way for them to find and view video content.

At first glance, one might think that not much has changed. But like a Formula One race car, Snowflake isn’t just about good looks. It’s also about what’s under the hood.

Snowflake has a new, powerful web-based engine that makes it simpler, faster, and richer.

So what enhancements will Open UX Snowflake bring for service providers and consequently subscribers? Read More »

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What Does It Take to Stay Ahead in Today’s Dynamic and Competitive Video Market?

One critical factor to stay ahead in today’s dynamic and competitive video market is the agility to deploy new services and hardware fast.

But what do service providers really need in order to be agile?

An open client software is a great start. It provides a core software base so service providers can focus on innovating rather than handling fundamental software components. It is continually enhanced by the developer community and easy to integrate with hardware and software components from third-parties or the open software community.

A fine example of open software for video CPE is the RDK (Reference Design Kit). Originally begun by Comcast two years ago, RDK is evolving into a standardized open software base for the industry. It is enjoying growing support from a broad community of Service Providers, SoC, OEMs, software vendors, and system integrators. It provides a shared set of software components for QAM, IP, and hybrid devices. And it has a modular, layered architecture for easy hardware and software updates.

As an open software that enables agility, RDK ticks all the right boxes.

But to realize that agility—that is, to actually bring new services and platforms to market at a rapid pace with success—service providers need a partner with the right expertise, resources, and software components

What does this entail? Read More »

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