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The Cloud, the TV, and The Cable Show

ConradBy Conrad Clemson, VP of strategy, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group 

Well, we’re nothing if not patient. For those of us who’ve been active in cable VOD (video on demand) since it began, 12+ years ago, it’s totally great to finally see glimmers of acknowledgement for the category. It’s like knowing your kid is truly gifted at something, but not seeing validation of it until a dozen years after it seemed “time.”

I’m talking about this item, from the May 20 edition of the New York Times. Titled “Viewers Start to Embrace Television on Demand,” it plucks out all kinds of killer data points — like the fact that VOD views of ABC shows are up 32% (without fast-forward) over the last year. Cisco’s own VNI forecast issued 5/29 shows that VOD will be the fastest growing and highest penetrated residential TV service globally, with 402 million subscribers, reaching 29% of digital TV households globally by 2017.

Of course what started as movies on demand has changed over the years. It’s now more like Read More »

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Cisco @ #Cable13 – The Cable Show: See you in Our Nation’s Capital!

If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’re on your way or already in Washington, D.C., where you’ll spend the next few days attending this week’s Cable Show. We’re there too, not surprisingly, with a lot to share with our cable friends and colleagues. And I do mean a lot. Let’s see if I can be brief about it.

By now (I hope!) you’ve heard about our Videoscape Unity platform. That’s the one that’s focused on a sophisticated but easy-to-use, consistent interface that blends video, social networking and other information, using the best screen for experiences that are personalized, synchronized, and more social…All at the “speed of now.”

At the Show, we’re highlighting the Videoscape Open API framework, an Read More »

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Services – the Missing “S” in the SDN Debate

While I’ve been writing about Cisco Domain TenSM, I’ve been watching the SDN debate evolve in our industry, and I have to say, I’ve had my concerns.  Don’t get me wrong – I personally see SDN as an important and very much required evolution (and note: ‘evolution’ – not ‘revolution’) of the networking industry.  Being able to extract more value from the network – through, for example, a consistent and broad network API – I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about that!  And especially for us in Cisco, with the largest by far networking installed base, the ability to uncover and exploit additional value for our customers from the network can only be a good thing!

As I say, over the past year or two, I’ve been perturbed about lack of discussion across the industry about the adoption and deployment challenges associated with SDN.  There is – bluntly – too much “nirvana” or “marketing promises” out there,  too much focus on the end result (e.g. “look at our use case, wow isn’t it great”) without discussion of steps required for a success, and too little discussion on the costs and challenges of the design and implementation of SDN solutions (e.g. “took us X man years + $M of investment”).  It’s now time to change the discussion.

I was therefore delighted to see Jim Meltzer’s discussion of the issues he was seeing with his clients regarding SDN.

Read More »

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The Heartbeat of the Small Cell Network

We were pleased to accept a Small Cell Industry Award last night for small cell design and technology innovation for the Cisco Management Heartbeat Server (CMHS). We were particularly pleased because the CMHS is an example of a solution our engineering team developed in response to some real world issues we were seeing in our customer’s small cell network – one of the largest small cell networks deployed today.

Above: Partho Mishra,VP/GM, Small Cell Technology Group, Cisco

When small cells are deployed in the hundreds of thousands, there’s a need to scale the monitoring of the access points so that operations are simplified while customers are kept happy.  The CMHS monitors connectivity and service status in real-time with ongoing heartbeats, and provides Read More »

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The Programmable Network: Advanced Flow Control

The increasing diversity and complexity of traffic traversing the Internet of Everything­ today can be imagined as a three-dimensional collection of intersecting highways of different kinds (e.g., corporate WAN, Internet, mobile, Wi-Fi, cellular, cable, cloud), with a wide array of vehicles (e.g., PCs, tablets, smartphones) carrying various types of passengers (e.g., data, voice, video, email, SMS, Web).   Emerging traffic from the new category of machine-to-machine communications is scaling exponentially and introducing new policy triggers.

In this new environment network operators must become master traffic controllers to deal with all of the volume, diversity, and complexity. The most innovative and forward-looking experts are aggressively looking into providing more open programmatic access to their network functions and services. The goal is easier and faster control, in order to make them more agile, flexible and application interactive while at the same time optimally aligning costs with potential new revenues.

Cisco ONE Building Blocks: Controllers and Agents

Software Defined Networking (SDN) plays a key role within Read More »

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