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Deploying Business Video: 5 Steps to Success

February 5, 2013 at 8:26 am PST

Have you noticed how the communications and collaboration paradigm has evolved in the last few years? Younger generations use and prefer text messaging (SMS and IM) way more than e-mail. And when given a choice, they will go for a video-enabled, face-to-face interaction, skipping voice-only calls completely. This acceptance of video as a primary vehicle for communication is making a strong presence in the enterprise as a business need. For the emerging workforce, quick, simple video communication is a requirement -- not a nice-to-have capability -- as they intuitively understand how this form of communication is crucial for their productivity and effectiveness.

Like many other technologies and market trends, such as social networking, video is coming to the business environment from the personal consumer environment. Its effect on the way businesses interact internally and externally with customers, partners and providers is completely changing the game and opening new opportunities to create competitive differentiation and broaden reach and impact.

Deploying video without careful planning can easily turn a great idea into a disappointing mess. From our experience in deploying millions of endpoints for thousands of customers around the world, we’ve learned a few things that can help ensure your video deployment is smooth and successful. Here are five tips to achieve success:

1)     Ensure interoperability Read More »

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Challenges in Deploying IP Video based Applications – Part 3: Quality

November 24, 2010 at 8:27 am PST

Higher quality in video is obtained by using higher resolutions, more colors (increased bits per pixel), spatial audio (multiple audio channels and higher sampling rates), and multiple displays. All of these parameters increase demand for bandwidth — in turn increasing the sensitivity to degraded network conditions.

With video, when the impairments become apparent, the experience of the session deteriorates very quickly. Users are easily disturbed by poor video quality — and the bandwidth burden of video means that even slight deterioration of services within the network can significantly affect the video experience. Similarly, with video, the accompanying audio experience must be satisfactory and synchronization with the video must be consistent — and even more stringent requirement.

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Challenges in Deploying IP Video based Applications – Part 2: Performance

November 23, 2010 at 8:17 am PST

Video applications can be very sensitive to aspects of network performance. After the video has been packetized for IP transport, the network’s contribution to the video stream’s performance is generally limited to delay, jitter, and loss.

Delays arise from physical limits (speed of light) as well as queuing mechanisms in routers and gateways that the packets traverse along the way. When delay increases above 400 milliseconds (camera to display), people become aware of it and the delay starts to impede interactive communications.

Jitter is the variability of delay. Buffers can be used to smooth out variations in delay. However, too much buffering adds delay and prevents effective interactive video.

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Challenges in Deploying IP Video based Applications – Part 1: Introduction and Predictability

November 19, 2010 at 9:27 am PST

The deployment of network video applications presents several challenges for the network and application administrator. These challenges can be categorized into having predictability, offering performance, and delivering quality.

The deployment and integration of voice into the network was relatively simple compared to the challenges being brought by multi-faceted IP video applications. As with Voice over IP (VoIP), video over IP allows the reuse and convergence of communications infrastructure. Where different types of delivery mechanisms (satellite, DVDs, taps, and coax) were needed for the various types of video, a single transport system can now be used. With VoIP, there was concern regarding some aspects of network characteristics such as delay and jitter. If the video application is an interactive one like video conferencing, then delay and jitter do remain important. However, in other types of video applications (for example video surveillance), the amount of raw bandwidth to deliver high quality video can also be a limiting factor. Additionally, unlike voice, minute network degradations can result in easily noticeable impairments that remain on screen for a longer amount of time.

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The medianet demo at NYC Interop 2010

Pervasive Video over the network is a topic that we’re hearing a lot about these days, with the recent Cisco launch, as well as stats being thrown around about the number of hexabites that video is consuming according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI).  But where is the proof of this? And how do I deploy and maintain all this video?

Here is one way.  In case you missed last week’s Interop IT Conference and Expo in NY, on Oct. 20 and 21st, 2010, the Cisco Medianet team presented a very cool demonstration highlighting current medianet technologies: IP SLA Video Operation, and Auto Smartports were on exhibition. These technologies help organizations deploy rich media services to:
•    Accelerate and ease video application deployments
•    Assist in validation of rich media service quality
•    Diagnose video issues and reduce time to resolution of problems

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