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Cisco on Cisco: The Video Avalanche is here… Medianet to the rescue!

Cisco’s business is going through a transformation and the company is relying on Rich Media tools such as Collaboration and Video to cut costs, increase employee productivity and improve operational efficiencies.

As of July 2011, there are a total of about 1250 high end Cisco Telepresence systems and another 6000+ Tandberg based Telepresence and video endpoints. The total number could grow to 25,000 in the next 18-24 months. Also, the use of video with WebEx is growing every day. The company is also leveraging video technologies for live meetings such as the Global Sales meeting that brings together 20,000+ employees virtually for two days. Use of Video on Demand technologies is increasing through video blogs, show and share and other employee and customer engagement applications. Digital Media Systems have become a key part of the employee communication strategy and the Safety and Security team is also upgrading several thousands of new security cameras.

 All of these bring tremendous challenges to IT, especially to the Infrastructure teams. Architecting, Designing and Operating the network for this large scale, global video deployment has made the IT Infrastructure teams think through their plans.

Cisco IT is rolling out the Medianet architecture to address many of these challenges.

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New approach to ensure quality user experience for rich media applications: use routers, switches and ‘smart’ endpoints to monitor the real traffic flow

User satisfaction is the ultimate metric for performance evaluation of rich media services. The only way to be sure of delivering highest quality of experience is by actually measuring quality of experience. Therefore, it is not surprising that most IT managers identify application performance as their single most critical problem.

Many traditional performance monitoring solutions are delivered as appliances. Although an increasing number of solutions are deployed on virtual machines or in some cases cloud offerings are available, there are nevertheless ongoing administrative  overhead. Monitoring is best done pervasively unless you already know in advance where all the problems are going to be. Deploying these traditional monitoring solutions  typically only provide partial view as it is not possible to deploy probes everywhere.

With IOS Performance Monitor, first made available in IOS 15.1(3)T, we introduced a new innovative approach to performance monitoring. A Cisco network element is embedded with native monitoring capabilities. It can collect packet loss, jitter, delay and response time information for performance evaluation of data, voice and video services. This approach effectively turns every network element as probe providing the most extensive visibility because all the flows must go through the network. This approach eliminates the need for deploying flow data collection solutions external to the network devices which would lead to increased costs for data collection and operation expense.  Now, network managers can continue to leverage their Cisco IP network assets, resulting in substantial savings.

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Video: My Perspective and a Look Into the Future

Guest post by Bessie Wang, a summer intern with Cisco’s Corporate Communications team.

Had a hard time passing level 4-14 in angry birds? I admit I cheated and looked at the online tutorial on YouTube after much frustration. Virtual video tutorials now range from game cheats to 8 minute abs work outs to various makeup lessons. Video is changing the way we play games, interact, learn and even exercise and is constantly enriching our learning and communication experience.

Although nothing will replace the energy of being at a U2 concert live or the feeling of an embrace from a loved one after an exhausting work day, video can revolutionize and enrich people’s experience as the world becomes more mobile and international. Cisco is bridging that gap by allowing customers to get as close as they can to the real experience no matter where they are. Cisco’s broad video portfolio, from Movi desktop cameras to digital signs and immersive TelePresence rooms, delivers the highest quality of video at any time or place. Let’s take a tour of  how video can transform different industries in the coming years …

Education

Every student learns differently. Video can enhance how knowledge is shared in the classroom, whether it is delivering a more visual lecture or providing greater access to instructors. As students are early technology adopters, educational institutions have an opportunity to harness this to enhance, student connection, interactions and enrich the student’s experience.

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Partners, Get Cisco Quad at 95% Off the List Price

Here’s a Thursday quick quiz: What integrates social networking, voice, video, and unified communications into one workspace? Is it:

a)    Facebook
b)    Microsoft Office
c)    Cisco Quad

If you chose “c” then go get yourself an ice cream cone! But seriously, Cisco Quad, just like your ice cream cone, is pretty sweet—it’s a powerful enterprise platform that can improve business productivity, and accelerate growth by bringing content, business applications, communications, and enterprise social software into a single, intuitive experience.

So how does it work? Quad is a truly unified communications platform, with blogs and wikis. Users can also schedule meetings and engage in instant messaging, voice, and video communication, as well as manage and share documents.

Ready to leverage Quad at your own office? Right now, partners can take advantage of the QuadNow program, which offers Quad at a significant discount—95% off the list price.

Read on for details on the program, as well as to watch a demo of how Quad works.

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The Rise of the Machines: Cisco ISR 819 Machine-to-Machine Gateway to your rescue!

The future is here. To quote William Shatner in the original Star Trek Series “We are going where no man has gone before.”

Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist, recently posted an infographic in his blog that detailed the fascinating growth of the “Internet of things” – ATMs, kiosks, vending machines, smart meters, digital signage, refrigerator… And then he posted the question: “With this increase, how will you prepare your network for the future? “

Well… Today, Cisco announced the latest addition to the core routing infrastructure portfolio: the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) 819 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Gateway as an answer to this question. This is the first step towards getting your network ready to face the barrage of machines that need 3G wireless network connectivity to your enterprise/corporate network.

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