“To see the house that I grew up in, and see the dogs that we used to play with running around behind him just makes the experience that much more personal,” said Los Angeles Lakers Forward Luke Walton on using Cisco ūmi to talk to his father, NBA legend Bill Walton.
As the Official Technology Partner of the NBA, four player/family pairs were captured connecting over Cisco ūmi from their homes.
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The first in the series is a clip of two NBA players, one retired and one in the middle of his career. With the help of Cisco ūmi, Luke and Bill took a few moments away from their busy lives to catch up on their HDTVs. Luke commented on the change in his father’s hair color, “It does look like you’ve lost most of that red hair though, big man. I don’t know if we can call you ‘Big Red’ anymore.” And, like any concerned parent, Bill made sure his son was taking care of himself, “Are you eating enough?”
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As I think back to the turn of the century, I remember banking analysts, as well as technology luminaries, were all boldly predicting the demise of not only banks in general, but of the bank branch in particular. Their mantra was, “turn bricks to clicks”. According to their view, consumers were going to abandon the branch in favor of alternative channels such as contact centers, ATMs, the Internet and, more recently, mobile devices.
If you were making a movie or television show about the future, what fantastic technology would you feature? How many years do you think it would take for that technology to not only be invented but also come in to common usage?
I participate frequently in Telepresence calls for my job. Video communication was the stuff of science fiction long before being developed to the point that any of us could use it in real life, though. Back in 1966, Star Trek showed starship-to-starship video transmissions alongside molecular transporters, food replicators and faster-than-light space travel. More than 40 years later I still can’t beam on to a starship or travel at warp speed but I can and do have real-time video conversations with people around the planet.
Fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say.
As we use video more and more in our everyday activities, how is Cisco accommodating increasing traffic on its own network infrastructure?
A few weeks ago, we introduced a new tool for network operators called mediatrace. On the router and switches, a mediatrace report presents several stanzas of data collected along a particular path. While the report is useful, there is a very high information density and the network operator could overlook an important item at a casual glance.
Mediascope was created as an intern project at Cisco to help in the visualization of mediatrace data. Mediascope uses the IOS Web Services Management Agent (WSMA) interface to execute mediatrace commands. As a flash based tool, mediascope can be hosted on a regular web server in your network and be available for general users (well except for ipad/iphone!).
The user initially logs into the mediascope tool with a mediascope specific password. Then the target router is identified and credentials for that node are provided. At this point, the user can ask mediascope to dynamically configure IOS performancemonitor to discover the flows traversing the target router. The discovered flows are dynamically displayed in a list allowing the user to select the interesting flow and then continue on to the specific metrics to be gathered (lower part of Figure 1 below).
Figure 1. Mediascope Flow selection and Data Retrieval Selection
Figure 2. Mediascope Result Visualization
In Figure 2, we can see the result of the mediatrace run. Note from Figure 1 that the y-axis in the chart is selectable, as are the meanings of the color. In our example, the height of the circles conveys number of IP packets seen for the monitored flow, size conveys CPU utilization, and conditional coloring based on number of packets lost and jitter values. Of course, a much simpler chart could be constructed, but we wanted to show how easily very dense information could be represented.
Using the chart the operator is able to quickly identify the node that is at high CPI, but also the node that seems to be seeing packet loss.
We had a lot of fun creating mediascope. Check out our multi-language demos on YouTube! We invite you to make your own audio version- with the challenge of no English words at all. I’m hoping we’ll see one in Klingonsoon!