Many of you following this blog are very likely familiar with the Media Services Interface (MSI) and the key role MSI plays in the Medianet architecture. The MSI is an SDK residing on rich media applicationsand endpoints that makes the network and applications smarter together. Over the past several months the MSI has been increasingly integrated across a wide range of Cisco applications and endpoints. The path forward looks very exciting with plans for many more rich media applications integrating with the MSI.
The Cisco Developer Network program for Medianet system management partners has been in place for some time now and has been instrumental in helping 3rd party network management system partners leverage the benefits of medianet from a network standpoint. We are pleased to announce the expansion of this program to include MSI interoperability verification and testing for system management partners. For the first time, system management partners that are focused on the endpoint and application side of the equation can use the MSI to proactively monitor application performance and accelerate troubleshooting.
The Media Services Interface 3.2 (available today) provides a robust REST API based management interface. This allows an NMS deliver support for a broad category of operations:
- Session visibility & awareness: Query flows from the endpoint
- Operational Monitoring: Turn performance monitoring on or off on flows for flows of interest
- Accelerated Troubleshooting: Initiate mediatraces and use the results to pin-point the cause of the poor media quality
The MSI and Medianet have been built on an open architecture and support standards so as to make integrating with MSI as easy as possible. A big benefit to application or network management solution vendors, other than the advanced monitoring & troubleshooting capabilities, is the fact that the MSI is a “support once, leverage many times” solution. Supporting the MSI interface once enables NMSes to support different classes of Cisco endpoints and also starting in the near term 3rd party endpoints which also integrate the MSI.
To make it easier for NMS partners to support the MSI, we have also made a reference implementation available.
In the next release of the MSI we are looking to enhance the management interface with a wide array of capabilities including the ability for an NMS to manage thresholds, subscribe to notifications, and consume metadata that describe the flows, the sessions and the applications that own them. This release will also facilitate the discovery of the NMS and the lightweight registration by endpoints that do not necessarily operate with a Communications Manager solution. Cloud based services such as Cisco WebEx as well as Surveillance endpoints will be able to discover and register with an on-premise NMS to enable their network performance to be centrally managed.
IT administrators have always desired a consistent management interface and a single stop solution to manage a seemingly ever-growing variety of rich media endpoints and applications. With the MSI, NMS vendors are now uniquely positioned to effectively address this need.
If you make and sell management solutions or services for rich media endpoints, we strongly encourage you to contact us to see how you can bring the benefits of Medianet and the MSI to your customers.
If you are a Cisco customer and use 3rd party products to manage rich media endpoints on your network, we welcome you to encourage your vendors to get in touch with us to see how they can simplify and accelerate operations via the MSI.
A registration portal via the Cisco Developer network specific to MSI management will be available soon (see the Medianet Tech Center on CDN). In the interim all application and network management system partners are encouraged to reach out to us to obtain the reference implementation to get a flavor for the MSI.
We would also love to talk with you to get your feedback and input around manageability enhancements that are planned for the next release of the MSI.