In a previous blog, I discussed the value of media awareness with desktop video applications like Jabber for Windows. More recently, we have extended support to the WebEx meeting center client using the same media services interface (MSI) development kit as used with the Cisco Jabber client. Just as media awareness enables the network to differentiate between the various unified communications flows—voice, video and IM/Presence—with the WebEx meeting client we have added metadata tags to represent the data sharing flows that are used as part of WebEx web collaboration.
The benefit of the medianet media awareness solution is that we can easily differentiate between each of the flows to apply the right traffic engineering policies to meet the network service requirements of each media flow. This ability to differentiate flows ensures high quality of service for real time elements, such as audio, with the option for less stringent quality of service for other flows. Differentiating flows has been particularly difficult with web conferencing applications: WebEx itself can invoke up 7 different flows within any given WebEx session. To the network infrastructure each flow looks the same and classifying the flows for application of quality of service and other traffic engineering features becomes a zero-sum game. Either prioritize all flows within the session or none. With Media Awareness the network can easily identify each of the WebEx flows (Audio, Video, Data sharing) and apply the right level of service to meet the user experience of the WebEx clients.
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