For years now EVS and Cisco have been partnering together, pioneering innovative technologies that power the infrastructure needed for IP based LIVE production, and accelerating the move from traditional SDI broadcast to IP broadcast around the globe. Transitioning to IP opens the door to new capabilities and offers the scalability, flexibility, and futureproofing needed for media workflow operations.

Last year, at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) 2022, we introduced Cisco’s Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller (NDFC), formerly Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), as a new way to manage IP based Media Fabrics. Cisco NDFC is a comprehensive SDN solution that enables the provisioning and management of network infrastructure across multiple locations at scale.

EVS Cerebrum is a well-established broadcast control system used by some of the world’s largest broadcasters to manage complex live productions and media workflows.

The integration of EVS Cerebrum and Cisco NDFC not only simplifies management of IP-based production workflows and network infrastructure for media, but also provides deep visibility and monitoring capabilities enabling operators to easily identify and troubleshoot issues effectively.

Cisco NDFC runs as a service on top of the Nexus Dashboard (ND) cluster that can be either a physical or virtual appliance and provides simplified and enhanced end-end fabric automation capabilities as well as monitoring and visibility for Cisco IP Fabric for Media (IPFM) deployments. Cisco NDFC embraces a complete Kubernetes-based micro-services architecture making it easy to horizontally scale and build large fabrics that help improve performance and reliability. It also supports an active-active HA model with layer2 and layer3 reachability for 3-node clusters and provides a uniform and enhanced user experience throughout its modernized, color-coded UI and dashboards.

Key highlights of Cisco IPFM solution with NDFC

  • Easy Fabric builder – Supports pre–configured policy templates that follow industry’s best practices, to build your Cisco IPFM underlay and Non–Blocking Multicast (NBM) network in minutes. This significantly reduces the time to provision a Cisco IPFM network. This also ensures the network is always compliant with the configuration based on the user’s intent.
  • Role Based Access Control – Allows the assignment of different roles to different users, per fabric, for a granular policy deployment.
  • Multi-Tenancy – Allows you to logically isolate customers or consolidate multiple NBM active and passive (bandwidth aware NBM) workflows on the same fabric with VRF support.
  • Multicast NAT – Cisco NDFC allows step-by-step Multicast NAT configuration. It can support configuration templates for Ingress and Egress Multicast NAT, Unicast to Multicast and Multicast to Unicast translations. In addition to configuration, Cisco NDFC provides complete visibility of pre- and post- NAT flows, in both tabular and topology views.
  • PTP Monitoring with modernized views – Along with PTP visibility in a tabular view, Cisco NDFC provides a color-coded topology view of the PTP data that includes port status and grand leader clock status.

What’s New for Cisco IPFM with NDFC 12.1(2)

  • Increased Switch Scale Support for Cisco IPFM fabrics – From Release 12.1(2), you can discover and manage up to 120 switches in your Cisco IPFM fabric, with capabilities to monitor PTP and RTP flow monitoring at this scale.

  • Co-existence of IPFM and Classic LAN based fabrics – Users can now manage their Cisco data center deployment with Classic LAN templates and Cisco IPFM deployment with IPFM templates using the same instance of Cisco NDFC.
  • 3-tier architecture for Cisco IPFM fabrics with NBM – In addition to traditional spine leaf templates that Cisco NDFC was managing for IPFM deployments, we have added support for 3-tier Cisco IPFM architecture. Users can provision and manage a sub-leaf connected to an existing leaf in the Cisco IPFM fabric, allowing fabrics to scale at ease without the need to redesign existing deployments.

For more details, check out the “What’s New in Cisco NDFC Release 12.1.2e video

EVS Cerebrum and Cisco NDFC Integration Highlights

  • EVS successfully migrated from Cisco DCNM to Cisco NDFC using simplified backup restore migration workflow and Cisco NDFC Rest-API’s.
  • EVS is leveraging NBM active mode and NBM host and flow policies to manage dynamic bandwidth allocation for audio, video, and ancillary flows. This integration provides tighter control of the multicast streams as they steer intent and policies from Cerebrum.
  • Offloading the management of the network to Cisco NDFC enables EVS to extend support for flexible, scaled, and distributed IP-based architectures with ease.
  • EVS is supporting connectivity to both RED and BLUE NDFC for High Availability (ST 2022-7) designs, deployed in 24/7 facilities.
  • EVS is currently in the process of integrating Multicast NAT capabilities with Cisco NDFC.

EVS Cerebrum Capabilities

In addition to its advanced automation capabilities to manage a wide range of broadcast operations, Cerebrum is “stream agnostic,” meaning it can support SMPTE ST-2110 environments as well as transport streams, such as Dante and other IP flows.

Cerebrum support for NMOS standards ensures interoperability between different IP-based devices and systems and simplifies integration of NMOS-compliant devices into existing infrastructure along with native non-NMOS devices. This streamlines broadcasters’ migration experience through gradual move to IP. Check out Cerebrum’s diverse collection of drivers.

As the system is highly customizable, it can create custom user roles and permissions to meet the specific needs of each broadcaster, whether user interfaces for physical clients or web interfaces for remote clients.

Meet with us at NAB Show 2023

As the broadcast and media industry continues to evolve, bringing together two powerful tools for managing IP-based LIVE production, EVS Cerebrum and Cisco’s NDFC, is a major step in enabling broadcasters and media companies to deliver high-quality content efficiently and effectively.


Learn more about these solutions and see more
Sports, Media, and Entertainment Solutions from Cisco

Visit us at NAB Show 2023 April 15-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center
in the West Hall, booth #W3742


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Swetha Velamuri

Engineering Product Manager

Data Center Switching Marketing