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Cisco @NAB 2018: Driving Operational Excellence by Industrializing the Media Ecosystem

- April 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

The run-up to the 2018 National Association of Broadcasters Show is once again upon us, which means it’s time to preview what we’ll be focused on, in our booth and around the NAB Show floor. It’s a preview that necessarily relies on a string of industrial progressions, from SDI (serial digital interface) to IP (Internet Protocol); from HD to 4K/UHD; from traditional broadcast engineering to IT (and vice versa).

It’s a progression reminiscent of any shift toward industrialization – in this case, the industrialization that’s happening as the media and entertainment sector shifts toward the use of IP technologies and techniques, throughout the ecosystem. From capture to display, and everything in between.

From the 1700s to now, the chief characteristics of any industrialization include economic growth, more efficient divisions of labor, and the use of technological innovation to solve problems. As it relates to the global shift to IP, we can definitively “check the box” for all three.

Industrialization, in a media and entertainment sense, means making it as simple as possible to transition to IP-based technologies: ensuring that existing workloads work just as they did over existing SDI networks and traditional appliances, but better.

How do you get to better? By automating the operating models for content creation and audience engagement – whether in broadcast, sports, or films. By accelerating service delivery. And, by simplifying operations and security.

Two years ago, at NAB, we introduced our Media Blueprint, developed to foster partnerships throughout the broadcast ecosystem. It’s a blueprint that contains the elements specifically needed by broadcasters and content providers, as they make what is, in essence, a triple transition to 1) cloud-based, 2) viewer-driven, and 3) over-the-top-styled media.

At NAB 2018, we’re introducing new solutions, programs and innovations to the Cisco Media Blueprint. The goal: to enable media and entertainment companies to achieve operational excellence across their IP networking and cloud infrastructure, fueled by real-time intelligence, security, optimization and collaboration

Indulge me as I endeavor to untangle that “trade show speak” a bit:

At NAB, we’re unveiling programs to enable our customers and partners to more effectively implement and deliver solutions built around our IP Fabric for Media, and UCS platforms. Our IP Broadcast Training programs will be rolling out in mid-2018, so that our customers and partners can help to close the IP skills shortage in the broadcast industry. Nothing says “operational excellence” like a well-informed workforce.

With partners including Cloudian, Scality and Swiftstack, we’re lighting up cloud-based media storage, design to enable more active archival storage, management, and access, across multiple clouds. (Much more about that here.) With Intel, we’re headlong into an interoperability lab partnership, for media applications and workflows.

To address the need for operational excellence in hybrid IT environments, we are introducing Cisco CloudCenter to media and entertainment companies to help automate the migration of media-specific workflows across public and private clouds.

We’re also introducing AppDynamics, for application performance management. Whether an app is customer-facing, partner-facing, or back office, AppDynamics solutions ensure that apps meet performance expectations. It uses automatic monitoring and analytics to gain rapid visibility into root causes of emerging issues, which brings faster mean-time-to-repair.

Since engagement is central to all of us in media and entertainment, we are simplifying real-time interactions with always-on collaboration solutions designed to enable new ways to jointly create and share files, screens, work-spaces, you name it — for immersive, video-centric collaboration.

It wasn’t all that long ago that those of us who hail from the IP side of the world went to NAB as somewhat of a lone voice, setting out signposts and data points about how quickly and deeply the technologies fueling the Internet were going to slipstream into traditional media.

At the 2018 NAB, it’s pretty clear that the hallmarks of industrialization – economic growth, division of labor, and technological innovation – are in place. It’s safe to say that we’re at a tipping point, evidenced by how much more IT we’re seeing in broadcast, and how much more broadcast we’re seeing in IT. Come hear what’s new at some of our daily keynotes at the Connected Media IP Theater, and visit our booth SU8502CM!

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