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IBC 2010: Network Infrastructure – The Backbone for Connected Video Devices

- September 9, 2010 - 0 Comments

As IBC gets into full swing around the twin themes of connected devices and IP video-galore, a note from the quieter (but just as promising) infrastructure sidelines…

The proliferation of intelligent devices at the end points of the network is dramatic. No doubt. This period we’re in now – fledgling tablets, smarter smart phones, and all sizes of screens blanketed by a wired or wireless Internet connection – it’s a major milestone in the timeline that is the rise of IP.

However, let’s not forget the role of the network. Those intelligent devices need to connect to one another over something – and just because the end points are smart doesn’t mean the middle can relax.

Consider: Our most recent Visual Networking Index (VNI), which predicts bandwidth usage, anticipates a four-fold increase in global Internet traffic by 2014, to 767 Exabytes. That’s about 10x all the traffic that moved over IP networks in 2008. No sign of slowdown. In fact, just the opposite!

With that kind of growth happening over a relatively short span, it’s important to pay an equal amount of attention to infrastructure. The plant. The network. In short, infrastructure matters. It’s always time to pay attention to the middle, in addition to the end points.

And with that as a jumping-off point, two items of interest that we’re hoping don’t get overlooked in the IBC excitement:

  1. We just became the first manufacturer to submit every component within an end-to-end Carrier Ethernet system to the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), and were validated to meet both MEF 9 and MEF 14 requirements by test lab Iometrix. It’s behind-the-scenes news, yes, but it’s the kind of achievement that lays the foundation for the trust that comes with successfully interoperating products.
  2. We’re grateful and glad to spread the word about Spanish networking  provider Abertis Telecom, which is prepping its plant into an IP NGN (next generation network) capable of carrying contribution-grade video, video production signals, carrier Ethernet, and high-end content distribution to its customers of terrestrial, satellite and fiber transport.

What’s happening is that Abertis is gearing-up for the demands being created by increased video adoption throughout Spain. By selecting an IP/MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching) architecture, Abertis optimizes capacity, streamlines its OPEX, and gets in shape for 3DTV and a whole lot more HDTV, to start.

Our part in the Abertis news is the Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 Series routers, as well as our 7600 Series routers, for a full IP/MPLS carrier Ethernet system. We’re pretty excited (understatement!) about the ASR 9000, because of what it will do for our infrastructure customers: It comes with high-density 10 GigE line cards, with investment protection to handle 100 GigE. It also includes unique video capabilities, such as high-performance multicast and in-line video performance monitoring.  We could go on and on, but we won’t, except to say that the ASR 9000 is designed for a per-slot capacity of up to 400 Gbps, and it scales up to 6.4 Tbps. With great attention paid to minimizing carbon footprint.

So that’s the word from the infrastructure side of the Cisco house, at this year’s IBC. Remember: Connected devices are cool, but only as effective as the network to which they are connected!

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