Policy and Resource Management – The Traffic Police of Video Services
Operators like to provide their subscribers plenty of services. It’s how they win loyalty and differentiate themselves from the competition. They want to offer HD channels and Video on Demand (VOD), they want to optimize delivery by means of Switched Digital Video (SDV) and Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), and of course they want to ensure that all these video services are available on a wide range of devices.
Here’s the problem: each of these services has evolved and rolled out piecemeal over the years. Not only does each service require its own Session and Resource Management (SRM) tool to manage it, but each service is also processed differently per device, thanks to device manufacturers sticking with proprietary protocols. In short, siloed SRMs make scalability unwieldy, driving up Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sowing Quality of Service chaos when traffic surges hit. Picture a traffic light out at a busy intersection at rush hour with no policeman to direct traffic:
A collection of video services, haphazardly collected on top of one another, without coordination. Source: Wikipedia
Enter the Videoscape Policy and Resource Management system. The goal here is to make these limitations transparent to operators, who can then focus on offering their customers as many services as possible, regardless of device. How does it work? Under the hood Cisco allocates SRM capabilities intelligently in the cloud and in data centers. Resources are shared on a common infrastructure, reducing overhead costs. The system offers a common platform that can handle multiple DRM environments and network topologies. If there’s a surge in traffic, the system can automatically adapt and allocate SRM as needed, thereby seamlessly maintaining the customer’s high quality of experience. Because the video services are cloud-based, they are especially suited to rapid/agile customization – another benefit for operators.
Resource allocation can be fine-tuned further by the Policy module. An operator can determine priorities based on quality-of-service and business needs. If, for instance, an operator wants to prioritize VOD delivery due to a sudden surge in traffic, business rules can be dynamically defined to put this prioritization in place.
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