Cisco Blogs

Virtualized Data Centers and The Media Cloud

April 10, 2012 - 1 Comment

By Tom Ohanian, Cisco Service Provider Sales Business Development Manger

The desire is all around us—being able to consume the type of content we want, wherever and whenever we want it.

It seems simple. A person merely wants to click on a button and have interactive control of content while it plays back on a range of consumer devices. When we click on a song or a film that we’d like to purchase or rent from an online store, we’re looking for content, convenience, and ease of use.

What the consumer probably isn’t aware of—and most certainly shouldn’t be concerned with—is that a complex digital media supply chain exists before that content becomes available across devices. That supply chain starts with raw materials—the video and audio clips that make up the program—through a series of processes that ultimately create a series of content choices for the consumer to download.

In the “good old days” of broadcasting, content was made available in two formats. Today, by adding tablet and mobile offerings, the number of content formats that need to be created increases to 45 different permutations. One service provider recently remarked that given the different DRM requirements that content providers dictate must be utilized, multiplied by the amount of formats that must be provided, over 700 possible combinations must be created.

However, the standard methods of acquiring, processing, and delivering content have not been built on architectures that are scalable or flexible in handling these increased content demands. When workload increases, the only options that have heretofore been available to facilities have been to purchase more video-processing appliances / software / servers, or to try and operate for longer time periods. Neither of these options is sustainable from CAPEX and OPEX perspectives. Further, there are practical and logistical challenges that organizations are experiencing such as limitations in available physical space and power.

Faced with an ever-increasing demand to ingest, transform, and distribute content, demonstrable benefits can be obtained by implementing scalable on-demand computing, fast/dense networking, and the virtualization and optimization of media-centric applications.

Cisco’s Videoscape Media Cloud demonstration at NAB brings together Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus High Performance Switching, and running as virtualized applications, Videoscape Acquisition Suite for adaptive bit rate encoding, and Videoscape Media Suite for content management. This approach enables the flexible infrastructures that are necessary to support the ever-changing needs of today’s complex digital media supply chains.

We look forward to seeing you in the Cisco booth in SU 7408 where you will experience how Cisco’s Videoscape Media Cloud can enable you to repurpose your entire infrastructure. Please also follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPVideo for the latest announcements and updates.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Hey Doug I agree the availability of Tablet and mobile devices has triggered the need of content creation in many formats. Thanks for throwing some light upon the backend process for creation of awesome Video's through raw materials and some structured processes.