Cisco Blogs

Introducing Medianet Media Awareness

Using well-known network attributes like IP address or TCP/UDP port numbers for application identification and network classification is a thing of the past. More and more applications are opaque (e.g. video streams) and increasingly, applications are encrypted making network classification a real challenge for enterprises.  

Introducing Media Awareness

Medianet media awareness is a suite of technologies to detect different types of endpoints, media and application types in order to deliver the best experience. The network can try to figure it out (implicit), or the network can be told by the endpoint or applications (explicit).

Media Awareness Methods

Implicit Mechanism

There are two implicit mechanisms:

  • Network Based Application Recognition 2 (NBAR2) inspects packet headers and payload for protocol discovery. It analyzes multi-packet behavior and application signatures. NBAR2 is  the next generation IOS deep packet inspection technology with advanced application classification and field extraction capabilities. It recognizes  1000+ protocols.
  • Media Services Proxy (MSP) complements NBAR2 by inspecting control signaling protocols for the establishment of sessions. MSP uses light weight deep packet inspection techniques to snoop standard based signaling protocols.

The combination of inspecting packet headers, payload & control signaling protocols make a comprehensive deep packet inspection solution.

Explicit Mechanism

To complement traditional deep packet inspection solutions, Flow Metadata is the innovative explicit mechanism that is reusable across network nodes, available at every node and avoids the pitfall of data not being visible for DPI due to increasing use of encryption and obfuscation. Flow Metadata allows the application to convey information to a set of network nodes. This allows appropriate policies to be applied at each hop, end to end.  

Media Awareness uses explicit & implicit signaling mechanisms to become application context aware so that appropriate polices can be applied end to end, eliminating the need for static configuration.   Medianet Media Awareness fundamentally changes the way data – and especially rich media – can be handled on the network. The “Smart” endpoint/application, with embedded intelligence, works in conjunction with the “smart” network to change the way endpoints and applications interact with each other for optimal quality of experience,  enhanced simplicity and agility.

Learn more:

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.