Cisco Systems is rolling out a set of appliances designed to help businesses manage and optimize the rapidly growing amount of video network traffic.
Cisco on July 7 unveiled its ECDS (Enterprise Content Delivery System), a collection of technologies that together are aimed at enabling businesses to better scale and deliver high-quality live and on-demand video to users throughout their organization, regardless of location or device.
Content delivery is becoming a significant concern for businesses as the use of video continues to grow within enterprises, according to Guido Jouret, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Enterprise Video Group and CTO of the Emerging Technologies Group. Video communication is becoming more than just video conferencing, Jouret said in an interview with eWEEK.
Enterprises increasingly are using video for everything from meetings and communications to education and training, he said. Given that, the need to deliver this high-quality video-both live and on-demand-to employees, customers and business partners is growing in importance.
"Our customers are going very big into video," Jouret said.
The numbers bear that out, he said. Cisco believes that video will be the key driver in the tripling of IP traffic by 2015 and that there will be a 300 percent growth in video adoption by 2016. In addition, Cisco officials say that more than 10,000 companies worldwide currently are using Cisco video technology.
Cisco officials have grown out their video communications portfolio of products, and now are doing the same with their video content delivery products. Enterprises are looking for tools that will enable them to scale and optimize their video content and deliver it to where it wants to go without hinder the quality of the video or interfering with other network traffic.
Cisco's ECDS, part of its larger medianet architecture, includes hardware appliances and the company's WAAS (Wide Area Application Services) virtual blade architecture that work together to enable businesses to deliver live video through streaming or multicasting, and one-demand video via caching and pre-positioning. It can be deployed either as a set of appliances or virtual machines, according to Janice Le Litvinoff, general manager of Cisco's Digital Media Systems Group.
With the intelligent caching capability, businesses can move video across the WAN during hours of lighter traffic, then have it cached for later use by the end users, a move that alleviates some of the traffic pressure on the network.
It supports multiple video formats and can work with WANs (wide-area networks) that already are in place, Le Litvinoff said in an interview with eWEEK. Currently, the ECDS virtual offering can only run on a Cisco WAAS, though she implied support for third-party products may be in the offing.
The product can support a small number of sites or scale into the thousands, she said. Its management software also makes for easy deployment, maintenance and monitoring of video traffic.
Cisco offers three deployment options for ECDS. The Cisco Media Delivery Engine 1100 and MDE 3100 network appliances can scale to 500 and 5,000 concurrent users, respectively. In addition, the MDE 50WVB is a virtual blade that supports up to 200 simultaneous users on a Cisco WAAS appliance.
In addition, Cisco's ECDS supports third-party video applications and a variety of endpoints, including tablets and mobile phones.
ECDS is available immediately, starting at $4,395.