Cisco at CES Brings Videoscape Services to the Cloud

The new Videoscape-as-a-service will be on display during the 2014 Winter Olympics from Russia.

Cisco Systems, three years after introducing Videoscape TV at the Consumer Electronics Show, is bringing the video service to the cloud.

Cisco officials at this year's CES said the company will be offering Videoscape as a service supported by the OpenStack open cloud platform. The goal is to give service providers and media companies another video delivery option to offer customers, drive up revenues and reduce overall costs.

The cloud-based Videoscape solution—which can be used in either public or private clouds—will give service providers a way to offer such consumer features as second-screen capabilities and 4K video, as well as greater customization and personalization, according to company officials.

"Videoscape leads the industry as a platform for delivering exciting video services and experiences. With these new Videoscape cloud capabilities, our customers have two additional ways to deploy Videoscape, meaning they can get new services to market faster than ever before," Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager of service provider video infrastructure for Cisco, said in a statement.

Consumers will get a look at the new cloud-based Videoscape capabilities during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, next month. NBC Olympics—a division of the NBC Sports Group—will use the TV services for transcoding and content management during the Olympic Games, which will run from Feb. 6 to Feb. 23. Cisco has worked with NBC on its Olympic coverage during past Games.

The cloud-based services will bring the network more options when dealing with content, according to Craig Lau, vice president of IT for NBC Olympics.

"We are excited about the benefits and options cloud-powered video services bring us, including added agility, portability, flexibility and scalability of our networks, to meet the demands, with much less engineering and prep time," Lau said in a statement.

Cisco, in an aggressive restructuring two years ago, began dismantling its consumer product business, choosing instead to focus on commercial and service provider offerings. However, with solutions like Videoscape, Cisco is still pushing for a significant role in the house. Cisco has kept a large presence at CES, and video is a key part of the effort, as illustrated by Cisco's acquisitions in recent years that help bolster Videoscape, such as the $5 billion deal for NDS Group in 2012.

Included in the new Videoscape-as-a-service offering is Videoscape Cloud Software, which will help service providers drive down operating expenses by delivering video experiences faster than in the past. The cloud software means that Videoscape will be able to be separated by the underlying hardware and run on the private and public clouds, including those based on OpenStack.

Because the service is now in the cloud, users will be able to deploy video applications on demand and scale them, making it easier and faster to deploy them, according to Cisco officials.

In addition, Cisco is offering Videoscape Cloud Services, which also can be bought "as a service" from the company and paid for based on which services are used. Service providers won't have to code or integrate these cloud-based services themselves, which will save them time and money, Cisco officials said.

Service providers also will be able to use hardware-based elements of Videoscape with cloud-based ones to create a custom solution that best fits their individual environments. Cloud Fusion for Videoscape means that users will be able to deploy optimized hardware and software appliances with cloud software and services.

Cisco's Videoscape Open UX Foundation also brings greater performance and features to gateways, set-top boxes and connected devices that run HTML5 applications, officials said.