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3/17/2010
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Cisco Accelerates Borderless Networks

The company is expanding Medianet to support the discovery of endpoint devices whether they are VoIP phones, cameras, or displays.

Cisco has started the next phase of its Borderless Networks initiative, whose purpose is to make computing seamless regardless of location or platform, with new product and feature announcements for Medianet, Energywise, and Trustsec.

Supporting the initiative enhancements are new switches and Integrated Services Routers. Love or hate Cisco, the company has a plan, articulates it well, and delivers. Any infrastructure vendor that wants to compete with Cisco is going to have to step up.

It's no secret that Cisco is getting into real-time media in a big way from streaming video and video conferencing, to unified communications and VoIP. Part of the difficulty for IT is building and managing the network to support real-time services that ride along with all the other data.

One pain point is identifying end devices and setting QoS parameters needed to deliver real-time media end to end.

Cisco is expanding Medianet to support the discovery of endpoint devices whether they are VoIP phones, camera, or displays. The discovery mechanism not only identifies the media endpoint, but the media properties like video or audio resolution and relates that to bandwidth, delay, and jitter requirements.

Based on the discovery, Medianet can set QoS parameters through the network, ensuring that the device can receive and display media properly. It's automated management that goes beyond what standards-based discovery mechanisms like the IEEE Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) and Link Layer Discovery Protocol-Media Endpoint Detection (LLDP-MED), which Eric Krapf describes in LLDP-MED: Learning About the Endpoint, currently offer.

At present, Medianet only discovers the display and media details from Cisco devices, but the company says it will release an API for third-party vendors to support the discovery capabilities in the other devices.

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