Cisco today is simultaneously announcing an effort to sharply reduce the amount of network bandwidth IT organizations need to dedicate to video while at the same time making it simpler to invoke Cisco TelePresence video conferencing through its Cisco WebEx collaboration service.
At the Enterprise Connect 2013 conference, Cisco revealed the development of a new set of algorithms that can dynamically detect how much bandwidth any given client is going to need to view a particular stream of video. That information is then used to balance traffic across the rest of the network based on policies set up by the IT department using the Cisco Medianet architecture that is now embedded in Cisco routers, switches, endpoints and Cisco Jabber software.
According to Thomas Wyatt, vice president and general manager of the Cisco Collaboration Infrastructure Business Unit, this capability eliminates the need to over-provision networks to handle video traffic that by definition is spikey in nature.
Cisco also wants to make video conferencing as easy to set up as a WebEx conferencing session. End users can share that video conferencing session with any other user regardless of the type of end point being used.
Wyatt says the end goal is to make video conferencing available as a ubiquitous service in a way that doesn’t penalize organizations by requiring them to allocate dedicated bandwidth to take advantage of video conferencing.
A recent Cisco study on the usage of video conferencing predicts that by 2016 there will be 218.9 million users of desktop video conferencing software. Apparently, Cisco wants to make sure that happens by not only reducing the total cost of video conferencing from an infrastructure perspective, but also making it easy for just about anybody to set up and use.