November 18, 2011

Optimizing Enterprise Video Over Wireless LANs

Video is marking the next evolution of business collaboration. Executive communications to employees through IPTV, on-demand playback of sales meetings or training sessions, and videoconferencing are just a few of the rich-media applications that are helping organizations improve the effectiveness of communications across distributed groups. These applications enable faster and more trusted collaboration, reduce travel expenses, and increase the agility and competiveness of the business. At the same time, with the steady increase of mobile workers and the number of Wi-Fi endpoints being brought onto the IP network, the ability to support video over the wireless LAN is introducing a new set of challenges for IT to address.

Just like voice and data, as video applications become increasingly integrated into business process, end users will demand the flexibility to access these applications wherever they are and on any device with the same level of service and user experience. For many organizations, a traditional wireless network will not be able to cost-effectively meet the challenges of providing end-to end connectivity, bandwidth, and a consistent, high-quality user experience at scale.

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1 Comment

We all know that video is a very demanding application that immediately exposes any weaknesses in your wired or wireless networks. With Wi-Fi becoming the default access network in most enterprises, then, how do you ensure enterprise-class wireless video experiences when Wi-Fi is a contention-based medium and vulnerable to RF interference and unpredictable user traffic?

In this white paper, Cisco contends that businesses need a “medianet.” The company defines a medianet as an evolution of the intranet, extranet and Internet that is reinforced and optimized for rich media content, such as video, with various and sundry QoS, call control, multicast-to-unicast and other features. Much of the paper serves as a useful and comprehensive tutorial on the issues associated with getting enterprise-class video over wireless and wired networks alike. The paper also discusses the various types of video you might need to support (on demand, live streaming and live interactive, for example) and their respective network requirements and challenges. (Nope, they're not all the same!)

Side note: if you're particularly interested in this topic, you might also want to take a look at our interactive Thought Leadership Discussion on how WLANs support video.

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