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Cisco Unveils Hardware Line for Live and On-demand Video

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For those who want to keep it in-house, Cisco has announced the Cisco Enterprise Content Delivery System (ECDS), a new line of products for live and on-demand video delivery.

The ECDS includes hardware appliances and Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) virtual blade software. Together, they offer live streaming or multicasting, as well as video on-demand using caching or prepositioning.

Cisco is emphasizing the IT-friendliness of the line, saying that ECDS  offers easy setup, configuration, maintenance, and video monitoring. The line can also work at any place in a network, letting customers make the most of their previous hardware investments.

Buyers can choose from three deployment options. Both the Cisco Media Delivery Engine 1100 and the Cisco MDE can handle from 500 to 5,000 users at any one time. The Cisco MDE 50WVB is a software virtual blade that can support 200 users at once on a Cisco WAAS appliance.

One of the highlights of the ECDS line is that it uses intelligence to cache or preposition content in order to minimize the impact on the network. For example, it can push on-demand content like employee training videos across the WAN during off-peak hours, then cache the content locally for access by multiple users.

"As businesses use video on a daily basis to increase employee engagement and enhance customer service, IT leaders must wrestle with how to manage the exploding amount of video content over the network, and in particular constrained WAN connections. A key advantage of ECDS that appeals to IT is they can 'set it and forget it,'" says Janice Le Litvinoff, director and general manager of the Digital Media Systems business unit at Cisco.

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