& cplSiteName &

Cisco Minds Its Microservices With Cloud Video

Mari Silbey
1/30/2018
50%
50%

One of the major mindset shifts that's occurred in network virtualization is the idea that individual network functions shouldn't just be transferred wholesale into the cloud, but that instead they should be broken down further into mini functions, or microservices that can more flexibly use the on-demand resources the cloud has to offer. Along these lines, Cisco has been working with customers to implement cloud-native video delivery -- a system for offering cloud-based video services with the agility to manage around spikes in usage, the different demands of individual video channels and more.

Speaking in an interview with Light Reading, Product Management Head Ramin Farassat recently detailed how a single Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) video product today can include as many as ten to 20 microservices. And he explained, "You don't always have to bring all [microservices] up at the same time. You don't always have to bring the same number of them up at the same time, so as you can imagine, you can save a lot of resources."

Cisco's microservices architecture is part of its Infinite Video Platform.
Cisco's microservices architecture is part of its Infinite Video Platform.

Cisco's video encoding product, for example, now separates pre-processing (the initial video cleanup) from compression and post-processing (the smoothing away of image artifacts). Customers can tap into these microservices individually and even pair them with other functions like video packaging to create a new chain of microservices.

"Some of our customers are asking us to be able to build a chain of different microservices that only relate to a specific program," says Farassat. "Before, we couldn't do this on our VM [virtual machine] because our VM was a full encoder. Now we can actually break things up completely, build a chain of different microservices that are only dealing with one specific program, one specific channel."

Farassat also talks about customers now being able to spin up ad insertion capabilities in targeted areas and easily run service chains in multiple clouds for redundancy. When Cisco ran video functions in virtual machines rather than as containerized microservices, it was much more difficult to configure such scenarios and to make changes as needs evolved.

Farassat points out that in an example like video encoding, it's rare for a service provider to need to increase capacity unexpectedly or very often. However, for another service like cloud DVR, the demands on capacity can change rapidly.

"We have cases with our customers where at some certain hour a lot of subscribers decide to actually start recording the same show. And that's something that we don't really have a good handle on," says Farassat. "You don't necessarily know that that show is going to be that exciting to people."

Although the demand may be unanticipated, however, service providers can allocate new resources as and when they're needed in a microservices architecture.


Light Reading is bringing together all of the key players in the automation revolution for the first time at Automation Everywhere on April 4 in Dallas. Join us as we tackle the business and technology challenges behind driving network automation. The event is free for communications service providers – register today!


Ultimately, the major benefit of an agile, cloud-native environment will be the automation of resource delivery based on triggers set up within a network. This is the idea behind Cisco's broader intent-based networking strategy. (See Cisco Revs Up Network Automation .)

As with enterprise networking, Cisco wants to ensure that performance optimization in video delivery starts to be self-managed within a network, requiring little to no manual intervention and occurring much faster than is possible today.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
AT&T's Stankey Serves Up a Stinker at HBO
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/10/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
FCC's Rosenworcel: US 'Falling Behind' on 5G
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed