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Video hardware

Cisco Revs Its Video Engine

The video makeover at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) isn't just about consumer TV and Scientific Atlanta devices. The company thinks video is about to make a deep impact on corporate networks, too, and it's targeting those applications with what it says is a new type of video-centric network appliance.

The new Media Experience Engine (MXE) 3000 -- already deployed by at least one customer -- is being launched today and will be a central point of discussion at C-Scape, Cisco's annual analyst conference, which starts Tuesday. (See Cisco's Video Transformation .)

Cisco is trumpeting the MXE 3000 as a new type of appliance, something without an equivalent in IP networks. It's very much aimed at the enterprise, and ultimately it's going to tie together Cisco products including TelePresence and digital signage, says Guido Jourdet, CTO for Cisco's emerging technologies efforts.

This isn't about people ordering movies on demand at work. Cisco is eyeing the possibilities of enterprise-generated video, a category the company thinks will skyrocket in coming years. And Cisco executives point to their own network as proof.

"When Cisco upgraded the networks and put the TelePresence systems in, our bandwidth shot up by 6X," says Murali Nemani, Cisco director of marketing for service provider video. "Today, 50 percent of our traffic is video. We had to not just add more bandwidth, but we had to change the capabilities in the switches and routers so they could scale."

(Note -- Cisco, with 307 TelePresence sites, could be considered an extreme case among enterprise users.)

Specifications on the MXE 3000 weren't available at press time, and Cisco didn't furnish pictures of the device. Much of the box's magic depends on its software, which, Cisco admits, was developed outside the company and is being offered on an OEM basis.

But Jourdet freely discussed the box's current and future capabilities, sketching an ambitious video-centric future for the product line.

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:25:41 PM
re: Cisco Revs Its Video Engine Makes sense that Cisco would target enterprise video this heavily, since the enterprise is their home turf.

I think Cisco still wants to be a bigger player in the more glamorous consumer market, though, including greater IPTV presence and (my personal guess) an eventual full-blast home-networking play that goes beyond individual SA/Linksys products. We'll see if they say anything about that tomorrow.
sam masud 12/5/2012 | 3:25:40 PM
re: Cisco Revs Its Video Engine This is Cisco's way of ratcheting up its video marketing effort. Couple of years back, John Chambers said the future is video, video, video...and that truth is now self-evident. Outside of IPTV, it makes sense for Cisco to target the enterprise, and later the mass market.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:25:31 PM
re: Cisco Revs Its Video Engine I want to buy stock in who ever is OEM-ing that software to CSCO. Why could CSCO not just buy that vendor outright? Without owning the software, this has to be a low margin product. I therefore find the focus a bit disturbing, as in "is this all they can come up with?"
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