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Cisco to make Videoscape deployable in the cloud

With two sets of Videoscape Unity products freshly out in the market, Cisco has already started leveraging its recent acquisition of UK firm NDS – and there is much more to come this year in terms of cloud-based video offerings, according to Nick Thexton, once CTO of NDS and now of Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group.

Nick Thexton, Cisco

Nick Thexton, Cisco

Speaking to IP&TV News recently, Thexton told us that Cisco’s drive to become the world’s biggest IT company is going to see the company make a much bigger push into cloud software over the next 12-18 months, of which part will be video service provision.

Cisco launched the Videoscape Unity platform at this year’s CES last January, as an updated version of its previous Videoscape platform designed to incorporate some of the best technologies developed by NDS.

It has already started offering TV Everywhere and video gateway products on the platform, and plans to round this out with two further product groups (cloud DVR and IP overlays) in the second half of this year.

Thexton told us that he sees two ways in which Videoscape Unity will move to the cloud: firstly, Cisco will start making products deployable by its service provider customers in the cloud, either on an elastic computer infrastructure that they own, or on a public computing infrastructure (or a mix of the two); and secondly, the company plans to start offer some Videoscape Unity features to third-parties as part of a service, so that they can build their own TV infrastructure.

The decision to pre-package certain Videoscape capabilities is driven by a desire to make the platform accessible to service provider customers that do not wish to have a custom-built TV platform, but rather follow a roadmap that has defined release stages and which has already been tested and thought through, he added.

“The cloud revolution is a big hype in the industry, and I think as a result people are waiting for it to crash, and I don’t think it will because the fundamentals of the technology are actually quite good, they are something which has been unrealisable until just recently, so it has radical implications for us,” said Thexton.

These technological strengths include the ability to bring multiple computing capacity to data as and when needed – “imagine it as a swarm of robots going over your data and doing cool things to it”, says Thexton – and the extremely efficient use of CPU power.

“It is understandable that people are conservative at the moment, they think that ownership of computing capacity themselves is the best way to go forward, its understandable but I don’t think it will last, people will start to look for commoditisation of this capacity.”

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