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Cisco Launches ‘Quick Start’ Video Platform

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Building on its ‘Enterprise Content’ platform, Cisco Systems Tuesday released new hardware appliances and router-integrated modules for companies looking to stream video over the Web.

The San Jose, Calif.-based computer-networking equipment maker launched version 5.0 of its Cisco Application and Content Networking System (ACNS) software as part of its Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN).

The software is basically a “quick start” video platform, which Cisco serves as a basis for companies that want to offer streaming video for training and communications purposes. The ACNS features like content and application acceleration, content filtering, virus scanning, and file or software distribution.

The new offering comes from the same group of business platforms as its Cisco Video on Demand initiative which it began building in earnest last year.

“In today’s business climate, enterprises are investing in new technologies with clear, near-term ROI. These technologies allow enterprises to deliver strategic business applications to branch and remote employees to elevate enterprise-wide productivity and profitability,” said Yankee Group Enterprise Infrastructure vice president Zeus Kerravala. “Cisco recognized this trend and has delivered an innovative system that expands the parameters of the traditional ECDN.”

Complimenting the software, the company says ACNS works best when in tangent with its new hardware options (also released Tuesday). Included in the options are the Cisco 510 Content Engine ($5,500) and Cisco 565 Content Engine ($11,000) for branch-office locations, and the Cisco 7305 Content Engine ($25,000) and Cisco 7325 Content Engine ($60,000) for large-branch or data-center deployments.

Already Cisco is highlighting its new customers including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which needs to deliver 40 hours of training each year to each of its more than 180,000 employees around the country. Other early adopters include Sprint, and Curtin University of Technology.

Scheduled for an April 2003 release, the ACNS Software 5.0 is scheduled to be available for the Cisco 2600/3600/3700 Series Content Engine Network Module. The Cisco Video on Demand platform is scheduled to be available in April 2003 from Cisco content networking partners.

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