One of the critical aspects of a medianet is the need to provide tighter integration between the network infrastructure services and the rich-media endpoints and applications. These medianet services could be used to either enhance quality of experience with the application or reduce the operating costs of managing and deploying the applications. However, in most enterprise networks today, the crucial linkage between the application and these services is often either missing or incomplete, meaning that enterprises are unable to take full advantage of the value of the network infrastructure and the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the rich-media applications increases.
The Media Services Interface was developed to address the challenge of tightly integrating applications and network infrastructure services to deliver an optimized high-quality rich-media experience while minimizing the TCO. The interface provides Cisco rich-media endpoints and applications with a series of application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable them to take advantage of the medianet services in the network infrastructure. Embedding the Media Services Interface into a wide range of rich-media endpoints enables the network to provide a standardized set of services, which can be accessed in a consistent and controlled manner. This scenario reduces interoperability problems, complexity, and costs of operations, enabling the network administrator to extract greater value from the network infrastructure deployed.
The Media Services Interface APIs are designed to provide these services in an abstract manner, enabling applications to take full advantage of the services without needing to integrate with – or be aware of – the network layer protocols needed to communicate with the network. This scenario simplifies and accelerates application adoption of medianet services, in turn enabling the applications to improve the user experience. The APIs also provide the means by which to exchange information from the network to the application, and conversely.
Enabling the flow of information between the two entities gives the application greater visibility into what level of service the network can provide, in turn allowing the application to adapt better to the prevailing network conditions. Likewise, the network benefits from a better understanding of the applications that are running over it and the network can intelligently apply services based on the specific needs of the applications.
The Media Services Interface provides the essential glue between the intelligent network services and the increasingly sophisticated rich-media applications. Bridging the gap between the network services and the applications exponentially increases the value to both.