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Chapter 14. Distributing and Routing Managed Content

Chapter 14. Distributing and Routing Managed Content

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network.

SettingUpYourACNSNetworkforAcquisitionand

DistributionYouwilllearnhowtocreatelocationtreesand

contentchannels.

AcquiringContenttoPrepositionYouwilllearnhowto

configureyourACNSnetworktoacquirecontentthatwillbe

prepositionedthroughoutyournetworkbydistributingthe

contenttothecontentengines(CE).

ConfiguringContentPrepositioningYouwillthenlearn

howtoconfigurecontentprepositioning.

ContentRequestRoutingYouwillexplorehowsimplified

hybridroutinganddynamicproxyautoconfigurationcanbe

usedtorouteclient'scontentrequests.

ConfiguringStreamingMediaYouwilllearnhowto

configurevideoondemand(VoD)prepositioningand

live/scheduled-rebroadcastprogrammingusingACNS.

InthisChapter,youwilllearnhowtoefficientlydeliver

managedcontenttoaccelerateyourenterpriseapplications.You

canusecontentdistribution,routing,andstreamingmediafora

numberofenterpriseapplications,including:

E-learningandCorporateCommunications

SoftwareandFileDistribution



E-learningandCorporateCommunications

TheexplosivegrowthoftheInterneteconomyinthepast

decadehasledmanycompaniestoraisetheirexpectationsof

employeelevelsofinformationintake.Duetoadvancesin

technology,mergers,acquisitions,marketvolatility,and

competitivepressures,today'semployeesmustbeempowered

torespondeffectivelytotheseincreasingdemands.Ensuring

thatemployeesareabletolearnnewskillsandassimilatevast

amountsofnewinformationontopofexistingskillswill

guaranteeacompany'ssuccessintoughmarkets.

Areasthatbenefitfromarobuste-learningandcorporate

communicationssolutionare

ProductSalesSalesemployees'knowledgeoftheir

organization'scurrentandupcomingproductsandthoseof

thecompetitionisimportanttowinningapotentialsales

opportunity.Ifaformidablecompetitivevendorisalso

involvedintheaccountandhasthenecessarycompetitive

ammunition,itmaywinthesalesopportunity.

CustomerSupportCustomersupportrepresentatives

mustbekeptabreastoftheirdepartments'methodsand

proceduresthatmaychangeveryfrequently.

QualityAssuranceForqualityassuranceemployees,

applyingqualitycontrolmechanismsindynamic

manufacturingsettingscanofferachallengewithrespectto

keepingqualitylevelsoftheirproductssustained.

Tofacilitatethelearningprocess,yourorganizationmust

implementasolutionthataffordsquickretrievalofrelevant

informationandenablesemployeestolearnmaterialmost



suitedforthemattheirleisure.Traditionaltrainingmethods,

suchasCD-orDVD-ROM-basedComputerBasedTraining(CBT)

andclassroomshaveprovencostlyandtimeconsumingin

today'sInternetculture.

Thegoalsofe-learningarereducedtrainingcosts,easyaccess

toeducationalcontent,increasedcollaboration,andimproved

accountability.Reducedcorporatetrainingcostsareamajor

testamenttothebenefitsofe-learning.E-learningsolutions

reducethesetypesoftrainingexpenses:travelcosts,

accommodations,trainingfacilities,andtimespentawayfrom

theofficefornumerousemployeestomeetataheadquarters.

E-learningisawayfororganizationstoprovideeducation

throughnetworks.Today'snetworksprovidethemediumthat

classrooms,boardrooms,andlecturehallsprovidedinthepast.

E-learningsolutionscanprovideeducationalcontentliveorondemand.Livesolutionscanprovideanexperiencesimilartoa

classroomsetting,includinginteractiveverbaldiscussions,

onlinewhiteboards,instantmessagingquestions,andanswers

betweenteacherandstudentorstudent-to-studentdiscussions.

Someusersmaybeunabletoattendtrainingduetoschedule

constraints,orusersmaylearnatdifferentpacesorhave

differinglevelsofknowledgeofthematerial.Forthesereasons,

on-demande-learningmaybebeneficial.On-demandcontent

canbeviewedatanytimebythelearnerbutwiththesame

componentsandeffectivenessasaclassroomorlivee-learning

solution.



SoftwareandFileDistribution

Forlargeorganizationswithmobilestafflocatedatbranch

offices,organizingcorporatefilesandsoftwareisacomplicated

task.Fileserversnormallystoredatafilesandsoftwarefor

clientaccessatthecorporateheadquarters.Incremental

operatingsystempatchesandhot-fixesaredownloadedfrom

Microsoft'sWindowsUpdatesitedirectlybytheclientortoa

centrallylocatedsystemsmanagementserver,fromwhichthe

updatesarepushedtotheclientstationsautomatically.

Antivirusupdatesareloadedinasimilarfashion,resultingin

eachbranchofficecontainingnumerousclientsdownloadingthe

samefile(virusdefinitions)acrossexpensiveWANlinks.

Filesizesvaryfromextremelylarge,forentireharddiskimages

forPCghostingpurposes,toverysmall,forantivirusdefinition

orsecurityhotfixupdates.Filecompressionisoflimitedusefor

largeimages,soscalabilityisamajorissueformost

organizationswithlimitedWANbandwidthavailabletothe

branchoffice.Filesthatbenefitfromfilecompression,suchas

textfiles,arenotnormallyaslarge,sotheydonothavea

majoreffectonWANbandwidth.

Typicallarge-scalesoftwaredistributionprocessesinvolvea

third-partysystemsmanagementapplicationtobuildand

distributecontent.Forlargeorganizationswithmobilestaff

locatedatbranchoffices,thepenetrationofsoftware

distributionisoftenlow.Furthermore,theserversthemselves

areWindows-basedinthevastmajorityofenterprise

environments.Windows-basedfileserversareasvulnerableto

maliciouscodeastheclientstheyareprotecting;therefore,

they,too,mustbeincludedintheupdateprocess.Because

Cisco'ssoftwaredistributionplatformisahardenedcontent

networkappliance,itisnotvulnerabletoWindows-based

maliciouscodeorsecurityexploits.



Thistypeofsolutionisbeneficialonethatpre-positionscontent

toyourbranchofficedirectlytoavoidreplicatedclientrequests

fromconsumingvaluableWANbandwidth,especiallyduring

peakhoursoftraffic.Additionally,thesolutionmustbeableto

intelligentlyroutecontenttotheclosestsource,normallyatthe

branchofficewheretheclientislocated,insteadofpointing

everyworkstationorserverintheorganizationtotheorigin

server,whichislocatedattheheadquarters.Thesolutionmust

beabletoscalewithcompanygrowthandbeeasily

administered,allowingforbandwidththrottling.Ausermustbe

abletoworkfromanyremotelocationandhavecontent

requestsautomaticallydirectedtothelocalcontent.Ifpossible,

youcanaddbeneficialfeaturesofthesolutionthatinclude

schedulingoff-hoursorstaggeredcontentupdatesacrossthe

WANtobranchofficeremotelocations.Overallbandwidth

consumptionwillbereducedasaresult.



IntroducingContentDistributionandRouting

Inadditiontotheon-demandcachingandlivestreamsplitting

thatyoulearnedaboutinChapter13,"DeliveringCachedand

StreamingMedia,"anACNSnetworkcanallowyoutoenable

thefollowingrichmultimediafeaturesonyournetwork:

Pre-PositionedOn-DemandChannelsACNSprovides

youtheabilitytodistributeobjectswithinthenetworkin

advanceofclientrequests.YoulearnedpreviouslyhowCEs

populatethemselveson-demandbycachingcopiesof

contentinlinewithclients'requests.WithACNS,youcan

pre-positionstreamingornonstreamingchannelsof

organizedstaticfiles,suchasHTML,MacromediaFlash,

Shockwave,JPEG,WindowsMedia,AppleQuickTime,and

RealNetworks,toCEsinadvanceofclientrequestsduring

off-peakhours.

ScheduledLiveorRebroadcastedChannelsACNS

providesintegrationwiththeCiscoIP/TVstreamingmedia

solutionandthird-partystreamingserversoftware,suchas

WindowsMediaTechnologies(WMT),RealNetworks,and

AppleQuickTime,forscheduledliveorrebroadcastevents.

TheACNSsystemcomprisesthefollowingelements:

ContentDistributionManager(CDM)TheCDMisthe

heartoftheACNSnetworksolution.TheCDMisthecentral

managementconsoleofanACNSnetworkandis

responsibleforfacilitatingthepre-positioningofon-demand

contentandforschedulinglivestreamingprograms.The

CDMdoesnotdirectlystoreanyofthecontentlocally.

Alternately,foron-demandcontenttheCDMusesmanifest

files,whichareXMLfilesthatyoucanwritetoinstructthe



CEsonthefollowing:theoriginserversthatthecontent

residesonandwhatcontentontheoriginserversshouldbe

distributedintheACNSnetwork.

Forliveorscheduledrebroadcastcontent,theCDM

schedulesprogramsandorganizesthedistributionofthe

streamingcontenttoyourusers.

CEsIftheCDMistheheart,thenCEsarethelimbsofthe

ACNSnetwork.Theydotheworkindistributingfilesand

providingcachingandstreamingservicestorequesting

clients.AsyoulearnedinChapter13,throughthird-party

licensing,theCEcanrunbothWMTandRealNetworks

proxiesforsplittingandcachingofstreamingcontent.

However,thisfeatureisuniquetotheACNSsystemyoucan

servestreamingcontentdirectlyfrombothWindowsMedia

Server(WMS)andRealNetworksserversoftwarethatyou

canlicenseandenableonyourCEs.Additionally,with

ACNS,youcanenabletheCiscoStreamingEngine.The

streamingengineisastandardReal-TimeStreaming

Protocol(RTSP)serverandcanbeusedtoproxyand

directlystreamMotionPictureExpertsGroup(MPEG)1/2/4

andAppleQuickTimestreamingcontent.TheCisco

StreamingEnginedoesnotrequireaseparatethird-party

license.

ContentRouters(CR)TheCiscoContentRouteristhe

noseoftheACNSnetwork,usedtosniffforthebest

locationofthecontenttoservetoclients.CRsuseDomain

NameServer(DNS)andHTTP/RTSPredirectionforrouting

client'scontentrequests.AswiththeGlobalServerLoad

Balancing(GSLB)devicesthatyoulearnedaboutinChapter

12,"ExploringGlobalServerLoadBalancing,"the

subdomainsthattheCRrespondstomustbedelegatedto

theCRbytheDNSserversthatareresponsibleforthe

domain.



TosourceyourownMPEG1/2/4orAppleQuickTimeliveor

VoDstreams,youcanuseCiscoIP/TVstreamingsolution,

insteadofusingathird-partysolution.Youcanusethe

CiscoIP/TVsystemeitheronitsownorwithinanACNS

system.UsedwiththeACNSsystem,youcandistributeand

routeIP/TVcontentmuchmoreefficientlythanasastandalonesystem.TheCiscoIP/TV3400seriesvideoserver

solutionconsistsofthefollowingelements:

IP/TVProgramManagerToscheduleliveIP/TVstreams,

youmustusetheIP/TVProgramManager.TheIP/TV

ProgramManagersoftwarerunsontheCiscoCEhardware

inseparatedevicemodesthatyoucanconfigureviatheCE

command-lineinterface(CLI).

IP/TVBroadcastserversTosourcelivestreams,you

mustusetheIP/TVbroadcastserver.Thisserveriscapable

ofencodinganddeliveringMPEG1/2/4andAppleQuickTime

livestreamsforliveoron-demanddelivery.TheIP/TV

broadcastserverrequiresadedicatedCisco-brandedIP/TV

hardenedapplianceoragenericstandaloneserver.You

acquirethisapplianceorserveryourselfandinstallthe

broadcastserverIP/TVsoftwareonit.Ifyouuseyourown

hardware,makesurethatyourcapturecardsaresupported

bytheIP/TVBroadcastsoftwarefirst.

IP/TVViewerToviewcontentthatiscreatedwiththe

IP/TVBroadcastserver,youcanusetheCiscoIP/TVviewer.

Figure14-1illustratesatypicalACNSnetworktopologythatwill

beusedthroughoutillustrationsandexamplesinthisChapter.



Figure14-1.AContentDistributionandRouting

Topology



[Viewfullsizeimage]







InitializingandRegisteringYourACNSNetwork

Devices

TheCiscoCEcanruninfourdifferentmodes,correspondingto

theACNSelementsyoulearnedaboutpreviously:CDM,CE,CR,

andIP/TVProgramManager.Thesefourmodesareavailableas

separatepersonalitieswithinthesameACNSoperatingsystem.

Tochangethedevicemode,yousimplyneedtoenablethe

modeandreboottheCEforthechangestotakeeffect.TheCE

commandtochangethemodeofaCEis



devicemode{content-router|content-engine|content-distribu

program-manager}



ThefollowingseriesofCEsisavailableforenablingthethree

ACNSdevicemodes:

ContentEngineNetworkModulesCEnetworkmodules

fortheCisco2600and3600seriesmultiserviceplatforms

andtheCisco2800and3800seriesintegratedservices

routers.YoucanenabletheseservicemodulesasCEsonly.

ContentEngine511seriesTheCE511isanentry-level

platformforsmallbranchoffices.LiketheCEnetwork

module,youcanenablethesedevicesasCEsonly.

ContentEngine566and7326seriesThesearehigherendseriesCEs,withfasterCPUsandmorestoragecapacity

thantheCE511.TheseseriesCEscansupporttheCDM,

CE,CRACNSdevicemodes.

Ifyouareconfiguringyourdeviceforthefirsttime,youshould



allocatediskspaceappropriatelyforthefollowingdiskregions

onyourACNSdevices:

SystemFileSystem(sysfs)Allocatedforsystemuse.

CacheFileSystem(cfs)Allocatedforcachingunmanaged

HTTPandFTPobjectsonstandaloneCEs,whichyoulearned

aboutinChapter13.Unmanagedobjectsaresourcedfrom

publicInternetoriginservers.

MediaFileSystem(mediafs)Allocatedforunmanaged

VoDproxycaching,usingtheWMTproxyorRealProxy,that

youalsolearnedaboutinChapter13.

ContentDeliveryNetworkFileSystem(cdnfs)

Allocatedforpre-positioningmanagedcontent,whichyou

centrallyadministerwithaCDM.Managedcontentis

contentthatyousourcefromanoriginserverthatyou

manageyourself(forexample,anintranetweborFTP

serveroranenterpriseWMSserver).

Toallocatethepercentageofdiskspaceforeachregion,use

thecommand

diskconfigsysfssys-percentcfscache-percentmediafs

cdn-percentage



Forexample,forCEsprimarilyusedforprepositionedcontent,

youcanweighttheallocationmoretowardthecdnfs,as

follows:

diskconfigsysfs10%cfs15%mediafs15%cdnfs60%



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Chapter 14. Distributing and Routing Managed Content

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