May 21, 2021

Getting up to speed with Cisco's 5G architecture

Verizon
Cisco
3 min
Cisco's Bob Everson, Senior Director of 5G Architecture talks about what it's like being one of the pioneers of 5G technology and Verizon's trusted partner

If you’ve ever been around a computer or any everyday IT system, you’re probably no stranger to Cisco. Founded in 1984 in San Francisco, it is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the internet. What that means is that everything from reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future warrants a varying degree of involvement by a solutions provider like Cisco. Cisco is a market leader in advanced technology solutions for Enterprise, Service Providers and Cloud, helping their customers and partners to achieve their intended business outcomes.  As Verizon builds its 5G network, Cisco continues to act as a trusted partner.

There are many benefits of 5G. With innovation and investments across silicon, optics, software, and systems, Cisco is evolving how service provider networks are built to maximize operational agility and help enable a competitive advantage to future proof network and cloud infrastructure.  Speaking on the extent of implementation, Bob Everson, Cisco’s Senior Director of 5G Architecture says “5G is not a singular technology. For us, it's really important that we take a systems approach on the components that deliver a 5G system, but then also look at the whole ecosystem of the applications and the users, and how all that ties together.” 

Cisco’s relationship with Verizon goes back nearly two decades, and to date is one of Cisco’s strongest partners globally from a go-to-market standpoint as well as from a network standpoint. Cisco and Verizon collaborated on 4G and LTE services and now are working together as Verizon builds out their 5G network services.

Being a pioneer in 5G technology and applications, Cisco focuses on maximising the use of technology to improve business operations for its customers in order to deliver tangible results. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining applications, securing data, transforming infrastructure, and empowering teams for a global and inclusive future.

Everson states that although 5G is the future with its endless possibilities, it also makes systems vulnerable to a degree of threat. For a number of clients, 5G is not simply an additional layer of technology that brings about high speed, low latency and reduced risk. Instead, it is an integrated system that needs to sit inside the existing operation, and so one of Cisco’s key tasks becomes developing a holistic approach in understanding these operations and providing solutions that predict and prevent any threat. 

Speaking in conclusion on the application of 5G across different operations, Everson adds that organizations will see an increasing overlap in environments between enterprise and direct consumers, so having a protected connection and an infrastructure built to last will and should be any organization’s top objective. As organisations look to the future of work and move to a more hybrid work model, service providers must ensure that their customers are well-connected wherever they are with multiple levels of security and have a seamless environment to operate within. 

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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