Cisco's Olympian Video Backbone

NBC is leveraging IP infrastructure from Cisco to support its broadcast of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The Cisco Data Center Networks blog has posted details about the IP infrastructure the company has provided to support NBC Universal's broadcast of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, which begin with today's opening ceremonies. NBC has deployed three 155Mbps OC-3 pipes between Beijing and New York, which carry everything from video content and IP telephony to teleprompter content and event scoring. Here's an excerpt:

Rather than sending 400 video shot selectors and editors to Beijing, NBC will be using Cisco WAAS for WAN optimization and application acceleration between Beijing, New York and Los Angeles. By optimizing 35Mbps links into 140Mbps links, Cisco WAAS allows editors and shot selectors to access gigabyte-sized video files over the WAN with the same performance as if they were stored locally. This reduces operating costs of housing, air travel, transportation, and food. Avoiding 800 airplane trips also supports NBC's green initiatives for the Olympic Games.

It's an early example of how big-pipe bandwidth can make the world smaller for multi-national operations with large travel budgets.