HAYS, KS -- Video on demand, live broadcast over the Internet, Virtual College classes via local area network -- no problem.
On May 30, in a global press release, Cisco announced its new e-learning service based on its enterprise content delivery network products, which provide an integrated solution for delivering rich, live and on-demand learning through enterprise data networks.
Fort Hays State University, pioneering this technology in the educational sector, is now distributing streaming media for numerous applications effortlessly with the same enterprise data networks.
FHSU is a special client of Cisco. The university receives cost breaks and other incentives in exchange for being a model for the new system. Prospective clients can view this technology in working order on FHSU's campus, then contact Cisco for further information.
ECDN provides one central manager, or server, for up to 100 remote engines that can each independently dispense any desired media files. The manager distributes files to the locally managed engines, wherever they may be. The engine then distributes to end-users.
This arrangement eliminates one of the greatest problems previously encountered when distributing media: bandwidth shortages. Now the engine, which is local, deals with this problem.
A distance learning student in Great Bend with dial-up service needs queue information from a local engine only yards away. Previously, the data had to travel many miles, switches and routers to arrive, causing it to deteriorate.
Now that student, unaware of any special circumstances, will receive an unabated flow of information.
ECDN is currently being used by FHSU to administer on-demand video supplements and other media-intensive tasks locally with only two engines. If demand, however, dictated the need for an engine in Great Bend, it would be that easy. An engine would be installed and they would thereafter receive the same quality media FHSU does locally.
Express Personnel Services, an Oklahoma City based corporation, is one of a number of companies pioneering this technology in the business sector. Art Atkinson, vice president of franchise development for Express Personnel, said in Cisco's press release:
"Cisco's ECDN solution will enable Express to effectively train franchisees and their staff, which will better prepare them to service clients. E-learning will allow us to train employees quickly, increase their productivity and job satisfaction."
ECDN will similarly enable FHSU.