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Polycom scales up video management software and enhances SMB management

Polycom adds scalability to its video management software and announces RealPresence Video DualManager for SMBs for evolving video network demands.

Polycom has increased the scale of the RealPresence video management software for its conferencing and telepresence platforms and introduced a new small and medium-sized (SMB) management product that combines two video management tools onto a single appliance.

The RealPresence Resource Manager Version 8.0 will now accommodate 50,000 video users joining from mobile devices or desktop endpoints, up from 10,000. The vendor's new SMB video management software -- the Video DualManager 400 -- will provide management and control over video traffic for both large and SMB enterprise networks.

Just as IT departments need active management tools for monitoring and controlling their wired and wireless networks on the fly, the same tools are becoming a requirement for video traffic.

"Enterprise networks have become very complex, and IT is struggling to keep up," said Ira Weinstein, partner and senior analyst at Duxbury, Mass.-based Wainhouse Research. "With hundreds of endpoints on the video network now, it's all about proactive versus reactive management."

Businesses of all sizes need video management software

Video conferencing applications strain the enterprise network, regardless of business size and IT expertise. Real-time video traffic demands large amounts of bandwidth and challenge IT pros who are trying to deliver a smooth user experience.

Polycom's video management software upgrades address enterprise video capacity and scalability needs, said Laura Shay, senior director of product marketing for Polycom. The San Jose-based vendor also updated its RealPresence Distributed Media Application (DMA) version 6.0, which includes enhanced video operator services -- such as on-demand support with dialing, multiple languages and new customization options, Shay said.

Smaller businesses want video management tools, but not every business will need to support 50,000 endpoints. The Polycom RealPresence Video DualManager 400 offering for small and midsized businesses includes Polycom Resource Manager and RealPresence DMA functionality, which simplifies the distribution and load balancing of video traffic for midmarket businesses, Shay said. While the offering supports fewer devices and concurrent calls, Video DualManager has the same features as Polycom Resource Manager Version 8.0 has, in a cost-effective, single appliance.

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"Most of our customers don't need close to the 50,000 endpoint capacity, so by putting both Resource Manager and DMA on a single appliance, on a single server, we can support up to 400 devices and 150 concurrent calls," Shay said. "[The offering] is taking our enterprise-grade management solution and scaling it down for smaller businesses."

The appliance form factor and Web-based configuration of Video DualManager makes video management more accessible for SMB users, said Henry Dewing, principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. SMBs will now have access to Polycom Resource Manager and DMA in one product.

The Video DualManager 400 will be replacing the Polycom Converged Management Application 4000 for SMBs, Polycom's Shay said.

Real-time video needs real-time management

Traditional application traffic alone is rapidly growing on the enterprise network. Enterprise video traffic places an additional management burden on IT and creates a demand for tools that allow network administrators to centrally monitor and manage video traffic and performance, Wainhouse's Weinstein said.

"If an enterprise has 150 endpoints in 29 locations, IT has to ensure all these systems are up to date and reliable," Weinstein said. "A central place to manage and monitor that environment around the world is very important for larger [businesses]," he said.

The Polycom video management software upgrades allow IT to see media streams in real-time, verify users and determine bandwidth availability. "A growing trend in video is monitoring a real-time stream to determine quality of the user experience," Forrester's Dewing said. "Vendors are adding more granular capabilities to manage and troubleshoot when or before video issues happen, as opposed to reading a log later," he said.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Gina Narcisi, news writer, and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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