Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide

Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
The schools Service Ready Architecture (SRA) network architecture in combination with
the Cisco Digital Media System (DMS) creates an environment which streamlines and
automates information flow and process throughout school districts.
The evolution of digital communication in the 21st century education environment is
transforming processes and empowering educators to develop and deploy
“eye-catching”, compelling, and integrated video content.
Figure 1
Cisco DMS Solution Suite
• Integrating digital media technologies assists teacher's curriculum development and
professional development.
• Comprehensive digital video systems transform video delivery processes in
individual classrooms; school administrator can create customized, on-demand
educational video content or even relay live video feed during national events or local
Cisco Digital Media System Architecture
Cisco has developed a comprehensive, scalable, and network-centric DMS architecture
that is built on three major digital application components. Each application is specifically
designed to address key challenges, regardless of how or where the digital content is
designed and developed. The multifunction management and adaptive media system is
common to these three applications:
• Desktop video—Interactive education training application that allow students to
watch instructional videos on-demand or via live streaming. Students can use
classroom PCs to navigate a Cisco Video Portal database to securely access
relevant training video content.
• Enterprise TV—While the targeted users for desktop video applications are
individuals or group of students, enterprise TV expands the same video capability to
a larger audience and so extends the classroom. Live or on-demand pre-recorded
training video can be broadcast in a classroom. In addition to internally developed
video material, district and school administration can also enable live educational TV
programming like science, discovery, etc.
• Digital signage—Enables innovative ways to publish content and information that
improves the user experience, allows dynamic updates, and increases campus
safety and security. Some of the common digital signage use cases in schools
system include announcing school and district news, major events, classroom
assignments, PTA meetings, etc.
Figure 1 shows a Cisco DMS solution suite that is a set of product and technologies
developed to create an end-to-end digital media network. The products are divided into
three major functions, create, manage, and access.
Cisco LCD
• Digital media communication in school systems is an extremely effective tool to
deliver dynamic and cost effective subject matter to staff and students.
• Using digital media school systems keeps the education community connected,
increases awareness, and integrates with safety and security system notifications.
Digital Media Manager
Digital Media
Digital Media
Cisco Video Portal
Cisco MCS
Cisco LCS
Scientific Atlanta
Digital Media System Overview
The digital media components in the Cisco DMS solution suite assist schools in deploying
digital media solutions at their own pace; e.g., initially deploy digital signage with simple
development applications and deploy interactive video solutions in subsequent phases.
The Cisco Digital Media Manager (DMM) is a Web-based application that simplifies
deploying all three digital media applications in schools.
DMS Solution for Schools
DMS solutions in schools have proven valuable in overcoming key challenges in the
development of next-generation education delivery processes. DMS provides the
flexibility to develop training content that can be accessed by students anytime, and
anywhere. Cisco DMS relies on a resilient, scalable, and reliable network infrastructure for
seamless end-to-end content delivery.
Figure 2 shows an end-to-end digital media reference model with all three applications
enabling a unified digital network service for the school district.
The following are some of the key benefits of this DMS design model:
• Centralized management at the district office providing consistent publishing
policies, security, scalability. and reduced operational and maintenance cost.
• Distributed storage and media access points enabling district office and schools to
use centrally developed content with reduced bandwidth capacity and increased
availability during network instability.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
• In large-scale video networks, the Cisco Application and Content Network Services
(ACNS) or WAN optimization appliances can be deployed to increase media
performance and reduce expensive WAN bandwidth requirements.
Figure 2
End-to-End Reference DMS Solution in School Network Architecture
District Office
Data Center
• Questions and comments can be made during live video broadcast events.
• Restrict video content access based on Active Directory or LDAP authentication and
• Wide format support—Adobe Flash, Windows Media, H.264, QuickTime, etc.
Web Server
• Player Controls—Synchronized slides, advanced video and controls, etc.
Scientific Atlantic
Desktop Video Components
Digital Media
As one of the integrated components of the Cisco DMS solution suite, the digital video
application uses common video development, management, and publishing
components. In combination, external authentication servers can provide secure,
on-demand video content and live video broadcast services to the desktop or on Cisco
LCD TVs deployed in different physical locations.
Regional School
The Cisco DMS solution suite consists of:
• Digital Media Manager (DMM)—Centralized management appliance in district office
governs the content and communicates with local or remotely deployed critical
desktop video components, e.g., CVP, HTTP server etc.
Data Center
Web Server
Digital Media Encoder
School Web
Digital Signage
Enterprise TV
Scientific Atlantic
Students, teachers, and administrative staff can watch live or pre-recorded video events
from their personal computers at any location and at any time. The Cisco DMS Digital
Video application empowers faculty to extend the classroom audience to remote
locations by broadcasting live or recording training sessions available as video
on-demand (VoD).
Cisco Desktop Video applications offer several benefits:
• Customizable interface with program guide and search window.
• Students can create a personalized video playlist.
Desktop Video Application Overview
Desktop Video
with Video Portal
Digital Media
The following section provides an overview of various deployment scenarios, device
components, communication, and network requirements for digital media applications in
schools. For a detailed digital media design and implementation guide, refer to:
• Digital Media Encoder (DME)—Single or multi-channel media encoder receives live
analog/digital feed from cameras or television service providers and transports over
the IP network to the streaming server.
• Streaming Server—Provides stream splitting capabilities, allowing many clients to
view a single live stream from DME or pre-recorded source (replay)
• Cisco Video Portal (CVP)—Web-based video navigation engine provides access to
users after successful authentication with Active Directory or LDAP server.
• Web Server/Content Repository—Stores all VoDs referenced by Video Portal server.
User triggers VoD request to access video content through CVP and the request gets
redirected to pull video file from the content repository to the requested user.
Publishing Live and Video On-Demand Content
A critical feature of the Cisco Digital Media System for Cisco Desktop Video is its ability to
simplify the publishing of live and on-demand digital media files to the Cisco Video Portal
(CVP). On-demand video content can be uploaded from the developer’s computer
directly to the DMM server for staging and previewing prior to deployment. This staging
capability includes the addition of an approval process within the content workflow to help
ensure that school branding, publishing policies, and messaging are properly
incorporated in the content. Post approval process, the content can be moved or
deployed to the Cisco Video Portal using secure file transmission.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
The Cisco DMM works in conjunction with Cisco Digital Media Encoders (DME) to create
and deploy live content to the Cisco Video Portal. The Cisco DMM first manages the
Cisco DME to set up their encoding profiles, defining the bit rate, format, and media type.
The Cisco DMM also defines the port that the Cisco Digital Media Encoders will stream
from, so that the streaming servers can pull the stream to their live publishing points.
These publishing points are then deployed to the Cisco Video Portal through the Cisco
Digital Media Manager deployment process. The same workflow defined for the
on-demand digital media content is applied to live events, providing a consistent,
easy-to-use process for all types of deployments. Figure 3 shows a schematic of Cisco
DMM video management.
Figure 3
VoD and Live Video Broadcast Using Digital Video Application
Video On-Demand (VoD)
Live Video Broadcast
To broadcast school developed VoD or live video through ETV, the core Cisco DMS
components used in the desktop video application can be leveraged to integrate ETV in
the network. The primary difference between ETV and desktop video in this case would
be Digital Media Player (DMP) instead of a PC as an access end point for a large screen
display targeting a larger audience. To broadcast television network channels in the
campus network, the Scientific Atlanta encoder must be integrated along with other ETV
components. It is recommended to deploy distributed television service in local campus
and not forward non-critical video traffic over the WAN infrastructure.
With larger displays in key physical locations, the ETV application becomes the primary
communications interface in the district targeting large audiences. For example, live or
VoD broadcast for education training, demonstrations, meetings, etc., targeting all the
students in a classroom, or live news, etc.
Enterprise TV Components
program the channel guide information to be broadcast in different physical locations, e.g.,
channel number, name, port number, etc. To improve the user experience in navigating
video channels, ETV Electronic Program Guide (EPG) can be programmed to provide
information on channel lineup, and current and future programming information, which is
similar to television service provided programming guide. To watch the live video
channels, users can use Cisco DMP and remote control to navigate and access the
channel. Video delivery over IP networks can be unicast or multicast, depending on how
IP/multicast is designed in campus network.
• Scientific Atlanta Encoder—An encoder system that provides interworking function
between analog or digital television service provider and IP network. Encodes live
video input and transforms into MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 multicast stream.
• Cisco Digital Media Player (DMP)—Key media access end point that connects to
Cisco LCD TV for large size displays. DMP provides capabilities to decode
multi-format graphics and stream video content received over unicast or multicast IP
Scientific Atlantic
Broadcasting Live TV or Video On-Demand Content
Portal Access
Enterprise TV Application Overview
The Enterprise TV (ETV) application brings standard or high-definition television network
channels into IP-based networks. Deploying Scientific Atlanta encoders in a video
head-end role performs the interworking function that transforms video source from
television service provider to an IP based video delivery within the campus network.
When the ETV module is enabled in Cisco DMM appliance, the school administrator can
The communication flow between the DMP and the DMM and Video Portal function is
similar to desktop video applications. Proper planning, technologies, and equipment must
be deployed in campus network for successful live television video delivery. When
designing the playlist in Cisco Enterprise TV module, the school administrator must
understand that it can support up to 99 live and on-demand video channels broadcast in
the campus network. The DMM administrator in the district office can use the DMM-ETV
software module to create customized TV navigation interfaces, such as adding school
logo and skins, programming video channel assignments, and configuring specific video
channel assignment to DMP deployed in specific campus location. Figure 4 shows a
schematic of the Enterprise TV video architecture.
District and school architects must understand the codec type required for publishing
video in the campus network. Deployed digital encoders must follow the MPEG2 standard
specification to stream the video. It is recommended to deploy Scientific Atlanta 9032SD
or 9050HD encoder to stream live video stream to DMP for Enterprise TV application.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Figure 4
is empowered to create groups of users with different privileges who can develop,
publish, and manage the signage content; e.g., user group like school Web admin, IT
admin, and security admin can create content assets, control display properties, etc.
Live Video Broadcast and VoD Using Enterprise TV Application
Video On-Demand (VoD)
Live Video Broadcast
Live TV
Digital Signage Components
The requirements of the integrated digital media components depend on which content
needs to be published through a signage module. The Cisco digital signage application
provides the flexibility for the DMM administrator or school Web administrator to develop
multi-functional, integrated content that can play key messages, stream VoD files from a
content server, and keep connected with external information. For example, schools can
publish a single Adobe flash file that is composed of static text information, embedded
with education short VoD stream and live news information with RSS feed. The basic
digital signage components are:
• Digital Media Manager (DMM)—Centralized management appliance in district office
governs the content and communicate with local or remotely deployed critical
desktop video components, e.g., CVP, HTTP server, etc.
Scientific Atlantic
• Cisco Digital Media Player (DMP)—The Cisco DMP is a highly reliable IP-based
hardware endpoint for video decoding and playback of digital media
content—including high-definition live broadcasts and VoD, Flash animations, text
tickers, and other Web content—across digital displays. DMP is a critical component
of the digital signage and ETV applications allow for the networking of digital displays
and the broadcasting of live and on-demand media. The current DMP portfolio
includes the Cisco DMP 4305G for standard signage and ETV and the Cisco DMP
4400G for high-end signage and ETV.
Portal Access
Digital Signage Application Overview
Cisco’s Digital Signage solution is a comprehensive solution for the publishing of dynamic
and on-demand signage using digital media displays deployed locally or regionally in
schools over an IP network. The key benefits of digital signage over traditional static signs
in school are that the digital content can be exchanged and updated more dynamically,
using digital media tools to make the content more relevant and interactive. Publishing
school messages, local announcements, or emergency alerts through Cisco digital
signage becomes more effective and with better investment return compared to
traditional models.
The Cisco digital signage application is a Web-based media management and publishing
application that creates a playlist with a set of content that is required to be published to a
single or group of DMPs in a network. The digital signage application use standard HTTP
protocols to communicate with centrally deployed DMM in the district office data center
and single or distributed Web servers to pull and publish the real-time information to
display on large Cisco LCD TVs. With flexible user administration, the DMM administrator
• Cisco LCD Professional Series—For an end-to-end Cisco digital media solution, the
Cisco LCD professional series displays is a high definition LCD display that can be
centrally managed through DMM.
• Web Server/Content Repository—Stores all HTML, VoDs, flash files referenced by
HTTP server or Video Portal server. Multiple files can be played on same DMP; based
on Web application design, the program triggers the content request and it is pulled
by DMP from a source server.
Deploying Digital Signage in School Campus
To ensure a successful digital media deployment, network, display, and management
planning must be done prior to deploying digital signage in the schools network. A
well-planned digital signage network design provides flexibility to incrementally deploy
desktop video and ETV digital media applications without making major infrastructure
changes. As described earlier, digital signage uses standard HTTP protocols to pull and
publish the signage content on displays. Network bandwidth consumption for digital signs
varies widely as it depends on playlist and content types. This document provides the
best practices to design and configure the digital signage with content developed with
rich text, flash, and animation and located on distributed Web servers to increase network
Centralized Management Model
Cisco DMM is highly scalable appliance server that can be deployed centrally in district
office location to manage up to 1000 DMPs deployed in local and regional school campus
network. Cisco DMP deployed in local district offices or remote regional schools can
communicate with centralized DMM over LAN and WAN network using standard HTTP as
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
the control protocol to receive Web or content server re-direction information to display
content. Deploying DMM in a centralized location allows the DMM administrators in district
offices to manage all registered DMP in various ways:
• Add and archive digital content and assign metadata and keywords.
Figure 5
Centralized DMM with Distributed DMP in School SRA
District Office
• Create and manage play lists, ticker alerts, messages, closed captions, and
promotional interstitials.
• Preview digital signage content and manage approval workflow.
• Ability to pre-configure the playlist and schedule for instant and future deployments.
• Manage user administrator accounts and permissions.
Centralizing DMP management and publishing signage content centrally at a district
office allows the DMM administrator to advertise consistent information and messaging
throughout the network. To minimize WAN network utilization, the school administrator
must leverage internal storage or their local Web server to store and advertise the local,
regional, and department news and information. However the district office and Internet
news must be communicated over the WAN.
The network architect must consider integrating enterprise-class Cisco Application and
Content Networking System (ACNS) that uses caching technology and offers higher
scalability and reliable video delivery solution at the schools to improve end user
experience and application response time. When integrated with the Cisco Wide-Area
Application Services (WAAS) solution, it helps in optimizing WAN bandwidth utilization
significantly with local redirection and high data compression over the WAN.
Figure 5 is a validated design to integrate digital signage with centralized management in
the district office with distributed DMP in a large-scale school network.
Data Center
Web Server
Regional Office
Server Room
Web Server
• Take WAN optimization solution advantage and provide tight integration with Cisco
ACNS and Cisco Content Engines.
Distributed Content Storage Model
Digital signage content is typically wrapped with HTML or Adobe Flash applications that
provide greater flexibility for a Web administrator to display more types of content from
various sources on a single page. When deploying large numbers of DMPs with rich and
static digital signage content, the unicast communication between DMP and the
distributed content server may waste network bandwidth by retrieving the same content
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
for continuous display. Hence it becomes important for the network architect to
understand the content distribution and network level requirements to optimally deploy
signage application in a campus network.
Depending on DMP scalability, overall network capacity, and the bandwidth allocation for
digital signage application, Cisco DMS offers the following three distributed content
storage solutions for Cisco DMP to pull and display the static content from the local
network instead of downloading all of it through the WAN network:
• Cisco DMS-Content Distribution (CD)—Is an ideal solution for a small-scale school
network with few Cisco DMPs. Cisco DMM can push the static HTML or flash content
via FTP or SFTP protocol to Cisco DMM on internal storage or to external storage
device like USB drive and redirect Cisco DMP to access internal storage. This
solution helps to minimize WAN bandwidth utilization.
• Local Content Server (Web or CIFS)—Storing the digital media content on a single
local content server, like HTTP or CIFS sever, gives the network administrator more
flexibility and management of the content distribution solution. The Web
administrator can dynamically add, modify, and store the updated HTML or Flash file
on a centralized server for Cisco DMP to retrieve and display. On the next HTTP
request from DMP, the refreshed copy is displayed automatically. This solution
provides more flexibility compared to Cisco DMS-CD solution, as it can dynamically
update content without updating and managing content on each individual Cisco
• Cisco ACNS—Highly scalable and intelligent large size video content distribution to
remote locations. Hierarchical content distribution system at district office and school
sites distributes single copy of pre-recorded video to ACNS edge at the schools. To
increase WAN network efficiency, Cisco ACNS leverages the caching technology
and provides unicast VoD delivery in local LAN networks to end users instead of
downloading one copy for each user over the WAN network.
Figure 6
Distributed Content Server Communication
Intranet Content Server Communication
Internet Content Server Communication
Data Center
District Office
Data Center
Web Server
District Office
Regional School
Regional School
Server Room
Web Server
SRA Validated Content Distribution Model
To provide a simplified, scalable, and cost-effective content distribution and management
solution in SRA architecture, it is recommended to leverage local Web or CISF servers in
the district office and schools to store and publish local digital signage content. Cisco
DMM can be programmed to re-direct local DMPs to a local Web server and remote DMPs
to pull the content from a local Web server. Such distributed content storage design
minimizes the critical WAN bandwidth usage to publish local information. However, the
WAN network may still be utilized to access global signage information, such as county or
state level education and emergency news that can be broadcast by Web server from
district office, and similarly real-time news ticker from the Internet can be embedded in
major content that provides constant world-wide news updates.
School network architects and Web administrators must perform pre-deployment
exercise to assess the type of local versus distributed content (text/graphics/VoD/RSS)
embedded in signage and the number of DMPs to be deployed in schools. This
assessment provides WAN bandwidth guidelines to integrate digital signage in schools.
As described earlier, Cisco WAN optimization solution like ACNS and WAAS must be
integrated in the network if it demands higher WAN bandwidth. Figure 6 depicts the
unicast communication flow between Cisco DMP deployed across the network and Web
servers located in intranet and Internet domains.
Implementing Network Services for Digital Signage
Prior to integrating digital signage applications, the network architect must make network
services ready with the best practices for resilient and seamless operation and
integration. Building the network as a highly-available platform is a foundational
requirement for applications like IP telephony and digital media solutions as they demand
constant bandwidth and network availability. Deploying centralized DMM with a
distributed content server spans the digital communication beyond the campus
boundary; hence it is recommended to deploy digital media solutions based on these
network design principles:
• Low latency—Deploy the high-speed campus network that offers lower latency for
real-time applications like voice and video.
• High availability—To increase network resiliency it is recommended to deploy the
network with redundant modules, systems, and power supplies offering non-stop
communication and sub-second network recovery during minor or major network
failure events.
• QoS—Enhance user experience and content quality with robust QoS policies at the
campus network edge.
• Confidentiality—Protect digital media end points, appliances, and data with
centralized authentication and encryption.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
This section provides access ayer design and configuration guidelines to deploy Cisco
DMP at the campus network edge and DMM in a centralized data center in a district office.
For more information on design and implementation guideline for building a strong and
resilient core and foundational campus network, refer to the following URL:
Figure 7
Cisco DMP-Layer 2 VLAN Segmentation
Deploying Cisco DMP in the Access Layer Network
Cisco access layer switches provides the flexibility to deploy Cisco DMP in two different
modes, manual deployment and plug-and-play Auto Smartport (ASP) macro.
Manual Deployment
School administrator must manually implement the following three major network
services to successfully integrate DMP in the network:
Cisco DMP is a school managed and trusted end point in the campus access layer, hence
the network administrator must apply the common security and QoS policy for DMP as
defined for other trusted end-points like IP phones. In a typical deployment scenario, a
single access layer switch may be connected to several other trusted and un-trusted
end-points, hence it becomes an important task for administrator to provide secure and
suitable network services.
Cisco DMP cannot transmit or receive 802.1Q tagged frames, hence it is recommended
to change default switchport mode from dynamic to access mode. The following is a
sample configuration to enable VLAN in the database and apply VLAN on the DMP
physical port:
• Assigning unique Layer 2 VLAN
• Implement network edge security
cr24-2960-DO(config-if)#interface FastEthernet0/7
• Implement network edge QoS
cr24-2960-DO(config-if)# switchport mode access
cr24-2960-DO(config-if)# description CONNECTED TO LOBBY DMP
cr24-2960-DO(config-if)# spanning-tree portfast
Assigning Unique Layer 2 VLAN
To provide secured and simplified digital signage communication, the DMP must be
assigned a unique broadcast domain. De-coupling DMP with other trusted and un-trusted
end points makes DMP more secure during any attacks and is easier to manage and
troubleshoot. When single access layer connects to multiple DMPs, then all the DMPs can
be assigned on the same Layer 2 VLAN. Like any other logical network partition design, it
is recommended to use unique Layer 2 VLAN for DMP that are physically deployed on
different Cisco access layer switches. Figure 7 provides recommended Cisco DMP Layer
2 segmentation guidelines in the access-layer:
cr24-2960-DO(config-if)# switchport access vlan 10
cr25-3750-DO(config-if)#interface range GigabitEthernet 1/0/1 - 3
cr25-3750-DO(config-if-range)# switchport mode access
cr25-3750-DO(config-if-range)# spanning-tree portfast
cr25-3750-DO(config-if-range)# switchport access vlan 20
For flexible and scalable DMP deployment, it is recommended that the DMP edge port be
in Layer 2 mode even when the access layer switch is deployed in a multilayer or routed
access network design.
Implement Network Edge Security
Cisco DMP player is an extremely silent system and it requires communication with
certain critical systems in the network, such as an IP gateway, Cisco DMM, Web servers,
SNM, and NTP. To display the digital signage content and synchronize with management
servers, Cisco DMP receives more data from the network than transmitting to the network.
Cisco Catalyst integrated security feature must be deployed on the physical port to
protect DMP from being attacked by viruses or unauthorized hosts. Based on the protocol
and data communication characteristics of Cisco DMP, it is recommended to apply the
following set of security configurations to protect the network and the DMP from unknown
traffic floods and attacks:
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
interface FastEthernet0/7
Figure 8
Digital Signage QoS Reference Chart
! Block transmitting all unknown unicast traffic
Congestion Managment
Congestion Avoidance
! Enable port-security on this port
switchport port-security
! Default, allow single-host to access this port
switchport port-security maximum 1
! Block receiving BPDU from this port
spanning-tree bpduguard enable
Implement Network Edge QoS
It is important to implement differential service treatment for digital media applications
over non-critical network traffic in the network. Depending on the digital media
applications and the distributed content, appropriate QoS services must be implemented
at the network edge that connects media end-points and in the data center where
typically centralized management and content servers are deployed. As described
earlier, the Cisco DMP primarily use standard HTTP protocol to communicate with
centralized DMM management server and the distributed Web server to publish the
digital signage content.
By default, HTTP packets between digital media end-points are set with default DSCP
values and rely on intermediate network devices to classify the traffic and provide
advanced QoS techniques to protect the digital media communication between DMP and
other back end systems. Since the communication and publish content is delivered using
HTTP protocol, it becomes challenging to distinguish between HTTP control traffic versus
digital content in the campus network. Following RFC 4594 QoS deployment guidelines,
the unicast control plane communication between Cisco DMM and DMP system can be
classified as signaling traffic and must be marked an appropriate DSCP value and
assigned a proper queue. Figure 8 provides QoS references to deploy digital media
application in a campus network:
Cisco Video Applications
VoIP Telephony
Priority Queue (PQ)
Broadcast Video
Optional (PQ)
Cisco DMS (Live Streams)/Enterprise TV/IPVS
Realtime Interactive
Optional (PQ)
Cisco TelePresence
Multimedia Conferencing
Cisco CUPC/CUVA/CI IP Phone 7985G
Multimedia Streaming
Cisco DMS (VoDs)
Network Control
BW Queue
BW Queue
BW Queue
Transactional Data
Bulk Data
Best Effort
Effort+ RED
Best Effort
Min BW Queue
DMM/DMP Control Traffic
Cisco WebEx/CU MeetingPlace
YouTube/Xbox Best
Cisco classification method slightly differs from RFC 4594. CS3 and CS5 definition are interchanged.
Applying Ingress QoS Policy on DMP and DMM Port
Network QoS policies must be set at the campus access edge to mark recommended
DSCP bit for control or management traffic between DMM and DMP. HTML or Flash based
digital signage content can remain in same best-effort class. The control traffic can be
identified from digital signage content based on TCP flow between Cisco DMM and DMP.
Figure 9 provides QoS marking guidelines between Cisco DMP, Cisco DMM appliance,
and content server:
Figure 9
QoS Marking Between Digital Signage Components
Web Server
DMM-DMP Control Traffic
DMP-Content Server Traffic
switchport block unicast
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Based on TCP and static Cisco DMM and DMP player information, the following
configuration guideline must be implement QoS policy on access layer switches that
connect to Cisco DMP and Cisco DMM in a centralized data center:
cr24-3560r-DO(config)#priority-queue out? Enable Priority-Queueing
! Classify DMP and DMM HTTP traffic with extended ACL
ip access-list extended DMS-SIGNALING
Egress Priority Queue : enabled
Shaped queue weights (absolute) :
permit tcp host <DMP-IP-Address> host <DMM-IP-Address>
Shared queue weights
permit tcp host <DMM-IP-Address> host <DMP-IP-Address>
The port bandwidth limit : 100
The port is mapped to qset : 1
cr24-3560r-DO#show mls qos interface fast0/7 queueing
25 0 0 0
1 30 35 5
(Operational Bandwidth:100.0)
match access-group name DMS-SIGNALING
policy-map DMS-Policy
To deploy QoS in a school campus network design, refer to the following URL:
set dscp cs3
? Explicit mark DSCP CS3
interface FastEthernet0/7
mls qos trust dscp
service-policy input DMS-Policy?Apply ingress service-policy
interface FastEthernet0/10
description CONNECTED TO Cisco DMM Appliance
mls qos trust dscp
service-policy input DMS-Policy?Apply ingress service-policy
cr24-3560r-DO#show mls qos interface fas0/7 | inc policy-map|dscp
Attached policy-map for Ingress: DMS-Policy
trust state: trust dscp
trust mode: trust dscp
Additional ingress QoS policies, such as policers, can be implemented on access
switches if the network administrator is concerned about securing the restricting ports to
consume higher bandwidth.
Applying Egress QoS Policy on DMP and DMM Port
Ingress QoS policy helps the network to distinguish between HTTP control and digital
media content traffic within the campus backbone. Similar QoS techniques are required
to provide differential services between control and digital media content traffic exiting
the port connected to Cisco DMP and DMM appliance on the access layer switches. For
global egress policy for trusted and un-trusted device, it is recommended to share the
egress bandwidth to each hardware queue and enable prioritization for the low-latency
cr24-3560r-DO(config)#interface FastEthernet0/7
cr24-3560r-DO(config-if)# srr-queue bandwidth share 1 30 35 5 ? Enable BW
Auto Smartport Macro Deployment
Cisco access layer switches provide a zero-touch or plug-n-play type network
provisioning solution by dynamically detecting connected end-points and automatically
applying best practices and recommended configurations. Cisco Auto Smartport macro
helps network architects to reduce the number of challenges in implementation when
deploying complex configurations. Cisco validated design comprehensively validates
multiple set of tools and technologies to solve the critical business problems. Cisco Auto
Smartport leverages validated and recommended network configuration and parameters
that dynamically provision the network without any user intervention. Implementing
recommended and validated configuration parameters helps school network
administrators to automatically provide network and device security and optimize
application performance.
Cisco Auto Smartport leverages several Layer 2 protocol techniques to dynamically
detect the end-point platform that intelligently triggers the function and applies the
configuration from pre-defined recommended templates. To further increase operational
efficiency, Cisco Auto Smartport removes all dynamically applied configurations when
the device is un-plugged or removed from the network. The following is the list of Layer 2
technologies and end-point types that Cisco Auto Smartport macros use to dynamically
apply configurations:
• Layer 2 Technologies
– Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP)
– 802.1x
– MAC-Authentication Bypass (MAB)
– Layer 2 Source MAC address
– Ethernet OUI
• Supported End-Point Platforms
– IP Phones—Cisco and Avaya IP Phone
– Wireless Access-Points—Cisco AP 11xx series
– IP Video Surveillance—Cisco IPVS 25xx and 4xxx series camera
– Digital Media Player—Cisco DMP 4x00 series players
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
This section focuses on providing guidelines for the basic configuration needed to enable
Cisco Auto Smartport to dynamically provision Cisco DMP in the network.
Cisco Auto Smartport macro leverages a simple shell function to execute the pre-defined
configuration template embedded in the switch for each type of supported end-point.
Cisco DMP configuration gets executed dynamically based on the port event triggers.
The following output provides the Auto Smartport event trigger and dynamic
configuration guideline when it detects Cisco DMP on the physical port:
cr26-3750#show shell functions CISCO_DMP_AUTO_SMARTPORT
Comparing the Auto Smartport macro configuration with a recommended manual
configuration, it can be seen that the majority of the recommended manual configuration
is in the macro template. Some of the advanced QoS parameters, such as MQC-based
DSCP marking, may have to be manually configured.
Implementing Auto SmartPort Macro
!!Provision this configuration when Link up event is triggered
!!and Cisco DMP is detected:
if [[ $LINKUP -eq YES ]]; then
conf t
macro description $TRIGGER
switchport access vlan $ACCESS_VLAN
switchport mode access
switchport block unicast
mls qos trust dscp
School network administrators must enable Cisco Auto SmartPort Macro function along
with basic network parameters on access layer switches to dynamically detect and
provision the configuration for various types of end-points. Enabling Cisco Auto
Smartport macro function globally enables all the physical ports and provisions and
un-provisions the network configuration for the Cisco DMP based on shell triggers and
functions. It also provides the flexibility to disable the Auto Smartport function on a
per-port basis where the static configuration is required. The following is the simple global
configuration to enable Cisco Auto Smartport processing for all the physical ports:
cr26-3750(config)#macro auto global processing
spanning-tree portfast
switchport port-security
switchport port-security maximum 1
switchport port-security violation shutdown
spanning-tree bpduguard enable
priority-queue out
!!Remove dynamic configuration when Link Down event is triggered.
if [[ $LINKUP -eq NO ]]; then
cr26-3750#show macro auto interface | inc Auto
Global Auto Smart Port Status
Auto Smart Ports Enabled
As described earlier, Cisco Auto Smartport can leverage multiple Layer 2 technologies to
detect the end-points, by default Auto SmartPort use the pre-defined MAC
address-group range to dynamically detect the Cisco DMP based on Ethernet OUI
address. To deploy Cisco DMP based on Ethernet OUI, no additional configuration is
required. To enable secure access-control solution, Cisco Secure ACS and MAB can be
integrated to authenticate Cisco DMP based on registered MAC address in the ACS
cr26-3750#show macro auto address-group CISCO_DMP_EVENT
conf t
MAC Address Group Configuration:
no macro description
Group Name
no switchport access vlan $ACCESS_VLAN
no switchport block unicast
no switchport port-security
no switchport port-security maximum 1
no switchport port-security violation shutdown
no mls qos trust dscp
no spanning-tree portfast
no spanning-tree bpduguard enable
no priority-queue out
if [[ $AUTH_ENABLED -eq NO ]]; then
no switchport mode access
Because some of the network parameters like VLAN IDs are unique in the network, the
school administrator needs to determine the common VLAN ID to deploy for a common
set of end points. For example, when Cisco DMP is detected on Switch1, then it must
dynamically detect the media player and assign it to appropriate VLAN and execute the
network configuration template. By default, when Cisco Auto Smartport detects the Cisco
DMP device on the port it configures the port in access-mode and assigned it a default
VLAN ID = 1. After applying following single global configuration, the Auto Smartport
automatically assigns all the Cisco DMP in to user-defined VLAN.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
cr26-3750(config)#macro auto device media-player ACCESS_VLAN=58
Figure 10
Assigning DMP Static IP Address
cr26-3750#show macro auto device media-player | inc Device|ACCESS
Configurable Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN
Defaults Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN=1
Current Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN=58
Tuning Auto SmartPort Macro
Cisco Auto Smartport is optimized in detecting the end points and provisioning the
configuration for rapid and error-free deployments. The shell function that performs the
configuration provisioning and un-provisioning task is based on physical link up and down
events. In initial deployment, the end-points can be detected using different Layer 2
techniques and all dynamically provisioned configurations can be saved in configuration
files. Due to its nature the configuration is removed and then the same configuration is
re-applied when the link goes down temporarily for any common reason, e.g., link flap,
end-point is power cycled, etc.
To make configuration persistent during such a link flap, the following single global
configuration can be applied to retain the dynamic configuration during a link flap:
cr26-3750(config)#macro auto sticky
Implementing Cisco Digital Media Player
Once the recommended network edge configuration on the access layer is implemented,
the Cisco DMP is ready to be deployed. Since Cisco DMP uses an embedded Linux OS
which is not accessible directly to end users, the basic network parameters must be
provisioned using Web-based Cisco DMP-Device Manager (DM). The Cisco DMP-DM is
divided into three major configuration modes:
• Settings (Network/Browser/Storage)
• Display
• DMP Administration
The school administrator must configure the basic network parameters to deploy Cisco
DMP in production network; the DMM administrator from the district office can apply the
global display and management parameters to DMP without intervening school
administrator for any advanced configuration task.
This document provides the following deployment guidelines to successfully deploy
Cisco DMP and Cisco DMM appliance server communication in the network:
• Assigning IP address to Cisco DMP
• Registering Cisco DMP to Cisco DMM database
Assigning IP Address to Cisco DMP
The default IP setting on Cisco DMP is to dynamically acquire IP address and gateway
information from DHCP server. It is recommended to assign a unique static IP address to
DMP as it provides flexibility to the network administrator to provide secured DMP-DM
GUI access with ACLs and the ability to provide distinguished QoS treatment for control
traffic between Cisco DMP and DMM appliance server. Figure 10 is a simple IP
configuration task that the school administrator must perform to change the default IP
address method from DHCP to static IP address mode:
Registering Cisco DMP to Cisco DMM Database
The first step to enable communication between digital signage components is to register
network wide deployed Cisco DMP into the centralized Cisco DMM appliance database.
Cisco DMM appliance requires basic information from Cisco DMM to register—MAC and
IP address firmware version and storage information. Centralized DMM appliance can
register large numbers of DMPs across the school network and it may become an
operational challenge to manage each DMP player. DMM administrator can create a
logical DMP group along with the range of IP subnet; DMM-DSM automatically groups the
registered DMPs based on assigned IP address. The following are some of the
advantages in deploying DMP group in school architecture:
• Organize registered DMPs into a single logical group.
• Instead of managing each individual DMP, the DMP group allows the DMM
administrator to manage ga roup of DMPs collectively.
• Accelerate digital signage content deployment and instruction to the DMP group
instead of individual players.
• Like content management, common display attributes to all DMPs in the DMP group.
The Cisco DMS solution provides flexibility to the DMM administrator for manual or
automatic Cisco DMP registration into the database. Depending on the number of Cisco
DMP deployed across the network, either of the registration process can be selected.
• Manual DMP Registration—The DMM administrator must manually enter Cisco DMP
MAC and IP address information into the DMM database. For better operational
management and troubleshooting, the DMP must be assigned to an logical DMP
• Auto DMP Registration—Is a highly scalable, simplified, and error-free DMP
registration solution for large deployments. To auto-register and auto-group the DMP
in user-defined groups, the range of IP subnets or CIDR ranges must be specified to
scan the Cisco DMP players in the network. Multiple IP subnets can be configured for
single DMP group. The DMM appliance transmits TCP based unicast packet with
pre-defined port number 7777 to scan Cisco DMP, which cannot be modified by the
user. Hence for successful auto-registration process, it is recommended to make
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
sure TCP port 7777 is not filtered anywhere in the network. The DMM admin can
control the DMM appliance to trigger on-demand or schedule scan to locate DMP in
the network for auto registration.
The DMM admin must complete these three steps sequentially to successfully deploy
DMM groups and auto DMP registration in the DMM-DSM:
1. Configure DMM Group and assign an IP subnet.
Figure 11
Figure 13
Triggering DMP Discovery Manually
Configuring DMP Group Using DMM-DSM
Refreshing the window in few seconds will reflect the dynamically discovered Cisco DMP
that gets automatically registered and grouped as depicted in Figure 14. The default
name of the auto-registered DMP is the same as their MAC address; the DMM admin must
change to reflect with proper name or location name.
Figure 14
Dynamically Discovered DMP Discovery Triggered Manually
Scheduling DMP Discovery
Configure DMP Discovery Application and assign an IP subnet.
Figure 12
Configuring DMP Discovery Application
Depending on the number of DMP groups, network ranges, and DMP players in the
network, the DMP discovery may take some time. In large deployments, it is
recommended to schedule Cisco DMP discovery during non-business hours.
Scheduling DMP discovery in the network is identical to scheduling the digital signage
publishing time. To schedule DMP discovery using Cisco DMM-DSM:
1. Click on Schedules ->Play in Future->Select discovery month and date
2. Select the DMP group to be discovered->Click on Add an Event Button.
3. Select DMP group from Select Group Tab and click OK.
4. Select Advanced Task from Task Type Tab and click on Select Advanced Tasks Tab.
5. Select DMP Discovery from Types and the Action Name and click OK.
6. Configure Start and Stop Action run time and optionally configure repeat value to
dynamically discover Cisco DMP based on schedule.
3. Trigger the DMP discovery with manual action or schedule to discover in future.
Manual DMP Discovery Trigger
Implementing Digital Signage
Upon successfully discovering and registering the Cisco DMP in the DMM appliance
database, the DMM administrator can start preparing to implement digital signage in the
network. The provision checklist must include exact content path and schedule to display
the content on individual or group DMP in the network. As described earlier, the content
must be stored on a Web or CISF server that is physically located on the same campus
network as a Cisco DMP. Hence when creating the playlists, it is recommended to specify
the URL path where the content is stored.
Publishing digital signage requires three simple configuration step on DMM-DSM as
depicted in Figure 15:
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Figure 15
Digital Signage Deployment Steps
Figure 16
Digital Signage Network Topology
District Office
Data Center
Regional Office
Server Room
Executing each step populates content information in DMM in the common repository,
provides flexibility to compile playlist with distributed content, and schedules the digital
signage publishing time by mapping the playlist to individual or group DMPs. The network
topology in Figure 16 is used as a reference point to configure each deployment step.
1. Adding Asset in Media Library.
Cisco DMM-DSM builds an asset of digital media content in a common Media Library
database. Figure 17 provides information about the variety of digital media content types
supported and can be stored in two major locations—remote Web/CISF content server
or it must be uploaded to local DMM appliance server. As described earlier, the
recommended content distribution model is to keep content distributed on remote
servers that reside on the same LAN as Cisco DMPs. Cisco DMM appliance must not be
used as a content server. Each asset type must be entered one at a time in the media
library. Each asset is executed serially within the playlist; the Cisco DMM-DSM also
provides flexibility to publish digital signage content in random order.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Figure 17
Supported Asset Types
Cisco Digital Media Designer (DMD) is a Java-based, powerful, drag and drop design tool
to create customized digital signage content. Cisco DMM offers pre-designed assets that
can be leverage to create personalized design. DMD also offers flexibility to customized
horizontal and vertical screen display orientation.
Figure 18
Digital Signage Playlist Options
This section provides guideline to implement a standalone playlist. Multiple playlists can
be created and associated to an individual or group of DMPs. When designing the asset
in the playlist, it is important to remember that the content publishing time and mappings
to DMP groups are applied based on per-playlist and not on per-asset basis. The order of
playlist execution is done serially based on specified time. Figure 19 depicts the playlist
order and duration time on per-cycle basis.
Figure 19
Digital Signage Display Order and Duration
Execute the following steps to add distributed digital signage (non-video) content asset
into Media Library:
a. Click on Add Media Asset Button.
b. Click on Single Tab.
c. Click URL in radio button as a Source and type the exact URL to access content
(e.g., Prior to deploying, the
content must be tested and verified by applying same URL from local internet
d. Do not click on download check box. This will prevent downloading provided
HTTP URL content to the local DMM hard-drive.
e. Select File Type from drop down window based on URL extension.
f. Enter estimated or planned playback time for this asset.
g. Select the media category from Category window in which this URL fits in.
h. Optionally, provide description and content owner/developer information.
i. Click on Save button to review the entered information.
j. Click the Close button to exit the window.
Creating Playlist.
Playlist is a user-defined logical group that is packaged with the compiled list of
distributed digital signage assets which are being added in the shared Media Library
database. For example, a playlist can include the intranet home page of the district office
and regional school and library books catalog developed in Adobe Flash.
Cisco DMM-DSM provides the flexibility to develop playlists in two different
modes—Standalone and Cisco Digital Media Designer (DMD). When the digital signage
content is designed and developed outside the DMM-DMD, then DMM administrator must
create a standalone playlist.
In a best practice, the playlist can be created based on individual district office or school
departments that can provide flexibility to announce the news or any other department
specific content at specific time without impacting the playlist for other DMP groups
deployed in different departments. Execute the following steps to compile the distributed
digital signage asset and estimated or planned run time for each individual asset.
Click on Create Playlist button and follow step-by-step instruction provided in Figure 20 to
create a complied and distributed digital signage content in playlist.
Schools Digital Media Deployment Guide
Figure 20
Compiling Assets with Standalone Playlist
Implementing Instant Play mode
Execute the step-by-step procedure as depicted in Figure 22 to deploy digital signage
instantly in the network. Cisco DMM-DSM provides the flexibility to select single, multiple,
or all the DMPs using shift-key to instantaneously publish digital signage in large
Figure 22
3. Scheduling Playlist.
After successfully completing the above two steps the URL of distributed digital signage
content is added in media library database and the playlist is compiled with the list of
signage content that needs to be played for DMP group. The DMM administrator can send
the playback command in two different modes—Instant Play and Future Play.
Instant Play or “Play Now” sends the playback command to selected DMP groups and all
the DMPs can start displaying digital signage content immediately. Instant Play option
provides an option for immediate signage content deployment; it can also be used to
publish the newly added or updated signage asset in an already playing playlist. When
Cisco DMP receives the new and updated playlist command from centralized DMM
appliance, it aborts playing the previous playlist commands and immediately starts the
display based on new information.
Future Play or “Play in Future” gives flexibility to the DMM administrator to pre-deploy
digital signage in the DMM appliance database and schedule to play the playlist on a
pre-determined month, date, or specific time. For example, you could have next month’s
café lunch menu automatically published in the last week of the current month.
Figure 21 depicts tab selection to schedule the playlist in both deployments modes.
Figure 21
Playlist Scheduling Modes
Publishing Instant Digital Signage
Implementing Future Play mode
Click on Play in Future tab to schedule a future digital signage content publishing time.
Click on Add an Event button from the bottom window and follow the step-by-step
configuration guideline as displayed in Figure 23 to schedule future signage deployment:
Figure 23
Scheduling Signage Deployment
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