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Yesterday (Oct 20, 2011), Cisco announced it acquired BNI Video. BNI video was a venture-funded company, launched in 2009, that had raised $17 million in venture funding from the venture arms of Comcast, Cisco, Time Warner as well as leading Boston area VC firms. BNI’s products are focused on better managing multi-screen delivery – specifically back-office (OSS/BSS) management of a modern internet-oriented Content Delivery Network (CDN) as well as CDN analytics. BNI’s offerings will be rolled into Cisco’s Videoscape solutions, which are aimed at reinforcing Cisco’s Telcos wins for IPTV solutions, as well as providing cable companies a bridge from legacy QAM solutions to IP video solutions. Cisco plans to provide further integration of BNI’s solution into its internal CDN (CDS – for Content Delivery System), as well as continuing to support integration with other CDNs.

As we described in our recent report on Video on Demand and Content Delivery Network Hardware, service providers are rapidly adopting CDN technology to better deliver internal multiscreen / TV Everywhere solutions as well as manage external bandwidth costs (for YouTube and Netflix video). Many CDN solutions aim to be ‘transparent’ to the content – which can be problematic for protected content. BNI’s solution is custom designed for cable providers, and therefore is built with these solutions from the ground up. In a call yesterday, Kip Compton (Cisco’s VP of Product Marketing in the Service Provider Video Group) and Conrad Clemson (CEO and founder of BNI video) spoke about the solution being built on “internet scale” – that is, the ability to run in data centers and centralize management of a host of functions throughout the network in legacy solutions.