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Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
Stream analyzer service_description
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Stream analyzer service_description

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  • 1. Akamai Stream AnalyzerService DescriptionMay 2009
  • 2. Table of Contents Overview and Service Offering 3 What is Stream Analyzer? 3 How Akamai Stream Analyzer Works 3 Stream Analyzer Infrastructure and Software 4 Stream Analyzer Metrics 4 Management and Control: EdgeControl Management Center 5 Test Provisioning 5 Reporting and Diagnostics 6 Degradation Alerting 8 Instant Streamcheck 8 Service and Support 9 Professional Services 9 Customer Care 9 Network Operations Command Center (NOCC) 9
  • 3. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Overview and Service Offering Akamai Stream Analyzer is a managed service that allows content publishers to closely monitor performance of streaming for Flash media and Windows media. It is designed and optimized to provide objective metrics on availability using agents from a range of Internet backbone locations globally. Stream Analyzer also supports metafiles and progressive downloads for Windows media streams. How Akamai Stream Analyzer Works From the perspective of the content owner Akamai Stream Analyzer works as follows: Akamai Edgecontrol Reports Analytics Backend Measurements Provisioning Media Origin Stream Analyzer Agents Figure 1: Schematic View of the Stream Analyzer service 1. Content owners provision tests on the Akamai EdgeControl portal with the desired parameters (frequency, test locations) 2. The test configuration is pushed to all relevant nodes in the Stream Analyzer agent network to start running measurement tests 3. Data collected from the tests is sent to the analytics backend and the key metrics are calculated and aggregated with test data from all agents 4. The relevant metrics and diagnostic information is made visible on the portal and/or emailed to the relevant stakeholders 3
  • 4. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Stream Analyzer Infrastructure and Software Akamai Stream Analyzer measurements are conducted on an independent network of agents. The Stream Analyzer network is completely separated from the Akamai delivery network. The agents are deployed in network POPs across different geographies, with each agent location operating with multiple systems in order to ensure redundancy in the network and data quality. As a result, Akamai Stream Analyzer’s ability to monitor from a particular location is not susceptible to a single system going down. Agents run an instrumented version of the media player (Windows Media Player or Flash) using proprietary Akamai technology. The Akamai layer between the network core and the rendering engine allows the agents to trap stream packets before they are displayed, and calculate and report metrics that capture the actual quality of the stream as an end user would experience it. Stream Analyzer Metrics Stream Analyzer metrics are designed to give a quantitative view of end user experience on streaming assets. Each metric targets one independent aspect of user experience; and when combined they tell you how your streams are performing. Availability: From an end-users perspective, availability is the ability to successfully view a stream. The availability metric captures the connection failures to the server, dropped connections during stream play, startup, and rebuffer times exceeding acceptable limits. Startup Time: The time taken for the stream to start playing after the user hits the Play button as viewed by an actual user. This metric includes DNS lookup time, connect time and initial buffer time. Effective Bitrate: The number of bits rendered on the player is the actual quality the end user experience. Unlike metrics like packet loss, jitter that are only indicative of the stream quality, effective bitrate quantifies the quality of end user experience. Rebuffer Ratio: The number of rebuffer events, and the amount of time spent rebuffering, add significantly to user dissatisfaction. Rebuffer ratio is the ratio of the time spent in rebuffering and the total playtime of the stream. 4
  • 5. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Management and Control: EdgeControl Management Center Akamai EdgeControl portal functions as the interface for all aspects of management of the service, including provisioning, reporting, alerting and permissions. Test Provisioning New test configuration requires a few essential parameters: stream play time during a test, the frequency of running the test, the agent group on which the test will happen and the bitrate of the stream being tested. When testing an authenticated profile the under which the stream is configured as well as the stream path are needed. While provisioning a test, a test schedule can also be defined taking into account schedule maintenance downtimes or live event times. The provisioning interface is very intuitive and adding a new test takes under 5 minutes. Figure 2: Sample EdgeControl New Test Provisioning Interface Editing and deleting existing test configurations are also available actions on the EdgeControl portal. 5
  • 6. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Reporting and Diagnostics The main reporting page presents all the four key metrics that immediately give a broad picture of stream performance. Stream Analyzer has the ability to chart data from more than one test in order to visually compare the performance of different streams. Additionally, EdgeControl users can define the layout of the reporting page keeping the most relevant metric at the top of the page. Figure 3: Sample reports (Availability, Startup time, Effective bitrate and Rebuffer ratio) The key metrics allow immediate visibility into a range of issues • Availability drops imply that end users in some/all locations are unable to experience your streams • Startup Time and/or Rebuffer Ratio spikes indicate less than optimal end-user experience • A drop in Effective Bitrate indicates audio/video degradation for end users Once asset owners have visibility into the nature of the problem, Stream Analyzer gives sufficient diagnostic information to diagnose and fix streaming degradations. Time Profile breaks down stream play time into individual components, DNS lookup time, Connect time, Buffer time, Rebuffer time and actual Play time. These individual components give good visibility into the source of the problem. For example, startup time spikes could be caused due to high Connect time which is probably an indicator that the media server is not able to handle high loads. Errors vs. Availability indicates if availability errors are due to errors during startup (DNS, Connect failure) or after startup (high startup time, connection dropped, frequent rebuffers). Effective Bitrate separates out the audio and video components giving visibility into issues like no audio in the stream and slideshows. Details by location displays stream performance from the individual locations helping determine if the problem is widespread or 6
  • 7. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description localized. Figure 4: Sample Details charts (Time Profile, Errors and Details by locations) Further diagnostic information is available in the Errors page which buckets all errors by the IP of the server in question, location of agents reporting errors and the type of errors. The information above is critical in understanding the nature and scope of the degradation . Figure 5: Sample Errors reports (bucketed by server IP, location and type) Raw Data i.e. unfiltered data from all measurements conducted in the last 30 days is available for asset owners to view and reuse. Also, the default reporting and charting functionality can be changed to reflect data up to 30 days. 7
  • 8. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Stream Analyzer reports are also email compatible. Reports, with the same information as in the portal, can be emailed to relevant stakeholders on a recurring basis. Degradation Alerting Stream Analyzer allows the asset owners to set up alerts on streaming performance degradation on Availability, Startup time and Effective bitrate. The owners define the threshold (maximum startup time, lowest bitrate) and the scope (number of agents reporting degradation) for the alerts to fire. Alerting allows the asset owners to proactively act upon these degradations before actual end users and not wait for actual end users to report them. Stream Analyzer alerts can also be forwarded to relevant email or pager addresses to ensure easy 24x7 monitoring of streaming assets. Instant Streamcheck The Instant Streamcheck feature allows the users to immediately check the performance of a specific stream from up to 3 locations. The metrics reported in Streamcheck are the same as for standard tests. Figure 5: Sample Streamcheck report Streamcheck is useful when asset owners are trying to validate a reported performance problem either through Stream Analyzer alerts or end user feedback. This can also be used to verify the impact of measures taken after performance degradation has been reported. 8
  • 9. Akamai Stream Analyzer – Service Description Service and Support Global Traffic Management customers are supported by a comprehensive integration and support program. This program extends throughout the customer experience with Akamai, from initial assessment to ongoing support and maintenance. Professional Services Akamai Professional Services works closely with each customer to assess the customer’s current infrastructure, to co-design an optimum traffic management set-up, and to help integrate Global Traffic Management with other Akamai services. Our team works in four phases: • Assessment • Design and Planning • Implementation and Testing • Deployment and Optimization Solution Architects, Technical Project Managers, and Engineers work in tandem with the customer to facilitate knowledge transfer and on-time delivery. Customer Care Akamai Customer Care provides a 24x7 single point of contact for all customer support issues in the post-sale phase of the account life cycle. Customer Care is responsible for all internal escalations until there is satisfactory resolution of an issue. All escalations are logged into the central ticketing database that is accessible online via the Akamai portal (https://control.akamai.com/). Akamai Customer Care provides the customer with best-of-class support by excelling in all three areas: people, process, and technologies. The Customer Care team is composed of a globally distributed staff with significant professional experience and advanced degrees. They work in a single-tier paradigm, so the person answering the phone can work on any problem, regardless of the time of day. There are three ways to contact Akamai Customer Care: • control.akamai.com Enterprise Portal • E-mail (ccare@akamai.com) • Telephone 1.877.4.AKATEC [1.877.425.2832] Network Operations Command Center (NOCC) Akamai’s Network Operations Command Center (NOCC) monitors the globally distributed Akamai Platform on a 24x7x365 basis. The NOCC uses Akamai’s proprietary, secure, scalable, real-time data collection mechanisms with a variety of diagnostic, network visualization, and reporting tools to enable efficient and responsive monitoring of the Akamai Platform. If a problem is detected, Akamai’s fault- tolerant architecture takes over, automatically switching traffic from one edge server to another. At the same time, trained NOCC professionals investigate the cause of the problem by logging in to the server to perform diagnostic measures, or by contacting the data center where the problem server is housed. 9
  • 10. The Akamai DifferenceAkamai provides market-leading managed services for powering rich media, dynamictransactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery marketone decade ago, Akamais services have been adopted by the worlds most recognized brandsacross diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamais globalnetwork of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight andperformance for businesses to succeed online. An S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 company, Akamaihas transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, interact, andcollaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com. Akamai Technologies, Inc. US Headquarters Akamai Technologies GmbH, Germany Akamai Technologies Japan K.K. 8 Cambridge Center Betastrasse 10b 15F Tokyo Ginko Kyokai building Cambridge, MA 02142 85774 Unterfoehring 1-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Germany Tokyo 100-0005 Tel: 617.444.3000 Fax: 617.444.3001 Tel: 49 89 94006 ext. 308 Tel: 81-3-3216-7300 US Toll free 877.4AKAMAI Fax: 49 89 94006 - 006 Fax: 81-3-3216-7390 (877.425.2624)Copyright © 2008 Akamai Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system or translated into any language in any form by anymeans without the written permission of Akamai Technologies, Inc. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document,Akamai Technologies, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information herein. Theinformation in these documents is believed to be accurate as of the date of this publication but is subject to change without notice. The information inthis document is subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Terms & Conditions governing your use of Akamai services.Akamai is a registered trademark of Akamai Technologies, Inc. EdgeControl Management Center, EdgeSuite, EdgeComputing, EdgeScape, andSureRoute are Akamai trademarks. Other products or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of other companies and are usedonly for the explanation and to the owner’s benefit, without intent to infringe or to imply any endorsement of Akamai or its services by, or relationshipbetween Akamai and, the owners of such marks or to imply that Akamai will continue to offer services compatible with technology 10

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