Streaming from the cloud


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Streaming from the cloud

  1. 1. <ul><li>David Mulford </li></ul><ul><li>Roanoke College – Salem, VA </li></ul>Streaming from the Cloud
  2. 2. <ul><li>This presentation takes a look at the current state of cloud streaming services and explains how Roanoke College moved all of its streaming from on-campus servers to cloud based services </li></ul>Streaming from the Cloud: Moving from Campus Based Streaming Services.
  3. 3. <ul><li>A general overview of the current cloud streaming environment </li></ul><ul><li>How and why Roanoke moved from Real/Windows Media/Flash to cloud hosted services </li></ul><ul><li>Demo of streaming service (if possible) </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and answers as well as Group Discussion </li></ul>Presentation Format
  4. 4. <ul><li>A little about me </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus AV guy (Fmr. Dir. Media Services) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus Classroom Tech guy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus Surveillance Systems guy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus Radio Station Engineer Guy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty Member – TV Prod./Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty Advisor – WRKE Radio Station/APO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Troop Asst. Scoutmaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scotch Aficionado </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Former TaeKwanDo student, triathlete, opera singer </li></ul></ul>Getting to know you
  5. 5. <ul><li>Campus based servers? </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud hosted servers? </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of the two? </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming? What’s that? </li></ul>What do you use to stream?
  6. 6. <ul><li>Why stream from the cloud? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Streaming Platforms have matured and are closer to a unified standard. Flash and HTML5 everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cloud Streaming/CDN Services have become attractive in terms of pricing and competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Cloud services offer automatic transcoding to multiple formats (Flash, HTML5/MPEG4, 3GP, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upstream bandwidth is more manageable </li></ul></ul>Cloud Streaming Overview
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li>Upfront server ownership and maintenance costs are reduced or eliminated. TCO can be lower than hosting own datacenter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CDN edge caching provides better streaming experience (higher QOS) for those off campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No need to muck with setting up and configuration of Wowza, Flash, WMS, QTSS, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You are generally always working with the most up to date server software without paying for license renewals or maintenance agreements </li></ul></ul>Why stream from the cloud?
  8. 8. <ul><li>Campus saves on IP bandwidth costs </li></ul><ul><li>CDN is scalable for large off campus audience </li></ul><ul><li>CDN deals with hardware/software/network issues instead of campus staff </li></ul><ul><li>Service level can be easily increased or decreased based on need/usage </li></ul>Why stream from the Cloud?
  9. 9. <ul><li>Physical access to hardware and data center </li></ul><ul><li>LAN speed to on-campus clients </li></ul><ul><li>Data integrity/security is managed by on-campus staff </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated hardware for streaming server versus shared hardware and storage </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of use of existing servers and storage </li></ul>Advantages of self hosting
  10. 10. Self Hosting:
  11. 11. CDN Cloud Hosting:
  12. 12. <ul><li>Corporate/Professional - pay services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often CDN providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service providers offering custom branding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live streaming and video archiving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service Level guarantees - managed 24/7 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumer – ad supported/inexpensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often resell access to CDN providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom branding generally unavailable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live streaming and video archiving </li></ul></ul>Cloud Streaming Categories
  13. 13. <ul><li>Akamai </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon EC2/Cloudfront </li></ul><ul><li>Bitgravity </li></ul><ul><li>EdgeCast </li></ul><ul><li>Highwinds </li></ul><ul><li>Level(3) </li></ul><ul><li>Limelight </li></ul>Top-Tier Cloud CDN Providers
  14. 14. <ul><li>uStream / Watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Brightcove </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Live365 </li></ul><ul><li>Livestream </li></ul><ul><li>Kit Digital </li></ul><ul><li>Qik (mobile) </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube Live (beta) </li></ul>Some 2 nd Tier CDN Resellers
  15. 15. <ul><li>Founded 1842 </li></ul><ul><li>Private Liberal Arts – Baccalaureate </li></ul><ul><li>2021 undergraduate students </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-rural Appalachian location Adjacent to Roanoke, the largest city in western Virginia </li></ul><ul><li>Almost entirely residential </li></ul><ul><li>10 miles from the Appalachian Trail </li></ul><ul><li>37 majors, 34 minors, 24 concentrations </li></ul><ul><li>54 buildings on 80 acres </li></ul>Roanoke College in a Nutshell
  16. 16. <ul><li>Started streaming in 1998 – RealAudio </li></ul><ul><li>Added NetShow/Windows Media 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Added Flash Server in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Different servers being used by different constituents – things were a bit messy </li></ul><ul><li>Data Center rebuild in 2009 forced us to look at the streaming services landscape. Considered Wowza. IT Moved to Blades with VMWare redundant StorageWorks EVAs to replace 30 hardware servers. Streaming servers not replaced. </li></ul>Roanoke’s streaming story
  17. 17. <ul><li>2009 - College decides to outsource student e-mail to Windows Live </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made to outsource locally hosted Blackboard to Moodlerooms </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made to outsource video storage to cloud video storage - Vimeo, Youtube </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made to outsource streaming </li></ul>Move to VMWare + outsourcing
  18. 18. Over 30 servers replaced
  19. 19. <ul><li>150 Mb/s connection to the Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fully saturated in the afternoon/evenings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic shaping used to maintain necessary services – i.e. College Web Server, Hosted Moodlerooms, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cisco phones and networking </li></ul><ul><li>15 person IT staff – little to no overlap </li></ul><ul><li>VMWare virtual server environment </li></ul><ul><li>Managers encouraged to outsource due to limited staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty and Staff encouraged to use cloud based services to protect IT infrastructure </li></ul>Campus IT Infrastructure
  20. 20. <ul><li>Most consumers of our streams are off-campus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents listening to kids on campus radio station </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni and parents viewing sporting events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends and family viewing commencement exercises </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students required to attend campus speaker events so they are not streamed </li></ul><ul><li>Sporting events are very popular and are streamed off-campus on a regular basis </li></ul><ul><li>Radio station streams continuously </li></ul><ul><li>Academic events are rarely streamed </li></ul>Streaming findings:
  21. 21. <ul><li>Started playing with USTREAM.TV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used Adobe Flash Media Encoder on a Macbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used FLME on a Dell Laptop as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results varied, but we were not impressed with the image quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radio station stream moved to Live365 </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made to go with Watershed for campus and Athletic events. Watershed player embedded into webpage </li></ul>Testing cloud services
  22. 22. <ul><li>Live event encoding became problematic so we went looking for a viable and affordable solution. Decided on an appliance vs. software solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newtek Tricaster Pro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewcast Niagara 2100 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Rapids StreamZ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inlet Spinnaker (Now Cisco) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decided to purchase the Tricaster because of it’s all-in-one functionality </li></ul>Encoding is important
  23. 23. <ul><li>Finalized move to Watershed – moved to production mode for Athletics </li></ul><ul><li>Decided to purchase a Newtek Tricaster Pro for live event encoding instead of FMLE due to quality issues </li></ul><ul><li>Upgraded event cameras from SD to HD, even though we stream in SD </li></ul><ul><li>In an effort to make Athletics job easier, moved from Watershed to Sidearm embedded video this semester. Sidearm resells Limelight networks CDN </li></ul>Implementation
  24. 24. <ul><li>Little to no problems with hosting providers </li></ul><ul><li>Costs were in-line with expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Campus clients are happy </li></ul><ul><li>Off-Campus viewers are much happier </li></ul><ul><li>Encoding Engine is a necessity vs. FMLE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our Tricaster Pro still runs like a charm </li></ul></ul>Findings 2 years later
  25. 25. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>Thank you!