Category : Tech Blog

EvoStream HTML5 Low-Latency Broadcast Solution on Microsoft Azure

Introduction

This white paper discusses the deployment, performance and scalability to the Azure Cloud platform of a streaming server solution – Evostream Enterprise Media Server (EMS).

Tests of performance have been conducted by the EvoStream team but were not audited by a third party. That said, we are disclosing all the details and data so that you can arrive at your own conclusions.

 

Advanced Load balancing and bandwidth management

For larger deployments, EvoStream Media Server provides an advanced Load Balancer Solution template leveraging the Azure load balancing and auto-scaling capabilities.

These load balancing schemas and bandwidth reducing features optimize the VM capacity and software license require to support your live streaming requirements. Using the EvoStream Media Server in a clustered environment only multiplies the cost savings.

This tremendous value is achieved by an ultra-efficient software architecture along with utilizing the native C/C++ programming language instead of running on a complex Java platform. Deploying to the cloud leveraging from advanced load balancing and bandwidth management you can expect a saving in TCO.

The EvoStream Media Server can reduce your Total Cost per stream. There are many costs associated with operating a streaming service, but typically software and VM cloud licensing costs are chief among them.

The key EvoStream Media Server cost-saving driver is its efficiency which allows a server to handle 4 times as many concurrent streams. This means one server can now do the job of 4, drastically increasing your capacity or drastically reducing the amount of cloud capacity (VMs) needed to accomplish a target project.

 

EvoStream on Azure

Architecture

Azure Evostream - Architecture

A simple scaling live-stream for redundant and low-latent live streams.  HTML5 delivery (to browsers or apps), legacy RTMP, or fall back to HLS and/or DASH can be used.

After deployment, the following VMs will be provided:

  • 1 SM (Stream Manager) VM
  • 1 Origin VM
  • 2 Edge instances in a VMSS with autoscaler
  • 1 Load-Balancer
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EvoStream Media Server Latency Overview

The latency of a video is the amount of delay that is incurred from reality to visible video playback.  For example, you are watching yourself on a security camera feed.  You wave your hand.  The latency of the video is how long it takes for you to see yourself wave that hand in the video.

Many factors contribute to the latency of a video:

  • The time it takes to create the video in the first place and encode it
  • The time it takes the video to be put onto the network (TCP and IP network buffers)
  • The time it takes the video to be read, translated, and put back on the network for consumption (EvoStream Media Server role)
  • The time it takes to receive the video, potentially buffer it, decode it and display it to the screen (the player)

Each of these latency factors may be influenced to have either higher or lower latency.  Some items that may influence each latency factor include:

  • The amount of loss on the network
  • The frame-rate of the video
  • The configured receive or send buffer

EvoStream has run extensive tests to identify the latency not only of the EvoStream Media Server but also of common video sources and players.  Understanding the latency of all of these components is critical to the design of any low-latency live-streaming platform.

Latency Results

Through testing the various combinations of stream sources and players EvoStream has been able to identify the typical (average) latencies of the various tools.  For all of the various players and stream sources EvoStream has used the default settings and configurations.  This has been done to reflect the most common user experience while also reducing the number of variables at play in these latency tests. The only exception is Flowplayer, where the inbound buffer was set to zero (0).

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Low Latency Streaming on AWS Cloud

The EvoStream Media Server (EMS) is a highly efficient and scalable Live Streaming Media Server. Using the EMS on Amazon EC2 Instances through the Amazon Marketplace gives you unrivaled flexibility, scalability, and value through not only the highly competitive pricing of both the EMS and Amazon but also through the ease at which massive concurrent streaming can be achieved. You’ll find yourself saving money and spending far less time in building, growing and maintaining your streaming platform.

The most often used word used to describe the EMS is “FAST”:

  • FAST in terms of CPU and memory usage: Can handle at LEAST 400% the number of streams as conventional Java-based software when run on identical hardware.
  • FAST in terms of deployment: Integrate with the EMS over HTTP with JSON. Use any technology you wish: JavaScript, PHP, Perl, etc. EvoStream even provides FREE PHP examples of common integration topics
  • FAST in terms of stream latency: Deliver sub-second end-to-end to your viewers with RTSP, RMTP and MPEG-TS. When we say real time, we mean REAL-TIME!

The Efficiency of the EMS is a critical cost-saving driver for platform operators. Doing more with fewer EC2 instances not only reduces instance up-time costs but it also reduces the amount of time and resources that are required to maintain such a platform. The EMS is 400% more efficient than conventional Java based solutions. This means that each EC2 instance running the EMS can handle the load of 4 conventional instances! The EMS can even be run on Micro instances. Use fewer instances, use smaller instances, save money, save time.

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EvoStream Better TCO per Stream

The EvoStream Media Server can reduce your Total Cost per stream by 80% compared to the leading Java Based Streaming Server. There are many costs associated with operating a streaming service, but typically hardware, hardware maintenance and software licensing costs are chief among them.

The key EvoStream Media Server cost-saving driver is its efficiency which allows a server to handle 4 times as many concurrent streams. This means one server can now do the job of 4, drastically increasing your capacity or drastically reducing the amount of hardware needed to accomplish a target project. In addition, not all hardware is equally capable; perhaps you choose to serve your 30,000 clients with a cheap Intel i5 based server instead of upgrading to the latest Xeon based server.

For larger deployments, EvoStream provides advanced load balancing schemas and bandwidth reducing features. Using the EvoStream Media Server in a clustered environment only multiplies the cost savings.

In addition, the price of the EvoStream license does include all premium features (Transcoder, DRM, nDVR) and optional modules (Web based UI, Web-service integration framework) while other solutions require paid add-ons.

This tremendous value is achieved by an ultra efficient software architecture along with utilizing the native C/C++ programming language instead of running on a complex Java platform.

Here is an example of the cost associated with running a single EvoStream Media Server to its full capacity compared to the leading Java Based solutions.

evostream tco white paper pricing

Hardware maintenance and management of server infrastructure is also an important factor in your hosting costs. Reduction in infrastructure reduces the burden placed on your IT resources.

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