December 25, 2011

Clouds and virtuality for Wowza and WMSPanel

Virtual services and cloud computing become more popular during last few years. No surprise that some resource-consumption solutions and products has been recently exploring that opportunity.

As example, Wowza Media Services provides Amazon AWS installation for those who wants to create scalable streaming solutions. There are many other companies that provide similar functionality. This gives a low threshold for companies that want to try providing streaming services. For mature companies this also allows re-structure their assets and increase overall robustness. You can even make your own cloud using software like Parallels solutions to be independent from 3rd-party vendors.

WMSPanel also uses this technology, we chose Rackspace for both staging and production environment. And of course it works fine with Wowza Media Server on Amazon EC2.

Please also read more about our current cloud architecture.

The pros of cloud solution for us are simple.
  1. Ready to use environment. No need to buy or rent a hardware when we need it. It's already there because virtual machines are always available.
  2. Scalability is a big advantage. When a large customer starts some free evaluation (since first 2 weeks are free of charge) we may see some overload. In this case we can just switch to another service plan to keep our customers out of trouble and to have plenty of time to optimize things.
  3. When a customers wants a separate branded instance of WMSPanel, we can setup a virtual machine that will handle his own requests without any intersection with other customers.
The only contra is that pricing plans are missing granularity, i.e. in case of increased consumption we have to buy more than we actually need. This means extra stability for our customers but a bit bigger price for us.

Given all pros and cons we can already say for sure that optimization has its cost, literally. When we optimize our software, we can see numbers that say how much we cut down our expenses and hence what service price may be optimal for our customers.

This also means that we may provide agile customers pricing. And cost becomes much lower as long as we keep implementing and improving WMSPanel.

WMSPanel cloud control is also used for controlling Nimble Streamer, a light-weight HTTP streaming server for HLS, Smooth and progressive download streaming and re-streaming.