December 27, 2012

Single day summary

For those of you who is already familiar with Wowza Daily stats reporting which includes all kinds of everyday-use information, we prepared one more "view angle" of the data. We took a one day view and included all information available for the selected day.

It's available either from top "Reporting" menu or by the link from Daily or Duration stats.

Basic information and map of visits for selected day. 

Peak band. advanced duration info with countries and cities stats.

Here you can see the following information.
  • Viewers total and per-protocol count;
  • Play time - average and total;
  • Traffic and bandwidth stats;
  • Detailed views per duration statistics;
  • Geo location data including map of visitors distribution and countries/cities statistics.
This report might help analyzing daily events as well as taking a simple overview of current status.

You can find this and other features in our Wowza control and reporting panel.

The single day summary is also applicable for Nimble Streamer, the light-weight HTTP streaming server for HLS, Smooth and progressive download. WMSPanel is an official GUI for Nimble Streamer.

Read more about WMSPanel streaming reporting

Related documentation

End user reporting in WMSPanelDaily statisticsGeo location reportingWhite label branded panel,  Statistics import APINimble Streamer

December 18, 2012

Geo statistics report

WMSPanel team continuously improves the representation of users-related data which is being collected by our system. One of the most descriptive reports about connected users is their geo-location. Previously we've had only a real-time geo location data being displayed on the top of the dashboard. It included top 20 countries' flags, names and number of connections available since last sync-up.

Now we're glad to announce an advanced functionality for reporting geo-location statistics. We call it Geo Stats and it's available for each of the existing data slice as a separate subscription option.
Once you get on Geo Stats page, you can see a map of the world and a list of all countries and cities where your users were from during chosen period of time. It's a week by default.

Map has countries which are colored proportionally to the percent of the countries' audience.

World map with countries with proportional coloring.
In the list of countries each one has a flag, a name, a number of connections and a percent of share among other locations.

December 16, 2012

Reporting incoming publisher streams


For those of our customers who use live streaming it should sometimes be interesting to see publisher streams statistics. Like if one has video calls. We didn't show this kind of info to avoid confusion of the majority of customers.

So after a couple requests we decided to make this information to be an option for each server.

If you go to servers list and choose Edit for selected server you can specify this setting.

Editing server settings.

December 4, 2012

Data slices concept in a nutshell

A typical streaming service provider has some assets which is used by several customers in parallel. Of course, each client needs to see appropriate statistics and the service provider does not want to share data among all users. This is why WMSPanel has a mechanism that could do the right thing for all stakeholders.

Media servers use application as its basic instance that might be a mapper for anyone. It provides access to some functionality that is implemented by a customer or some 3rd party. OK, so it's a server and an application, these are the things we need to watch at. All we need is to allow making the links between our customers, their shared resources (servers) and clients (with their applications and users).

We defined data slices, or slices of filtered data. Permissions for those subsets of data may be setup not only to individual users but to the group of assigned users. This allows seamlessly share resources statistics to any number of clients. Any server may be assigned to any number of data slices and thus users. Those users will have reports for only those applications which they are allowed to see.

(UPDATE: please also check streamed slices in case you want to gather date for individual stream or set of streams.)

Each slice users also have ability to control DVRs and any other streams via MediaCaster cameras stream control.

Data slices management page.
There is a full data slice where all company servers are visible. It collects all the incoming information from all of customer's servers. It cannot be removed or renamed - you can just use it to see overall statistics over your media service. 
Viewing slice details.
New slice can be created any time. You can either create it from the scratch or just clone the existing one by clicking respective link.

First, you need to add servers which will be used to obtain the data. You will choose from the list of existing servers ones.

Assigning servers to a slice.
Then a slice needs to have one or several rules which are created to filter out the required data and to determine the "visibility" of applications for slice users. Each rule may have either "Include" or "Exclude" type and it contains a POSIX regular expression that describes the applications to be tracked. So if you have a bunch of apps like "streaming2", "streaming3", "streaming_new" etc. you can set up rule like "streaming". It will match all of the mentioned applications.
You can either quickly create a slice by choosing one of existing applications (taken from the servers added in the panel) or by entering all fields manually.

List of rules to filter data of a slice.
Defining rule for filtering data.

In case of Wowza you may also specify exact virtual host to collect data for.
For Nimble Streamer you may specify domain name. In both cases you may use regular expressions to describe the match.

Specifying domain name for gathering its stats.
Each data slice may have its users who will be able to see reports for the data taken from sources available for them. Administrator is able to switch between all slices. A non-admin user is able to switch between the slices which he is allowed to see. Learn more about users management and permission set up.
User quick add.
Once a slice is created, its rules are added and users are assigned, each of those users may log in and see reports about servers that are currently visible according to the rules mentioned in his slice.

Data slice also provides a mechanism for assigning non-admin users to control certain features of Nimble Streamer. Read this page for more details.

All daily-granulated statistics - Daily statsGeo-location report, ISP networks,  Duration metrics and Single day summary - are based on data slices and provide per-slice statistics. Check this screen cast for reporting details.

Data slices concept works very well with other capability of our service - "white label" branded panel. You can show statistics to your clients using your own domain name and logo with no mention of WMSPanel. So your clients will log in to your website using credential which you give them. Please read this post about white label panel to learn more.

Read more about slice-related features in on the dedicated Slices & Branding page.

The customer-defined slice may have cost and traffic settings for further usage within Billing feature set, check that blog post for details.

If you want to use WMSPanel daily stats as an origin for further processing, like for third party billing, you can use our statistics push API.

Data slices concept is part of overall end-user experience of end-users.

You may also specify time zone for any slice for convenience of end users who want to see their stats using their own dates and times.

Lite slices

If you don't need your slices to have rich functionality and you just want to show daily statistics to your customers then you may want to have "lite slices". They mean reduced functionality for reduced price. For lite slice there is no high-detail retrospective reports for each individual stream. So if you go to "Streams report" for lite slice you will not see links for detailed charts. Also, each lite slice may have only 1 non-admin user.

This allows reducing price for lite slice by twice. Lite pricing may be applied starting from 6 slices in customer's account. So you may have 1 full data slice (which is default) and 5 lite slices. The price for this case would be only 55 USD with additional 18 USD in case if you use daily Wowza geo-location stats. To start adding lite prices or convert existing full slices into lite, please contact us so we could enable this feature for you.

Feel free to sign up at WMSPanel, download an installer and try looking at your server reports. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact us to get more info.

Data slice may be successfully used for both Wowza and Nimble Streamer.

To use these stats within your analytic tools, you may use Daily stats APIDuration stats APIPlayers and devices stats API and Real-time stats API.

Read more about WMSPanel streaming reporting

Related documentation

 Daily statisticsDevices and Players reportStatistics import APIHigh precision reportingGeo location reportingStreamed slicesHigh detail reportingWhite label branded panelScreencast for daily statisticsDaily stats APIDuration stats APIPlayers and devices stats APIReal-time stats API,

November 14, 2012

WMSPanel became Wowza Product Partner


We are excited to announce that we've officially been introduced into Wowza Media Systems partner ecosystem.

It took us 1 year from initial presentation of Wowza support to becoming a product partner. Since that time we were continuously improving the service by adding more valuable features and increasing service quality and robustness.

So we'd like to thank everyone who joined us and we're looking forward to see a lot more new media companies joining us. Each new subscriber and trial user brings new ideas which we add into our wishlist and future road map.

Recently Wowza announced Wowza 3.5 with brand new feature set. So we're glad to mention that we support it as well as Wowza 2.x and Wowza 3.0.x product versions. We also are working on new feature sets. Subscribe our blog and see what new WMSPanel control and reporting functionality is going to be released in the nearest future.

Feel free to sign up and try our service free of charge during first 2 week of trial period.

Related documentation

Paywall for Wowza, Wowza reporting

November 2, 2012

IPv6 support for Wowza control and reporting


As many of you know, IPv4 address space is currently exhausted. So IPv6 comes out and we already see that some of our customers use IPv6 addresses.

So as we use IP addresses to determine the geo location and since MaxMind DB have this support, we also should support this protocol. And so we did.

WMSPanel now can determine countries and cities from MaxMind GeoLiteCity database with IPv6 as well as with IPv4. Geo daily stats and geo blocking for WMSAuth can process those addresses.

We use Ruby for IP processing so we use geoip Ruby gem. It appeared that it supported IPv4 only thus we improved it for IPv6 support and contributed to the original gem via Github. So if you decide using it for your needs - it has some of our code.

Feel free to try our geo-related solutions for your business. It's free of charge during first 2 weeks of trial.

October 23, 2012

Wowza HLS protocol statistics

As we mentioned in one of the posts about Wowza daily statistics, we provide reporting about all protocols which are supported by Wowza Media Server.

Cupertino, or HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), is one of those. Many analytic software can process connections which use it. But there are some protocol features that make it hard to count it accurately:
  • It may open separate stream per each view to get the playlist if you use <a> HTML4 tag for inserting media links rather than <video> HTML5 tag;
  • It may split transmission into parallel chunks thus open separate connection.
So your log would show not necessarily 1 connection per view, this might be many more.

As you know, WMSPanel Wowza agent does not parse logs. It takes connections information directly from Wowza. So when we faced this kind of issues when launching Daily stats, we were able to take a closer look at the data collected from Wowza internals.

Thus we just skip those corner cases like several connections per view and show correct HLS (Cupertino) numbers in the statistics table:

So if you need accurate media stats for iPhones and iPads, as well as STB such as Roku, feel free to sign up and try our Wowza control and reporting service for 2 weeks free of charge.

If you're streaming with HLS, please also have a look at Nimble Streamer, the light-weight HTTP streaming server for HLS, Smooth and progressive download. WMSPanel is an official GUI for Nimble Streamer. It may be controlled via WMSPanel GUI and it comes free of charge.

Related documentation

End user reporting for WowzaData slices for statisticsStreamed slices for WowzaScreencast for daily statisticsNimble HTTP Streamer

October 21, 2012

October 11, 2012

Wowza server management

Today we announce a frequently requested feature set for Wowza server management. We just call it Wowza control, because basically it means controlling Wowza via setting up its configuration.

What can it do?
  • Create, configure and delete applications;
  • Apply application changes to multiple servers;
  • Start and stop applications instances;
  • Show Wowza virtual hosts, start and stop them;
  • Start/stop startup streams.
These actions do not require JMX usage to apply changes. Everything is done transparently via WMSPanel web interface. No manual restarting - just clicks away from completing your everyday tasks.

You can also allow your end-users to manage their Wowza servers. This is done via centralized users details and permissions management.

Wowza server structure.
Let's see how it works.

October 1, 2012

August 8, 2012

Our first screen cast is out


We are really glad to introduce our first screen cast showing basic capabilities of our reporting and control panel.

One video is worth a thousand words, check it out:

Please welcome to join our WMSPanel YouTube channel for upcoming videos.

If you like what you see there - visit WMSPanel now and sign up to try it.

Related documentation

Screencast for daily statisticsScreencast for data slices and white label

July 30, 2012

WMSAuth RTMP protection sample

To use WMSAuth for RTMP please download sources from out github WMSAuth samples repo. This repo also has other snippets for PHP, Java and C#.

Please also note that RTMP uses a bit different parameters passing scheme since where is Server and Stream parts here

rtmp://<?php echo $base64urlsignature;?>


The same link transformation can be used for integrating Pay-per-view feature set into your work flow.

Related documentation

Paywall feature set

July 28, 2012

Streams geo real-time report


Recently we've introduced Daily geo stats for Wowza which allows seeing geo-location report including country and cities info. We also have overall real-time geo-location info for each of the server in customer's pool.

So to complete the picture, we made real-time geo information about each stream in customer's bucket.

Now you can just go to "Streams report", choose a stream you want and see top 20 countries information displayed as a set of flags with a number of connections as a tool tip.

Check this screenshot to see it in action:

Wowza geo location real time data. Click to view full size.
Want to see the same for your stream? Try our Wowza reporting service for next 2 weeks free of charge and see if other features are useful for your business.

Read more about WMSPanel streaming reporting.

May 30, 2012

Wowza control panel capabilities for iOS and Android


We all use mobile web widely these days and we all love when our favorite websites are accessible via your favorite smartphone. Especially when it's a real-time control panel of your Wowza or Windows Media assets.

This is why we make our panel as lite and it's possible to avoid any problems on any browsers you might have. We use cross-platform JavaScript which runs basically on any browser.

Thus it appears to run on any iOS devices like iPhone® and iPad® as well as on Android mobile devices.

Look at those iPhone snapshots:

iPhone real-time chart.

iPhone Wowza statistics.
iPhone portrait display of WMS panel.

They look just as you may see them in your desktop browser.

Android devices browsers are also supported. Android 3 and Android 4 default browsers show the panel perfectly. Android 1.x and Android 2 may show it via Firefox or Opera browsers.
Here are screen shots you may see at Android 3 powered Samsung tablet:

Real-time chart displayed in Android default browser.

Retrospective charts shown on Android tablet.

This is a nice "side effect" of our web-based interface and architecture that allows showing any Wowza  or Windows Media statistics and control your assets via any browser.

Read more about WMSPanel streaming reporting.

Related documentation

Devices and Players report for WowzaEnd user reporting for WowzaDaily statisticsData slices for statisticsStreamed slices for WowzaWhite label branded panelServer tasks remote management via web UI

May 24, 2012

May 22, 2012

Wowza data loss reporting and analysis

We all know that data transmission is far from being perfect. Since media data transmission operates with huge amounts of data, most streaming companies face with losses problem, especially within peak hours.

WMSPanel Wowza reporting service may help finding and visualizing problems like that. Let's see typical peak hour using detailed reports.

When you are logged into Dashboard, you can first see real time chart and then after scrolling down it shows 4 retrospective charts for Wowza. First one is "Total connected vs. Bandwidth" that allows seeing peak statistics.

Connections and Average bandwidth in peak hours.
See that blue cliff in front of red mount? That's total connections per 15 minutes interval shown in comparison with average bandwidth.

May 1, 2012

Wowza hotlinking re-publishing and re-streaming protection

When you are streaming some media data, you always have a risk of being re-published somewhere else via hot-linking. So if you have exclusive payed content, you're loosing money. WMSPanel has a core functionality for Wowza links re-publishing (or, hot-linking) protection. It's available as part of Paywall solution for Wowza and it supports all protocols which Wowza handles. This includes RTMP, RTSP, HLS, SmoothStreaming, HDS and DASH.

Having some small changes in UI part and Wowza agent installed on Wowza server you can protect your business from link re-publishing and complicate your content re-streaming including domain lock for hotlinking.

UPD: Read the full workflow description in our paywall hotlinking protection page.

Commonly you have some web pages with video links like this:
Then your web server script calculates hash from IP, URL, server time, secret key, valid interval and adds this hash to initial URL. e.g.:

So your valid customer will open the link and nothing will be different from non-protected URL. If somebody copies the link as passes it to anyone else, this 3rd party will not get any data.

WMSPanel platform handles all processing for you so all you see as a user is a big link. All mechanics are split by 2 parts and hidden away.

March 31, 2012

High precision report

Recently we've been improving WMSPanel reporting capabilities with features that would be useful for billing purposes. Daily Stats functionality shows several important numbers that are often used for charging clients. Those are views count, peak bandwidth and traffic. There is also total duration counted for each day. They are all combined and calculated using 30-seconds sync-ups which a server gives to our front-end.

Even though we get and process these numbers on a high-frequency basis, industry standards often require other calculations. A lot of companies prefer 5 minutes interval for calculations.

And so we make those calculations. For selected date and time range we collect:
  • peak bandwidth taken as a maximum of all peak numbers per given 5-minute ranges
  • time of peak bandwidth;
  • 95% peak bandwidth;
  • total traffic - the amount of information transferred during time period;
  • total count of visitors.
Chart information is shown with 5 minutes intervals.

If a visitor started watching at 13:59 and finished watching at 14:11, his connection will be added to total number of connections in 14:10 bucket. His traffic, however, will be spread among 4 intervals: 13:55, 14:00. 14:05 and 14:10.

So last night live football streaming will be measured precisely by the time of the game, with ability to get number of people watching game periods and advertising.

We added those 4 new calculated numbers in addition to existing combined reports and high-detailed reports.

High precision report: peak and 95% bandwidth, traffic and connections.

High precision report for Wowza

Please read the updated version here: High precision report.

March 1, 2012

Duration analysis report

WMSPanel provides duration reports for supported media servers as part of Daily Stats reporting. Here's a overall description of this feature.

Wowza time and duration report.
First, it shows total play time and average play time. Check out "Play time" column on a snapshot below.
Also, we were thinking of some metric that would allow our customers seeing information about how long do their customers stream a media. Having many options we decided to show most general info to start. Our report shows distribution of viewers among time intervals. Take a look at example:

There are 13 intervals chosen:

Daily statistics report

We've launched a new type of reports for media servers customers, we call it "Daily Stats". They show data collected into 24-hours buckets.

Daily statistics report.
Each data slice now has its daily granulated statistics. Each day includes a chart and a raw data table.

Basic metrics on a common chart.
You can see quick general overview of daily stats in this screen cast in addition to description below:

The chart shows basic metrics of media connections from the table below. You can switch them off and on, thus removing or adding charts. You can also get them on paper by just clicking "Print" link - this will generate printer-friendly version.

Each date is a link to a Single day summary which has detailed data which WMSPanel has on a given day.

Data listed in the table contains the following. You can also switch certain columns off and on to make it fit your screen.

Viewers count (blue bars on the chart) contains amounts of connections for each of supported protocols.  And also a sum of those numbers.

Peak connections contains peak number of connections appeared on any given day.

Traffic (red curve) data is represented by In, Out and Lost amounts of bytes being transferred. High degree numbers are measured in metric system.

Duration (orange dots) is presented as 2 numbers - average and total play time - and a separate link to duration report available for a variety of time intervals.

Peak Bandwidth (green curve) shows the maximum transmission speed in bits per second.

So all you need to do is to pick the dates range and get the table of total numbers.

You may adjust time zone setting to make data to be collected conveniently for your customers. If you want to use WMSPanel daily stats as an origin for further processing, like for third party billing, you can use our statistics push API.

More useful features are expected in our roadmap. Feel free to try our solution free of charge.

Read more about WMSPanel streaming reporting.

Related documentation

End user reportingStatistics import APIGeo location reporting, ISP networks reportDevices and Players reportHigh precision reportingData slices for statisticsStreamed slicesScreencast for data slices and white labelBilling customers using daily stats

February 27, 2012

High-detail retrospective reports

WMSPanel has a number of high-detailed retrospective reports which can be used in different ways. Let's see what we have. Just open a dashboard and scroll down to retrospective chart tabs.

Those chart points show the granularity of reports data. WMSPanel assigns streaming statistics to the corresponding graphic point. Here are the intervals for each time frame.
  • Daily report has 15 minutes interval.
  • Weekly report has 2 hours interval.
  • Monthly in divided by 12 hours.
  • Year report has 7 days interval.
This division allows showing smooth charts and yet keep them accurate.

Each data slice has its own set of retrospective charts. So when you make new slice, you get new unique charts.

First report shows combined charts of "Total Connected versus Bandwidth Average".

Total connections vs. Average bandwidth report.

January 31, 2012

Reporting bandwidth and traffic


Media streaming statistics primarily show the data which is answering basic questions. How many users did I have during some period of time? Who are they? What did they get from company's servers?

First question is answered by showing various streams count reports. There are dozens of possible reports that may show any slice of data that might help understanding the numbers. WMSPanel provides basic time line charts that show real-time and retrospective data. Most of the needs are covered by those graphs.

The "who" question may be answered in a different ways but most important thing to be discovered are geographical location and user software description. Geographical location is covered by real-time geo-location report showing flags and names of the countries that currently are streaming all media. We plan to extend this type of info with retrospective geo data. Software description includes data like streaming software ("user agent"), operating system, system language etc. This data is not critical but it might be interesting, so we plan including these reports in the future.

The content reports show streams names and their statistics. Another important set of reports which is currently supported is a bandwidth and traffic usage.

Basically this kind of reports shows how much data was transferred to and from users to get the understanding of traffic consumption. Also some customers might need to know bandwidth used by applications and servers.

Let's start from bandwidth. Its graphics are combined with connections count chart - both real time and retrospective with the scale being located on the right from "Connections". Real-time chart shows current bandwidth happening during last couple of minutes in addition to streams count.

January 30, 2012

Server downtime notification

Being a streamer means that your assets are always online. And if something goes wrong and becomes invisible from outside, you'll need to know about that.

Recently we've re-designed and re-implemented a small but nice feature that might be interested for many of our customers. A customer may now set a list of emails which will get a special notification when a server goes down, like reboot or power outage or anything else.

The email notification is set after 20 minutes of not getting sync-ups from the server.

So once you register any server you may go to Control menu and check corresponding link:

Control top menu.

Once you enter the set up page, you can add or delete any number of emails. You can also send a test notification by pressing corresponding button. In this case all recipients will get the same alert as they would get after real downtime.

Offline notifications setup

Once anything happens to a server and it goes offline - you'll know about it within a few minutes after a small timeout via email alert. As soon as it gets back, you'll be notified.

You may also use downtime notifications push API to process the offline events in some other way in addition to just sending emails.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Related documentation

Downtime notifications push APINotifying on RTMP stream (un)publishStatistics import APIPay-per-view for Wowza Media Server

January 21, 2012

Why we prefer service rental over purchase


Some of our potential clients ask if we provide stand-alone, or on-site, installations. This basically means that some businesses prefer buying software rather than renting it. So here in this post we'd like to explain why we chose service rental model when a customer subscribes to a service.

This model is commonly known as "SaaS", or "Software as a service".

First of all, the primary feature of WMSPanel was to make a centralized reporting solution. The most obvious approach here is to make web-based application that gathers data from various sources. Having such product, we still have 2 payment options - sell it as a single product or provide monthly subscription. We chose the second approach.

What are customer's benefits from business owner and system administrator points of view?

No server resources for installed application. Having yet another logs analyzer means that you need to have some server which will have all processing being done. WMSPanel makes processing by itself outside of your assets' network. So no need to get extra HW or OS licenses.

Less administrating. Customer only needs to set up data slices for respective sub-clients (via simple web-interface handled by WMSPanel servers) and spend several minutes to install WMSPanel server add-on (Wowza agent or Windows Media plugin). That's it, nothing else. We can even do it ourselves as part of our support activities.

Continuous feature delivery. All customers get new system release as soon as we deploy it online. No need for your admin to check for new releases, re-install software and check if it's compatible with current environment. Once a new functionality is online, it's available to every customer.

Testing is done within the same environment with customers. Before rolling out new release we test it using the same environment as used by every other customer. Thus, when it's done, we know for sure that it works for people outside of our "sandbox".

Optimization for client and server parts - we pay for resources used by WMSPanel so we want to cut expenses as much as we can. For us, improvement literally has its cost and profit. The more we optimize, the better performance is for customers. This allows keeping low prices and providing good deals and discounts. See some other thoughts on this in previously posted notes on clouds and virtuality.

You can stop any time. If you buy a license for several hundred dollars and then discover that it does not meet your needs, you still will use it just because you already paid for it. Monthly subscription may be cancelled at any moment so there's no risk of overpaying.

Having read all above, you can see why renting a service might be better for your business than just buying a license for a standalone application. You can enhance this list with pros and cons from your business perspective, feel free to comment.

You can have fully-functional trial of WMSPanel free of charge during 2 weeks to see if it works good enough for you. Just sign up and follow installation instructions. And contact us to ask any questions or get pricing options.

Please also have a look at Nimble Streamer, the light-weight HTTP streaming server for HLS, Smooth and progressive download. It may be controlled via WMSPanel GUI and it comes free of charge.

January 11, 2012

FastSpring is now our payment gateway


Being a SaaS solution, WMSPanel needs a secure and reliable way to collect monthly payments. We are glad to announce that we are now accepting payments via FastSpring, an all-in-one e-commerce, merchandising and fulfillment solution.

It's a reliable financial solution that suites best for selling software and providing agile subscription functionality to end-users. Customers' data is processed at FastSpring websites via SSL and its security is verified by VeriSign.

After you fill in subscription data, you're being charged on a monthly basis so won't need to re-enter your payment information each month. If you are from European Union, we'll pay VAT for you so total amount will be the same.