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.
It's highly recommended to test this feature on a test server first and then proceed to work with production environment.

To start managing server you may use any of those ways:

  • go to Control menu and choosing Server management;
  • or go to Servers and click on Manage button;
  • or choose server in the list and click on Manage link as well.

First time after getting to server management page, you'll see a confirmation screen where you will confirm that you wish to start using this feature and ready to provide us your server configuration. Once you agree on that, the config will be synced up with the panel within a minute.

Server general information.
Need to load server structure first...
... and we're loading it.

Main page (see screen shot below) shows the list of applications of default virtual host. The list of all VHosts is shown at the left and they are displayed as tabs which allow user clicking through all VHosts. Also, a common action may be applied to them - either start or stop them all. Each virtual host may be started and stopped manually via links above the apps list. This action does not require any manual logging into Wowza server, all you need to do may be done by the agent on Wowza side. You can also start or stop default start-up streams.

Each action in Wowza server control feature set works in an asynchronous way. This means that each action requires some time. The panel sends request to a server during next sync-up and then gets response. Every action is logged in History (it's just a transaction log).

You can operate Wowza applications for a given VHost.

To create an application, click on "Create application" button. App creation is made in 2 steps - entering a name and setting app properties. Right after you enter the name and click on Create, a new item will appear in history, i.e. in transaction log, indicating the progress of app creation. Once it's done, a new entry in applications list will appear. The new app has default settings.

You can use pre-defined application templates for creting apps. Read this blog post describing this approach.

Now you can click on application name and see what you can do about it.

Wowza application properties and available commands.
Besides general application information there are buttons for available actions and a list of application instances. To create app instance, just click on "Launch instance". After the command is processed (you'll see that in History), a new instance appears in the list along with the link for stopping it. So you can stop it any time.

"Stop application" button will just delete all of its instances.

"Delete application" button obviously removed the application from server.

So "Config application" is the button you need to make app configuration. Clicking on, it you'll be brought to configuration page.

Configuring Wowza application.
Setting app max bitrate.

The idea here is that application configuration process is made in 2 steps:
  1. prepare changes to be applied;
  2. apply changes to a server or a group of servers.
Each application config is stored on the server so before preparing changes, make sure you load latest config from the server by clicking on "Load config from server" button. Otherwise you'll be using a default config.

Basic application settings are performed in the Settings area. There you can change the following:
  • Live Stream Packetizers for packetizers and repeaters;
  • HTTPStreamers for HLS, HDS, Silverlight and DVR;
  • RTP authentication and audio/video channels synchronization;
  • RTMP and RTSP authentication;
  • Application password set up;
  • Advanced settings for a variety of values;
  • MaxBitrate setting.
More options to come soon.

After changing any option you should Save it into configuration cache for further apply to a server.

Besides using check boxes and other controls, you can change app's pure XML config by clicking on "Edit application config XML". The text is conveniently formatted and colored.

Edit Wowza configuration XML.
So once you're done with application edit process, you need to apply changes. Click on "Apply config to server(s)". The changes may be applied on several servers at the same time. Current server is selected by default but if you want it to be available everywhere - just select all servers in  field.

Applying application changes to multiple Wowza servers.
We are continuously improving user experience of server management. Any inputs, suggestions or questions are highly welcomed. See some inconsistency? Need small improvement? Have major concern about new way of configuring Wowza? Welcome! We're opened for discussion.

WMSPanel also has the ability to control IP cameras via MediaCaster cameras stream control. You can manage stream behavior and record it to a file. Wowza Transcoder add-on support is available and is being improved as well.

You may also consider WMSPanel server tasks remote management via web console for convenient control of server-side commands. Launch any command, like ffmpeg process, with no need to log in via SSH, just an easy-to-use web interface.

This feature set comes free of charge. You can sign up for our Wowza control panel and try it while 2 weeks service trial period.

Related documentation

Paywall for WowzaMediaCaster and LiveStreamRecord streams controlWowza Transcoder add-on supportApplication templatesMonitoring server CPU and RAMWowza application authentication, Allow your users to control Wowza instanceServer tasks remote management via web UI

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