Top 5 Benefits of Migrating to a Cloud Streaming Platform

April 28, 2021 by
Server room with clouds in the background to represent cloud-based infrastructure deployments.
 

More and more video producers are choosing to migrate their streaming solutions from on-premises servers to cloud-based platforms. Why? A cloud-based infrastructure offers several benefits, including simplicity, security, reliable scaling, and a substantial reduction in management time. Being able to quickly scale up or down in a variety of resolutions can result in a higher quality streaming experience for your viewers.

Here at Wowza, our Streaming Cloud service is built on the Wowza Streaming Engine software. This means you benefit from the same power and features of Streaming Engine, but with the efficiency of streaming on a SaaS service. You may be surprised to find there are several advanced Streaming Engine workflows that you can configure directly in Streaming Cloud. The added bonus? These require less development time when done in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

 

Some of these features and capabilities include:

Wowza Streaming Cloud accepts video from nearly any encoder or IP camera, transcodes that video in the cloud, and delivers a high-quality stream in multiple bitrates that can be watched in a customizable player on virtually any device. You don’t have to purchase or maintain hardware, nor is there a need to install or run software locally. You pay only for the resources you use, and can broadcast to audiences large or small with speed and reliability. In addition, because Streaming Cloud is built on a content delivery network (CDN), you can leverage features such as token authentication, geo-blocking, and redundant playlists.

The Wowza Streaming Engine is a robust and reliable media server, but Streaming Cloud may simplify your workflow and allow you more time to focus on what you want to accomplish with your video stream.

Here are our top five reasons to consider migrating your streaming architecture to Wowza Streaming Cloud:

 

1. The Scaling Power of a CDN

Potential spikes and surges in viewership require a scaling plan. This is where a CDN can be your best friend. Because Wowza Streaming Cloud is built upon a CDN, it can deal with unpredictable demands in real time and swiftly accommodate your scaling needs.

Rather than building your own distribution plan with a third-party CDN, Wowza Streaming Cloud does all the work for you and leverages the power of our global distribution points. The CDN that Wowza Streaming Cloud is built upon uses a large network of edge servers placed strategically around the globe to distribute content quickly. This is another powerful example of where you can reduce the amount of time spent managing your streaming solution and let us handle the scaling for you.

The Streaming Cloud algorithms will monitor and adjust accordingly, letting you spend more time interacting with viewers or building revenue-generating features. A poor scalability plan can result in a low-quality streaming experience, so this should be a top priority in your streaming strategy.

 

2. Easily Configure Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (ABR)

Wowza Streaming Cloud offers a great deal of agility. Its automatic creation of adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) files ensures a seamless streaming event for viewers — no matter their device or network conditions. Instead of having to manually create a SMIL file with multiple bitrate and resolution renditions in Streaming Engine, our Wowza Streaming Cloud service does the work for you.

It’s worth noting that ABR can also help minimize distribution costs. By limiting the bandwidth required to deliver streams across a CDN, distributors optimize connectivity expenses.

 

3. Larger Bandwidth and Speed

Having sufficient bandwidth is critical to ensure viewers don’t experience a choppy or buffering stream. One of the most powerful benefits of streaming on a cloud platform is they typically provide a fairly large amount of bandwidth for your scaling needs and high-definition (HD) streams. If you’re doing ABR streaming, where you create multiple renditions of your source video, it adds to the bandwidth requirements for distributing your video. It’s typically recommended you have at least twice the bandwidth of your source bitrate or even higher for 4K resolutions.

Wowza Streaming Cloud offers an efficient advantage over securing enough bandwidth through your local internet service provider (ISP) or potentially dealing with unhappy viewers because you couldn’t provide the stream quality they expected. Keep in mind that with Streaming Cloud, you’ll only pay for the bandwidth you use, which can potentially be a more cost-effective approach.

 

4. Built-In Security and Content Protection

Recent news stories drive home the reality that faster and more effective bot and hacker technology is constantly emerging. That’s why securing your video stream has never been more critical. If you have a subscription service, security is also crucial to ensure that your streaming playback link can’t be shared with unauthorized viewers.

Wowza offers content protection at every step of the workflow in both Streaming Engine and Streaming Cloud. You can be sure that your content is safe no matter which product you use.

Building a robust and secure streaming solution can require a combination approach for both on-premises servers and cloud-based features. We suggest integrating several security options for the highest level of stream protection. This is where Wowza Streaming Cloud can save you a sizable amount of time.

Configuring security through the Cloud UI or the Streaming Cloud REST API is both straightforward and easy. Rather than building out each security component in Wowza Streaming Engine, you’re able to utilize several built-in security options in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

These include:

  • SSL (publish and playback)
  • HTTPS streaming
  • DRM encryption
  • Token Authentication
  • IP Blocking/Allowing
  • User Authentication
  • Geo-blocking
 

5. Cost-Effective Solution

We’ve highlighted a few of the benefits of using Wowza Streaming Cloud above, but it always depends on your specific use case and streaming needs. Some organizations with more advanced security or customization needs might find Streaming Engine to be the better choice.

The most important points to consider when deciding between an on-prem or cloud server are your resources and desired cost model. With a cloud-based platform, you’re able to simplify your architecture and reduce the amount of time that in-house staff spends monitoring your streaming solution.

Simply put, a cloud streaming platform lowers your total cost of ownership (TCO) and allows you more time to build the streaming solutions your end-users want.  Some organizations have even been able to save 15% or more on their streaming by migrating to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

Without managing every detail of their streaming event, video publishers have more time to interact with their viewers in live chat or focus their attention on revenue-generating ads and subscriptions. With minimal setup, fewer hardware requirements, and the option to pay for only what you need, Wowza Streaming Cloud can certainly be a cost-effective solution.

 

Book Time With Our Experts

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider shifting from an on-premises streaming server to a cloud-based solution.

Luckily, we’re here to talk you through the process.

Right now, we’re offering a free one-hour technical consultation with a solutions engineer to evaluate your workflows and see if migrating to Wowza Streaming Cloud is the right move for you.

Book time with a solutions architect today.

 

About Rose Power

Rose Power is the developer community manager for Wowza Media Systems. Passionate about building relationships with the dev community, Rose strives to deliver quality resources for a positive user experience built on trust. When not working, she can be found… View more