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Common Workflows for Wowza CDN Live Streaming

July 17, 2017 by James Jackson

Whether you’re a producer streaming live events or a developer building SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications, there’s an effective way to reach your viewers where they are. Wowza Streaming EngineTM software and the Wowza CDN service deliver a highly integrated workflow—enabling you to scale delivery to audiences of any size, anywhere in the world, while keeping the focus on your content.

Delivering live events, 24x7 streams and applications or services using a content delivery network (CDN) is a common method for reaching large-scale audiences. Whether you’re leveraging a UI (user interface) or an automated workflow, Wowza Streaming Engine delivery through Wowza CDN offers outstanding workflow simplification and economy.

 

Programmatic Workflows for Delivery at Scale

Delivery at scale involves doing things repeatedly—and, as most developers know, if you’re going to do things repeatedly, you may as well automate them. Wowza Streaming Engine and the Wowza Streaming Cloud service both include comprehensive APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), placing very few limitations on the types of workflows you can build, automate and scale for global streaming delivery.

 

An automated workflow for delivering streams through a CDN typically involves the following steps:

  1. Setting up your incoming stream.

  2. Running a test.

  3. Configuring a target on your CDN.

  4. Properly configuring your stream output for your CDN.

  5. Running a test.

  6. Setting your CDN as the target for your stream.

  7. Authenticating.

  8. Delivering.

  9. Running a test.

 

Deep integration between Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza CDN leverages connection codes to "automagically" configure stream output, connect to the proper CDN target and authenticate streaming.

With this simple REST API-based workflow, you can reliably and repeatedly stream passthrough and adaptive bitrate (ABR) content to any size audience, anywhere in the world. (Learn more about REST API CDN delivery.)

 

Using Wowza technology shortens the typical workflow, reducing the steps by almost half:

  1. Setting up your incoming stream.

  2. Running a test.

  3. Configuring a target on your CDN.

  4. Delivering.

  5. Running a test.

 

Modifying Programmatic Workflows to Ensure SSL Delivery

This workflow can also be quickly modified in order to enhance security. Thanks to the deep integration enabled by the Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza CDN connection codes, you can easily configure for secure sockets layer (SSL) delivery. You can use one of two workflows to achieve this:

By default this workflow is automatically configured for secure ingest and to support secure (https) delivery but you can also issue a speicific request of the endpoint to do so.

 

Adding Secure Configuration to the Payload in Step Three (Above)

curl -X POST --header "wsc-api-key: [Your API Key]" --header "wsc-access-key: [Access Key for this stream]" --header "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{

"stream_target": {

"name": "MyStreamTarget",

"provider": "akamai_cupertino",

"type": "WowzaStreamTarget",

"use_secure_ingest": true

}

}' "https://api.cloud.wowza.com/api/v1/stream_targets/""

 

This approach brings a variety of benefits, including:

  • Easy configuration—no need to be a streaming expert. By leveraging built-in intelligence through the connection-code authentication, you can configure and optimize your Wowza Streaming Engine output for global CDN delivery, without needing to know all the necessary settings. In this way, Wowza CDN simply tells Wowza Streaming Engine what stream format is needed—including your desired security settings.

  • Send and receive secure streams with no extra effort. These workflows tell the CDN to not only send streams securely, but to receive them securely, as well—without any extra steps.

  • Use this workflow again and again. By following these instructions, you can quickly build a salable, repeatable workflow for delivering professional-grade streams with the industry-leading Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza CDN.

Note: To use these API workflows, you will need to have a Wowza Streaming Cloud account. You will also need to update the default REST API limits. Contact Wowza Account Management to ensure your account and billing information is properly configured for Wowza CDN delivery.

 

Delivery at Scale Using UI Workflows

Programmatic methods are great for building workflows you’ll use repeatedly. However, content producers, non-technical users and those streaming one-time or occasional events may prefer to simply go through a user interface (UI). Built on top of Wowza REST APIs, the Wowza Streaming Engine Manager UI delivers the same level of capabilities as using a programmatic workflow, leveraging the deep integration between Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza CDN.

Beginning with the 4.7 release of Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, users with a Wowza CDN subscription have the ability to configure, start and deliver streams globally on an industry-leading CDN—all from a single UI for a low, flat rate. (To learn more about delivery at scale using UI workflows, see How to Stream to Wowza CDN from Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.)

No need to log into multiple interfaces. No need to figure out what size your audience is, or where they’re all located. No need to worry about varying costs in different regions and overages. With Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza CDN, you can reach audiences both large and small, wherever they are on the planet, with no extra effort.

Have questions or need additional help? Join the conversation on or our #livestreaming Slack channel or in the Wowza Community Forums.

To see how easy it is to configure Wowza Streaming Engine for delivery through Wowza CDN, check out this video:

 

Full Video Transcription

Justin Miller: Wowza CDN is part of Wowza Streaming Cloud’s edge network. It’s a great pay-as-you-go option that can be licensed separately and used with Wowza Streaming Engine. In this video, we’ll use the Stream Targets feature of Wowza Streaming Engine to send a multi-bitrate live stream to a Wowza CDN endpoint.

In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, go under “Applications” and access the live application. Since we’re doing a multi-bitrate stream, we’ll need to go to “Transcoder” for this application, and enable the transcoder. Don’t restart yet, but head over to Stream Targets.

Wowza CDN configurations are controlled at the stream level. Here, we’ll select Wowza CDN and add the multi-bitrate stream target name. This should be something that helps you identify it, indicating its destination, protocol and rendition.

We’ll publish this “multiple adaptive-bitrate,” and I’ll use the active incoming stream name “GoCoderHome” as my source stream name—and leave the destination server alone for now, as this will be my primary entry point. We can choose to make it backup or redundant. Now let’s sign in with our associated username and password to authenticate.

Once we’re done, add the target. Our configuration will be saved with the playback URL listed. Now, let’s enable Stream Target. And once we confirm this decision, we can restart the application, and see the changes take effect.

Since I’ve restarted the application, I will need to reconnect the stream. But once the incoming stream is active, we can go back under Stream Targets, and we’ll see the status go from yellow and “waiting” to green and “active.”

As I mentioned at the start, Wowza CDN is part of Wowza Streaming Cloud’s edge network. So to see usage and view info, we’ll need to go to Wowza Stream Cloud and log in. Under “Advanced,” go to “Stream Targets” and locate the target. Here you can access usage and viewer data info, but you can also manage HLS playback over SSL, geo-blocking and token authorization.

That’s it from Wowza. Thanks for watching.

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James Jackson

Chicagoan-gone-Coloradan James Jackson is a director of product marketing at Wowza, where he drives alignment of solutions and product marketing with customer needs. He has over 10 years of experience in product management, product marketing, and business development in industries ranging from CDNs to energy management.