i've done some research/reading, and i need clarification on how cloudfront and wowza are complementary or competing. it seems that i may not even need wowza.
for example, if i use amazon web services (aws), it is my understanding that i would upload videos to a S3 bucket. i would then use cloudfront as a CDN to stream those videos from the S3 buckets. i don't know if cloudfront supports cross-platform streaming (e.g. to ios, android, windows phone) out-of-the-box, but it seems from reading, that yes, cloudfront can do cross-platform streaming; i believe cloudfront can do cross-platform streaming only if you upload the video in the appropriate format for the targeted platform.
if cloudfront can do all these things, how does having wowza help? it is my understanding that wowza, out-of-the-box, can take one mp4 and stream that into the appropriate format for different platforms. so, if that's true, then an added on value could be that i would just upload one video into S3 and wowza will stream this as appropriate to the end-user's device. also, i think wowza can do adaptive streaming, so if the network connection is slow, the bit rate will change on-the-fly.
what's confusing is that i see wowza advertising itself with aws, and vice-versa. but it seems there's overlap between the two, and i don't know if i need one or the other or both.
also, aws has regions in the US. my targeted customers are primarily in the us. if i do the combination of s3 + cloudfront + wowza, will i have to stand up streaming environments in all different aws regions?
if it helps to shed some light on my requirements, our service, simply explained, is a video-on-demand service.
First, you can't do live streaming without a MediaServer.
For VOD, if you upload a video to an S3 bucket, and arrange Cloudfront distribution, the playback clients will do progressive download. If you packetize for HLS with other tools and make that available on S3 you should be able to serve HLS clients though CF that way. But Wowza does that on the fly. You can store the file on S3 still, but Wowza will create the packets for HLS, HDS, Smooth and/or Dash clients for CF distribution, and client playback.
CF distribution should get around concerns about region. Any EC2 server can be the origin, and the content will be pulled into their cache and distributed. I think there is a way to limit CF distribution by region, but as I understand it, if clients connect from the US, only US distribution will be utilized.