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Willow | Wowza Media Server Management made easy

Willow | Wowza Media Server Management made easy

Willow is the answer to any Wowza Media Server developer’s or administrator’s problem of how to see what your Wowza Media Server is doing at any one time.We created Willow to meet our needs to be able to see what is going with our applications and servers publishing and playing all types of streams and shared objects. The current tools that exist to monitor Wowza Media Server didn’t meet our needs and we decided to build an application that would.


Willow provides realtime graphical and data based updates on the server that you are connected to. We have added in graphs and grids of data to help you understand what is happening not only throughout the application, but also down to each instance of any application that is running on the server.

For the data that is associated with your instance in shared objects, we also have the ability to dig into them to see what the values may be at a given time. This is helpful if you use shared objects to remember the state of the application or record data to then push out later. If you’re wondering why your shared objects aren’t working as you expect, this is an indispensable tool to help in debugging.

After all the graphs and data telling you what your applications are doing, we also have the ability for simple management of your Wowza Media Server applications by adding, removing and disabling them and introspecting the application.xml files for them. This functionality is the beginning of a lot as far as we are concerned and makes it easy to get started with a new application if you are doing simple live or VOD streaming. If you need to upload a JAR file, you’ll still need to do that via FTP and then restart the service for the JAR file to take effect.


First up is the login area. Being avid users of live media servers for the past 12 years, we understand that there is almost no way that you’ll only have just one server running at once. For our login screen we have set it up so that you can make as many shortcuts as you need. Clicking the “Add New Connection” button will open up a panel to put in the required information to login to a server with Willow installed on it.

Once you have your shortcuts setup, hovering over them will give you options to edit or delete them as you may be working on Amazon or other cloud servers and they will tend to go up and down quite often. Flexibility is the key.

Once logged in there are 4 options to choose from depending on what you want to do with your Wowza Media Server. Keeping track of connections, bandwidth, users, streams, shared objects and general activity either server-wide or all the way down to specific instances of applications.

The Dashboard covers what you would expect, overall live stats of the server, bandwidth, memory usage, connections and top 10 apps based on either connections or bandwidth. All of this information is updated live as the server reports it which allows you to monitor all aspects of your Wowza Media Server in one place.

The Applications tab allows you to see at a glance which applications are running on your server along with the instances for each one of them. Clicking on any particular application will open up the list of instances for that application. From there you can click on an instance and the details area will update with the application’s instance’s details which again allows you to delve deeply. We’ll cover more on that below.

The Streams tab shows you all streams that are active on the server at that point and updates live to let you monitor the activity on the server in realtime. Each entry will let you know the file being played or recorded and whether it is live or VOD with related information for each of those.

Lastly, the Server Management area is where you will create, delete, introspect and also disable/enable applications on the fly. More information on this area will be covered in another post, but essentially you may use this area if you are curious as to what is in the Application.xml file for an application (introspection), or maybe need to temporarily disable an application to not allow connections and then reenable it when you are ready or even just straight out delete and application if you know you don’t need it. Finally, this area will allow you to create a simple application to start streaming VOD or Live at a moment’s notice. Combine that with the above it’s very handy to do testing or put up a quick prototype to allow testing and then bring back down.

Finally, you can log out which then puts you back at the login screen to again connect to another server or create more shortcuts.

Taking advantage of both data and graph based information, we have allowed Willow users to keep track of bandwidth, connections and memory in a clearly understandable format. The graphs show at a quick glance by either mousing over a particular point in time or even selecting a range of time with a click and drag to zoom in and see what happened within that range.

These graphs are available both as an overview of for the whole server and also for each instance of each application. It doesn’t get any easier to see what is going on within your Wowza Media Server and help either troubleshoot issues and problems or even just track what is going on to see if you need to balance out the load on the server based on either bandwidth or connection count or memory usage.

Diving into each application allows you to check out the RTMP based users, shared objects that are being used in that instance, streams being played, recorded and published and overall performance. We’ve even included the ability to kick users out right from the area shown in the screenshot below! Monitoring and managing of apps in Wowza Media Server has never been easier.

Willow was built for developers and server administrators to be able to monitor their Wowza Media Servers in realtime. The information provided in both data and graph format is invaluable to understand what is happening on the server down to the individual instances of each application running at any one time.

You can see the product page here.

View our screencasts of Willow here

We have four screencasts now, the latest covers v1.1 which was just released today!:

Willow v1 for Wowza Media Server : Introduction Screencast

Willow v1 for Wowza Media Server : More Details of Willow Screencast

Willow v1 for Wowza Media Server : Delving into Admin Functionality Screencast

Willow v1.1 for Wowza Media Server Screencast of New Features

The latest features are:

Added instance details and refresh options to performance view of an application’s instance area

Changed buttons in the application’s instance area (UI improvement)

Added ability to add class definitions to Application.xml file in Server Management

Added ability to test connectivity to an application on the server and test play a stream in Server Management

Added ability to change Willow’s admin username and password in Server Management

Changed layout of Server Management (UI improvement)

We have lots of new features coming up. While we still at this point have the “early adopters” deal going on where the upgrades to Willow are free for the life of the product, it’s not going to last much longer.

I’d like to thank all those that have reached either by email, phone, skype or PM and let me know what they think of Willow. It’s been great talking to all of you and I love getting input in both the good and the bad. It definitely helps shape the product to be better and meet more needs.

Version 1.2 was released today and added a very much needed Live Log feature to Willow. This feature allows you to see the logging of Wowza go by in realtime and filter it based on your needs with a keyword or phrase. Very handy for debugging!

Check out the screencast of this newest feature here: Willow v1.2 for Wowza Media Server Screencast of New Features

Willow for Wowza Media Server v1.3 was released today which now gives you the ability to see some statistics on a load balancer Wowza Media Server.

Check out the screencast of it here. Find out even more about Willow for Wowza Media Server here.

Thank you videodoctor, just noticed your post now! Glad to hear it is working well for you.

Version 1.5 was just released today. Adds in the ability to see how much disk space is available per instance and also a couple of bug fixes. All details are at the bottom of the product page in the version section. Version 1.6 is just around the corner too, I’ll post back again soon!

Find out even more about Willow for Wowza Media Server here.

A new version of Willow is now available with advanced configuration for new applications and a new language for the user interface. No more messing with folders and Application.xml files! Very handy.

Along with English as the default, we’ve added in German with many more languages to go. Check out Willow for Wowza Media Server here. The screencast for version 1.6 and 1.7 changes is here.

We have just released a big update to Willow for Wowza Media Server today putting the version at 1.8.

This version includes as big of an update as the last in that we have added in the ability to now edit the Application.xml file for an application straight from Willow. Not only can you create new Application.xml files from Willow, you can edit them! There is now no reason at all to go messing around with the XML file for an application, you can do it all in one place and monitor your server at the same time!

The other large update is advanced filtering of the live log. You can now filter based on a type of event:

This is extremely useful if you have a lot of log entries going by at once. With that, you can also set the log length if you want more history than what is provided.

Find out even more about Willow for Wowza Media Server here.

We have a minor update released for Willow yesterday putting the version at 1.8.5.

We have a few minor layout changes for a better look, lots more going on with this idea for future versions too. We also added in version checking to match client and server side with a warning if they don’t match up. Very important for features that are specific to versions.

Also, in the dashboard there is an indication of the OS type and version of the server and we added in a feature request by one of our clients of forcing garbage collection on the server with the simple click of a button.

Find out even more about Willow for Wowza Media Server here.

Version 1.9.2 was released today for Willow. Some bug fixes and a new feature to show the up time of the server.

That said, v1.9 brought some great new features that I forgot to post here about. With the 1.9 update we have added the ability to create authentication methods that are generally used with RTP connections and HTTPProviders in Wowza. With that, we have also added the ability to create password files and then apply them to current or new authentication methods straight from the GUI of Willow. No more fiddling around on the server to create these and then apply them in the Application.xml, it’s as easy as filling out a few fields and saving your changes.

A quick post to note that v1.9.5 is out and also that I have posted in more detail what our multi-server monitoring area is going to look and work like.

Willow v2 for Wowza Media Server has finally been released and is available for download to all of our version 1 users as a free upgrade.

Willow v2 has a few new features in the desktop version to note, but more importantly we now have a mobile version of Willow available for the iPad and can be downloaded right now for free from the Apple app store. The mobile version of Willow allows you to monitor your server’s bandwidth, connections, memory, applications and instances and streams from your iPad in realtime. We will be putting up an Android version shortly and I’ll post up again when that is done. I personally use a Nexus 10 as my primary so I absolutely see it as a priority to get it up. It’s close… let’s put it that way.

For new features in the desktop version, we have our new multi-server monitoring area.

This allows you to view more than one server at a time to see what the bandwidth and connections are doing, and then if you want to find out more then you just click button to do so and you are in the regular monitoring view of that server. Powerful and convenient.

Other improvements include a more detailed connectivity testing area, layout and design improvements and some overall performance based adjustments. We have some underlying framework in place for some future functionality as we have big plans for v2 and on to v3 as well.

For the remainder of this week and weekend we will be keeping the price at $149 but that will increase to $159 from next week so I encourage you to get in while the getting is good if you’re on the fence, or even if you are not! Willow is by far the most advanced realtime monitoring software you can purchase for Wowza Media Server at this time and we consider an absolute requirement for development and production.

For an overview of what Willow v2 does, see this screencast. See the product page for Willow also for more detailed information.

If you have purchased Willow and did not get an email then please let me know. Either way though, you can just go and login to the client area and download the latest. Installation is simple with three files to copy and one change to make for the mobile version.

Willow for Mobile has been released on the Google Play Store now. All details and links can be found here for the mobile version:

We have an update out today for our Wowza administration and monitoring console, Willow for Wowza Media Server. We’re hard at work at adding in more features and getting requests on a regular basis. Again, thanks everybody for the input, Willow only gets better because of it.

From version 2.1, it’s now possible to setup email notifications for certain events (as can be seen in the screenshot above). Very helpful when you need to know when something goes on while you’re not around that you want to monitor. For this version it will be possible to get notifications for when an admin user logs in, fails to log in, when a particular connection count over the server has been reached and/or when a particular bandwidth limit has been reached.

Along with that, there was a small bug that was squashed in the connection tester video player for the mute button and we have moved the live log line count setting to the Application.xml so it will persist.

An update for Willow was released today. Details are here. Slightly new branding and a slightly new direction!

Graeme, I’m really impressed with this product. Thank you for making it, and making it simple and effective to use!