Upgrade from Wowza Media Server to Wowza Streaming Engine

This guide provides instructions for upgrading from Wowza Media Server™ software version 3.x to Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software version 4.x.

Note: For instructions on updating from an older version of Wowza Streaming Engine to the newest version of the software, see Update your Wowza Streaming Engine installation.

Upgrade readme and requirements


Wowza Streaming Engine was previously called Wowza Media Server. We changed the name to reflect the software's transformation from its early days as a single platform media server to its current functionality as robust, customizable, and scalable server software that powers reliable streaming of high-quality audio and video to any device.

To ensure a successful upgrade, follow the instructions in this article carefully.

  • Before you start, make sure that you have a license key for Wowza Streaming Engine 4 software. If you've forgotten your license key, contact billing@wowza.com.
  • You must uninstall your Wowza Media Server installation before you can install your new Wowza Streaming Engine software. This means that if you want to preserve your media content and custom media server settings, you must back up these items.

The upgrade instructions in this article provide all the steps for backing up your Wowza Media Server 3 configuration, installing Wowza Streaming Engine 4 with your new license key, and restoring your Wowza Media Server 3 content and settings to work with your upgraded software.

MediaCache AddOn, Push Publishing AddOn, and Media Security features that were separate modules in Wowza Media Server are built into Wowza Streaming Engine. If you used these modules for Wowza Media Server, you must configure them separately after you upgrade.

After upgrading, the following content might be useful as you come up to speed with Wowza Streaming Engine:

Upgrade policies


Existing users

License keys for Wowza Media Server won't work with Wowza Streaming Engine. New license keys are required. Determine your license type and then go to our Upgrade webpage to review our upgrade policies and to request an upgrade.

New users

Best practices for upgrading to Wowza Streaming Engine (video)


Upgrade from Wowza Media Server to Wowza Streaming Engine


Note: You will use Wowza Streaming Engine Manager to re-create your Wowza Media Server configuration on your new Wowza Streaming Engine deployment. Wowza Media Server configuration files may not work if you try to use them in a Wowza Streaming Engine installation. If you want to use Wowza Media Server application configuration (Application.xml) files with Wowza Streaming Engine, follow the instructions in this section to back up the files and see Restore Wowza Media Server software configuration files for more information.

1. Back up server configuration, content, and custom files.

Back up the following folders from your existing software installation to a safe place on your hard drive outside of the Wowza Media Server installation directory:

  • [install-dir]/conf
    Wowza Media Server configuration files and license keys

     

    Important: Don't include [install-dir]/conf/jmxremote.access in the backup.

  • [install-dir]/content
    On-demand video files
  • [install-dir]/logs
    Wowza Media Server log files (if needed for your own billing purposes for clients)
  • [install-dir]/lib
    Custom modules
  • [install-dir]/transcoder/templates
    Transcoder AddOn templates

2. Uninstall Wowza Media Server.

Perpetual, Developer, and Evaluation licenses – Uninstall Wowza Media Server before installing Wowza Streaming Engine. This is required by the Wowza Streaming Engine upgrade agreement.

See the "Server Installation" chapter in the Wowza Media Server User's Guide for information about how to uninstall Wowza Media Server. Instructions are included for all supported operating systems.

If you want to have both Wowza Media Server software and Wowza Streaming Engine software installed at the same time, both installations must be properly licensed. You can use a Wowza Streaming Engine Trial or Developer license to evaluate the current release while your current Wowza Media Server license is still in use in your production environment.

Subscription licenses – Until you stop your running Wowza Media Server instance, you'll continue to be billed for any instances. A 1-hour grace period is routinely provided to allow for maintenance, such as upgrades and switching to new hardware. You can use this grace period to deploy a new Wowza Streaming Engine instance and then stop an existing Wowza Media Server instance without being billed for two running instances. If the two instances run for more than 1 hour, you'll be billed for two instances.

Note: You can continue to run your existing Wowza Media Server instance(s) and new Wowza Streaming Engine instance(s) concurrently. This means that you can provision a new Wowza Streaming Engine server instance(s) without stopping your current Wowza Media Server instance(s). It's important to note that, for example, if your Wowza Media Server Subscription license is still running, and you start a Wowza Streaming Engine Subscription license, you'll be billed for two (2) running instances.

3. Wowza Streaming Engine license keys

A license key is required to install and run Wowza Streaming Engine. The license key you enter when you run Wowza Streaming Engine Setup is stored in the [install-dir]/conf/Server.license file in the Wowza Streaming Engine installation:

Windows - %WMSCONFIG_HOME%confServer.license
OS X - /Library/WowzaStreamingEngine-[version]/conf/Server.license
Linux/Unix - /usr/local/WowzaStreamingEngine-[version]/conf/Server.license

If you purchase a Subscription license, you can install and run an unlimited number of Wowza Streaming Engine instances under the single license key. You can also purchase a Perpetual license for a single server instance. The license keys for the software enable you to use the integrated Transcoder, nDVR, and DRM technologies for the licensed instance.

Notes:

  • You can use your license key to deploy Wowza Streaming Engine software in the cloud and stream your content from high-performance virtual machines hosted remotely by third-party providers. Wowza Streaming Engine software works with virtually all cloud-hosting services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace. For more information, see Cloud Technologies.
  • If you have questions about the available Wowza Streaming Engine licenses or pricing, contact sales@wowza.com.
  • If you've forgotten your license key, contact billing@wowza.com.

4. Install Wowza Streaming Engine

Upgrading or patching from Wowza Media Server software builds to Wowza Streaming Engine isn't supported. You must complete a full installation to upgrade to Wowza Streaming Engine. For installation requirements and instructions, see the "Server Installation" chapter in the Wowza Streaming Engine User's Guide.

Note: When configuring your newly installed Wowza Streaming Engine instance, we recommend that you don't copy your Wowza Media Server configuration files to your new Wowza Streaming Engine installation. Updated features may not work properly with Application.xml files from your Wowza Media Server installation and new features can't be configured. Wowza Streaming Engine Manager may not display Wowza Media Server configuration settings and/or unexpected behavior may occur. The Wowza Streaming Engine installer includes updated Application.xml files that you can configure in Streaming Engine Manager, using your older configuration files as a reference.

5. Tune Wowza Streaming Engine

Wowza Streaming Engine is automatically tuned to take best advantage of available hardware resources when the server starts. The server calculates an appropriate Java heap size, garbage collection (GC) settings, and other Java command-line options based on available hardware, the computer and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) bitness, and other factors.

By default, the server sets the Java heap size to a value that's suitable for application development environments. Before you deploy the server in production environments, where it may use memory extensively when heavily loaded, you can select an option in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager that automatically sets the heap size to a predefined value that's appropriate for production use. You can use Wowza Streaming Engine Manager to adjust many performance settings from the default values that are calculated by the server to fine-tune the server's performance. For more information, see Tune Wowza Streaming Engine for optimal performance.

6. Restore Wowza Media Server software configuration files

Important: We recommend that you only use your backed-up Wowza Media Server configuration files as a reference to help you re-create your streaming applications in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. Updated features may not work properly using Application.xml files from your Wowza Media Server installation and new features can't be configured. The Wowza Streaming Engine Manager user interface may not display Wowza Media Server configuration settings and/or unexpected behavior may occur. Only proceed with the instructions in this section if you're sure that you want to continue.

If you add or replace Application.xml files in the Wowza Streaming Engine [install-dir]/conf directory with Application.xml files that you backed up from your Wowza Media Server software installation, most properties should be recognized and updated properly in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager when you start it and your applications should still work. However, some properties won't be recognized and reflected in the manager user interface. For this reason, we recommend that you recreate your application configuration using the settings in Streaming Engine Manager, especially if your previous application configuration is highly customized.

To import Wowza Media Server Application.xml configuration files to your Wowza Streaming Engine installation, do the following:

  1. Make sure that you're signed out of Wowza Streaming Engine Manager and that the Streaming Engine software and Manager is stopped (See Start and stop Wowza Streaming Engine software.)
  2. Open the backed-up Application.xml file in a text editor, and add the <Name> and <AppType> properties to the <Root>/<Application> section of the file:
    <Root>
         <Application>
              <Name>[application-name]</Name>
              <AppType>[application-type]</AppType>
    [application-name] must be a unique application name in your Wowza Streaming Engine deployment.

    [application-type] must be one of the following values: Live, LiveEdge, LiveHTTPOrigin, VOD, VODEdge, VODHTTPOrigin, SHOUTcast, VideoChat
  3. Copy the updated Application.xml to your Wowza Streaming Engine installation configuration directory ([install-dir]/conf/[application-name]).
  4. If necessary, create the application folder [install-dir]/applications/[application-name].
  5. Start Wowza Streaming Engine and sign-in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager with the Administrator account that you created when you installed the Wowza Streaming Engine software:

  6. Click the Applications tab in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. The imported application configuration should be displayed in the contents panel.
  7. Click the application name in the contents panel and update settings as needed.

Make updates for AddOns


LiveStreamRecord updates

LiveStreamRecord, formerly a free AddOn for Wowza Media Server 3.1.2 (and earlier) and built-in with Wowza Media Server software (version 3.5 or later), is incorporated into Wowza Streaming Engine as incoming streams. You can record live streams to on-demand files in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, by making HTTP URL queries, or programmatically. You can split in-process live stream recording archives into multiple on-demand MP4 (QuickTime container) or FLV (Flash Video container) files automatically, with the split points based on video duration, clock time, or file size.

If you configured the LiveStreamRecord HTTP provider in Wowza Media Server 3.1.2 (or earlier), update the BaseClass and AuthenticationMethod properties in the [install-dir]/conf/VHost.xml configuration as shown in the following code sample before upgrading to Wowza Streaming Engine:

<HTTPProvider>
	<BaseClass>com.wowza.wms.livestreamrecord.http.HTTPLiveStreamRecord</BaseClass>
	<RequestFilters>livestreamrecord*</RequestFilters>
	<AuthenticationMethod>admin-digest</AuthenticationMethod>
</HTTPProvider>

For more information about how to use incoming streams, see Record live streams in Wowza Streaming Engine.

MediaSecurity updates

Security features such as SecureToken, RTMP authentication, and RTSP authentication that were provided in the MediaSecurity AddOn, the Wowza Module Collection, and built-in with Wowza Media Server software (version 3.5 or later) are merged into a ModuleCoreSecurity module in Wowza Streaming Engine. If you import Application.xml files from a Wowza Media Server installation to Wowza Streaming Engine, you must remove security modules from the Application.xml file and configure their corresponding settings in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager instead. For a list of the security modules that were merged into the new ModuleCoreSecurity module and their corresponding settings in Streaming Engine Manager, see "Updating from Wowza Media Server software" in Configure security using Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. This article also provides instructions for configuring each security setting in the manager.

MediaCache updates

Media Cache technology (formerly a free AddOn for Wowza Media Server 2.0 and later) is built into Wowza Streaming Engine and can be configured in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. The Media Cache system is a read-through caching mechanism that helps to increase the scalability of on-demand streaming. To retain your MediaCache settings from your Wowza Media Server software installation, do the following:

  1. Open the conf/MediaCache.xml file from your Wowza Streaming Engine installation in a text editor and change the full class path to the MediaCacheSource implementation that's used to deliver the content. Change the MediaCacheSource implementations as shown below so that they will work with the Wowza Streaming Engine software:

    Wowza Media Server:
    <BaseClass>com.wowza.wms.plugin.mediacache.impl.MediaCacheItemHTTPImpl</BaseClass>
    <BaseClass>com.wowza.wms.plugin.mediacache.impl.MediaCacheItemFileImpl</BaseClass>
    Wowza Streaming Engine:
    <BaseClass>com.wowza.wms.mediacache.impl.MediaCacheItemHTTPImpl</BaseClass>
    <BaseClass>com.wowza.wms.mediacache.impl.MediaCacheItemFileImpl</BaseClass>
  2. Replace the conf/MediaCache.xml file in the Wowza Streaming Engine installation with the updated MediaCache.xml file.

For details about how to configure Media Cache in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, see How to scale on-demand streaming with Media Cache.

Push publishing updates

Push publishing technology, formerly provided by a free AddOn for Wowza Media Server 3.1.2 (and later) is built into Wowza Streaming Engine. Push publishing allows you to send live streams to destinations such as content delivery networks (CDNs) and services over a variety of protocols. The destinations distribute your live stream, enabling you to scale your Wowza Streaming Engine implementation, computing resources, and delivery options for a variety of scenarios. The Stream Targets feature in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager lets you configure push publishing. If you manually created stream targets by editing the push publishing map file in Wowza Media Server software, the map entries will appear in your live application's Stream Targets page in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager after you upgrade.

For details about how to configure Stream Targets in Wowza Streaming Engine, see How to use CDNs and services to distribute live streams (push publishing).

Closed captioning updates

If you used Wowza Media Server 3.5.0 (and later) to serve sidecar caption files to players, you'll need to re-enable the CaptionFile HTTP provider in Wowza Streaming Engine. For information, see Use external caption files with Wowza Streaming Engine video-on-demand streams.

More resources


If you need help to complete your software upgrade, contact Wowza Technical Support. In your Wowza Streaming Engine Support ticket, be sure to specify the license type that you have. To learn about the variety of support resources that we offer to our user community, see our Support webpage.

Note: Maintenance and support is included with Wowza Streaming Engine subscription licenses, or may be purchased as one-year or three-year contracts for Wowza Streaming Engine perpetual licenses. A valid Maintenance and Support contract is required to get help from our technical support engineers. To learn about the benefits that a Maintenance and Support contract provides, see our Wowza Streaming Engine Maintenance and Support webpage.

To get updaters, sign in to your Wowza account and click the the My Downloads tab. You must have an active Maintenance and Support contract to get updaters.

For details about released software builds and updates, see Latest software updates for Wowza Streaming Engine.

For instructions on updating from an older version of Wowza Streaming Engine to the current version, see Update your Wowza Streaming Engine installation.