• Wowza Streaming Engine for Rackspace Cloud: Quick Start Guide

    This article describes the minimum requirements needed to launch Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software on a Rackspace Cloud instance that's running Ubuntu Linux.

    Note: Rackspace is a Works With Wowza™ partner.

    Contents


    Introduction
    Audience
    Licensing
    Create a Rackspace Cloud account
    Configure and start a virtual machine instance
    Connect to the server
    Install Wowza Streaming Engine
    Create firewall rules
    IPv6 support (optional)
    Connect to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager
    Creating an image
    Deleting the instance

    Introduction


    This guide describes how to install and configure Wowza Streaming Engine on a Rackspace Cloud virtual machine that's running Linux. Rackspace Cloud is a cloud-computing platform that virtualizes computing resources as virtual machines. This guide is based on Linux; however, Wowza Streaming Engine is also supported on Windows, OS X, and Unix with Rackspace.

    Audience


    This guide assumes basic familiarity with the processes of connecting to and using Linux servers. If you're not familiar with Linux, you can learn more at the Linux Academy website. This guide also assumes basic familiarity with the Wowza Streaming Engine media server software. If you're not familiar with Wowza Streaming Engine, you can get a free Trial license for the software after you complete a Wowza Streaming Engine Trial request form. The Wowza Streaming Engine Trial download includes the Wowza Streaming Engine software, documentation, and examples. The Wowza Streaming Engine User's Guide contains comprehensive documentation about how to install and use the software.

    Licensing


    With Rackspace Cloud, you must "bring your own license" (BYOL) for the Wowza Streaming Engine software. You can use any Wowza Streaming Engine Subscription or Perpetual license key with your Rackspace Cloud instance. Rackspace manages all billing for your running instance time and bandwidth consumption.

    Wowza Streaming Engine Subscription users will still get a separate monthly invoice from Wowza Media Systems™ for usage of the Streaming Engine software. Subscription users have access to all Wowza Streaming Engine functionality and features, including Wowza Transcoder (for 64-bit instances only), Wowza nDVR, and Wowza DRM.

    Create a Rackspace Cloud account


    To get started using Wowza Streaming Engine on Rackspace Cloud, you must first sign in to your Rackspace Cloud account. If you don't have an account, Create a cloud account.

    Configure and start a virtual machine instance


    After you've logged into the Rackspace Cloud control panel, you can create a virtual server instance. First, in the Cloud Servers panel (on the left), select where you want to create your server. For the purposes of this guide, we'll create a server in the Virginia (Northern Virginia (IAD)) datacenter. Note that London (London (LON)) isn't available, as you must create a separate account for UK servers.



    After selecting a region, click Create Server. You'll be presented with a few sections to configure your server.

    Server Details - This is where you define your server's initial hostname and confirm the region where you want to create it.

    Image - This is where you select the server operating system. For this guide, we'll use Linux Ubuntu 14.04 LTS PVHVM, which offers higher I/O performance.



    After selecting an operating system image, you must define what Rackspace calls 'Flavor'. You have five flavor classes to choose from, and a slider that lets you dial the flavor up or down. The Description window on the right shows the performance values and the hourly cost associated with the flavor. Pay close attention to the network speeds offered, as this will be the biggest factor limiting your streaming media server's capacity.



    Consider the following when specifying your flavor:

    • If you plan to use Wowza Transcoder, you'll need more CPU resources.

    • If you plan to use Wowza nDVR, you'll need more Disk I/O resources.

    Finally, expand Advanced Options, and then click Select Networks to see a list of networks. By default, the system comes with two interfaces, one external and one internal to the Rackspace Cloud for communication between virtual machines. For this guide, we'll leave both these sections unaltered.



    Note: Under Advanced Options, if you have an SSH key you want to use, you can add it in the SSH Key box (this is optional).
    After you've specified your options, click Create Server. The green dot with a $ in it indicates that from this point on, your server will incur usage charges.

    After you create the image, you'll be given a root password.

    Important: This is the ONLY time you'll see this password so be sure to make a note of it.


    If you lose this password, you can change the password from the myCloud panel by clicking the gear icon next to the server, and then selecting Change Password.

    After your server is active, the Server Details screen shows the server's status. At this point, you can enter Reverse DNS details for the system's IPv4 and IPv6 addresses by clicking Add Record. Pick an IP Address, enter a Hostname that you want it to resolve to, and then click Save Record.


    Connect to the server


    To connect to the server via an SSH client such as PuTTY, ZOC, or SecureCRT, use the user name root and the password you recorded from above. An SSH hyperlink will appear in the top right corner of the Rackspace Cloud control panel. If your browser is configured for SSH hyperlinks (ssh://), it'll open your client of choice.

    Install Wowza Streaming Engine


    Issue the following commands to update the package database and install the unzip (file compression), wget (web downloader), and htop (performance monitor) tools:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install wget htop unzip -y
    Afterwards, you can install and configure the Wowza Streaming Engine software. On the Downloads page, right-click the Download link for your selected Linux installer, and then save the the link location to the clipboard.

    Note: If you want to use Wowza Transcoder, be sure to choose a Linux 64-bit installer.
    On the virtual machine, issue the following command to download the Wowza Installer package to the virtual machine by using wget:
    wget {paste link copied to clipboard from previous step}
    Follow the steps on the installer download page to install the package. More information about installing and configuring Wowza Streaming Engine software can be found in our Quick Start Guides.

    Notes:
    • You'll need your license key for Wowza Streaming Engine software to complete this step.

    • Wowza Streaming Engine software is self-tuning.

    Create firewall rules


    Rackspace Cloud virtual machines are fully accessible from the Internet. While a firewall isn't necessary for Wowza Streaming Engine to function, we recommended that you configure a firewall for better security.

    For a more secure environment, we recommended that you turn on your firewall and only open the required ports. To create a firewall on a Rackspace Cloud virtual machine running Ubuntu, you must use the Linux ufw commands. The following examples show how to open a single port and a range of ports in the firewall, and how to turn off the firewall:

    Open a single port in Ubuntu firewall


    sudo ufw allow 1935/tcp

    Open a port range in Ubuntu firewall


    sudo ufw allow 8086:8088/tcp

    Disable Ubuntu firewall


    sudo ufw disable
    For more information, see Ubuntu Basic Firewall Setup.

    Notes:
    • If you chose an image that runs a different server operating system when setting up the virtual machine, refer to the following instructions to set up the firewall for your operating system:

    • By default, many distributions come with the firewall turned on, which can prevent Wowza Streaming Engine from properly. To configure and disable the firewall, refer to the firewall instructions for your operating system.

    IPv6 support (optional)


    Rackspace Cloud supports native IPv6. If you want to enable IPv6 for Wowza Streaming Engine, change the following line in [install-dir]/conf/Tune.xml:

    Change:
    <VMOption>-Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true</VMOption>
    To:
    <VMOption>-Djava.net.preferIPv6Stack=true</VMOption>
    To enable IPv6 for Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, make a similar change in [install-dir]/manager/bin/startmgr.sh in the following line:
    CMD="$_EXECJAVA -Dcom.wowza.wms.ConfigURL="" -Dcom.wowza.wms.ConfigHome=$WMSMGR_HOME -Djava.io.tmpdir=$WMSMGR_HOME/temp -Dlog4j.configuration=file://$WMSMGR_HOME/conf/winstone.properties -Djava.net.preferIPv6Stack=true -jar $WMSMGR_HOME/lib/wms-winstone-1.0.5-boot.jar --prefix="/enginemanager" --defaultWebApp="/enginemanager" --tempDirectory=$WMSMGR_HOME/temp  --webroot=$WMSMGR_HOME/temp --warfile=$WMSMGR_HOME/lib/WMSManager.war --httpPort=8088 --ajp13Port=-1 --directoryListings=false"

    Connect to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager


    In a browser, open the manager using the IP address provided in the Rackspace myCloud page and port 8088:
    http://[2001:4802:7801:103:d113:2041:ff20:4297]:8088/
    Sign in to the manager with the user name and password you chose when you installed the Wowza Streaming Engine software. If this is your first time using Wowza Streaming Engine, click through the introduction pages for a quick overview. Otherwise, click Skip.



    From here, you can refer to the Wowza Streaming Engine Quick Start Guides to finish the process and start streaming.

    Dealing with an incorrect/private IP under connection settings

    If the Host -Server value under Application Connection Settings on the Streaming Engine Manager Home page starts with the number "10", this means that the manager is listing the virtual machine's private IP address. Although this is merely informational, you can open [install-dir]/conf/VHost.xml in a text editor and change the address in <Manager>/<TestPlayer>/<IpAddress>:
    <Manager>
        <TestPlayer>
            <IpAddress>${com.wowza.wms.HostPort.IpAddress}</IpAddress>
            <Port>${com.wowza.wms.HostPort.FirstStreamingPort}</Port>
            <SSLEnable>${com.wowza.wms.HostPort.SSLEnable}</SSLEnable>
        </TestPlayer>
        <!-- Properties defined are used by the Manager -->
        <Properties>
        </Properties>
    </Manager>
    You can use an IP address or valid DNS hostname here. If you're using IPv6, you can create both an A and an AAAA record in your DNS for the same hostname, and clients connecting to the server will use whichever one is available in the order of preference set by the operating system.

    Creating an image


    If you want to save the configuration for later use, you must create an image of the server. In the Rackspace myCloud manager, on the Cloud Servers tab, click the Gear icon next to the server name, and then click Create Image:



    You'll be prompted to give this image a name:



    Click Create Image. The green stripe next to the server will turn into a two-tone "barber pole" to indicate that the image is being created.



    After the image is created, the green bar will return to a solid color. To verify the image:

    1. Click the Server tab, and then click Saved Images:



    2. Verify the image details:



    Deleting the instance


    After you finish using the virtual machine and have created an image that you want to re-use, you can delete the machine. This will shut down the instance, de-allocate all resources assigned to it, and stop usage billing for the instance.
    Note: This is permanent. If you haven't created an image, any data on this instance is deleted forever.
    In the Rackspace myCloud manager, on the Cloud Servers tab, click the Gear icon next to the server name, and then click Delete Server. You'll be asked to confirm the request.



    After you've confirmed this, the "barber pole" indicates that the deletion process has started:



    When the process is complete, the server is removed and you'll no longer incur usage charges for its resources.

    Originally Published: 04-04-2014.
    Updated: For Wowza Streaming Engine 4.2 on 09-16-2015.

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