• Wowza Streaming Engine for Linux on Azure: Quick Start Guide

    This guide describes how to install and use Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software on a Ubuntu Linux 14.04 Microsoft Azure virtual machine instance. Microsoft Azure is a cloud-computing platform that virtualizes computing resources as virtual machines. Wowza Media Systems™ provides pre-configured and tuned Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine images that are ready to start in Microsoft Azure without using command-line tools. The Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine includes a default startup package that supports live and on-demand (VOD) streaming.

    Notes:

    Contents


    Getting started
    Licensing
    Sign up for Microsoft Azure
    Set up a Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine
    Connect to the virtual machine
    Add your Wowza Streaming Engine license key
    Change the Administrator account for Wowza Streaming Engine Manager
    Test the virtual machine instance
    Stop the instance
    Delete the instance

    Getting started


    This guide assumes basic familiarity with Linux operating systems and Wowza Streaming Engine software. If you're not familiar with Wowza Streaming Engine, you can get a free 180-day trial license for the software after you complete a Wowza Streaming Engine Trial request form. The Wowza Streaming Engine Trial Edition 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


    There are two ways to license Wowza Streaming Engine software on Microsoft Azure.

    For versions 4.5 and earlier, you can bring your own license (BYOL) for the Wowza Streaming Engine software. With a BYOL license, you can use any Wowza Streaming Engine subscription or perpetual license key with your Microsoft Azure instance. BYOL licensees have access to all Wowza Streaming Engine functionality and features, including Wowza Transcoder (for 64-bit instances only), Wowza nDVR, and Wowza DRM.

    For BYOL licenses, Microsoft manages the billing for your running instance time, storage, and bandwidth consumption. If you use a Monthly license key, you'll also get a monthly invoice from Wowza for usage of the Streaming Engine software.

    For version 4.5 and later, you can purchase a Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine image from Microsoft that includes a Pro Edition license for the Streaming Engine software. The embedded Pro Edition license enables unlimited use of the Transcoder, nDVR, and DRM features. This paid licensing option provides the convenience of a combined monthly invoice from Microsoft for running instance time, storage, bandwidth consumption, and Wowza Streaming Engine usage.

    Sign up for Microsoft Azure


    You must subscribe to Microsoft Azure before you can start using Wowza Streaming Engine for Microsoft Azure. If you're new to Microsoft Azure, Microsoft offers a 30-day free trial so you can try it out. You must use a Microsoft account to subscribe to Azure or to try out the 30-day Azure Preview.


    To get started using Wowza Streaming Engine for Microsoft Azure, sign in to the Azure Management Portal using your Microsoft account. The portal enables you to create and manage your Azure cloud resources, such as websites, virtual machines, and storage accounts, from a web browser. After you get started, the portal will be your home to configure, monitor, and scale your resources.


    Set up a Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine


    Get a pre-configured Wowza Streaming Engine software virtual machine image

    1. In the Azure Management Portal Dashboard, click Marketplace.



    2. In the Marketplace blade, click Everything.

    3. In the Everything blade, type Wowza in the Search Everything box, and then press Enter.

    4. In the search results, click Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0: Linux (BYOL) or Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0: Linux (PAID) depending on which licensing option you're using.

    5. In the machine image blade, click Create to start configuring the Wowza Streaming Engine for Linux virtual machine.

    Configure the virtual machine

    Use the Create virtual machine blade to configure your Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine.



    1. In the Basics blade, complete the following:

      1. In Name, enter a name for your virtual machine. The name becomes part of the URI that's used to contact the virtual machine and must be unique in the Azure cloud domain (.cloudapp.net).

      2. In User name, type the name of the account that you'll use to administer the virtual machine (you can't use root for the user name). Then under Authentication type, click SSH public key and copy and paste an OpenSSH public key that will be used to authenticate the account user name.



        Note: You can generate an OpenSSH public key with tools like ssh-keygen on Linux and OS X or PuTTYgen on Windows. For details, see How to Use SSH with Linux and Mac on Azure.
      3. In Resource group, specify the resource group. To select an existing resource group, click Use existing, and then click the arrow in the list box to reveal existing resource groups. To create a new resource group, click Create new, and then type a name for it in the list box.

        For details, see Manage Azure resources through portal.

      4. In Location, select the region where the virtual machine instance will be located. It's best to select a location that has the lowest latency to a camera or encoder that's delivering a live stream to the Wowza Streaming Engine media server.

    2. In the Choose a size blade, click View all to review all of the available sizes and their feature and pricing information. Click the size that you want to use, and then click Select.

      The Standard sizes offer the most flexibility and support all virtual machine configurations and features. The Basic sizes are an economical option for development workloads, test servers, and other applications that don't require load balancing, auto-scaling, or memory-intensive virtual machines.

      Notes
      • We recommend the A2, D2_V2, or D3_V2 sizes.

      • Don't use the A0 size. It doesn't have enough CPU resources to run Wowza Streaming Engine software.
    3. In the Settings blade, configure the storage and network settings for the virtual machine.

      Adding a firewall rule to enable support for RTP and MPEG-TS UDP streaming

      Some encoders may deliver live streams to Wowza Streaming Engine over UDP. To allow them to connect, create a new inbound rule in your default firewall settings:

      1. In the Settings blade, click Network security group (firewall).

      2. In the Choose network security group blade, click Create new.

      3. In the Create network security group blade, click Add an inbound rule.

      4. In the Add inbound security rule blade, specify the following information:

        • In Name, enter a name for your rule.

        • In Priority, enter a value that specifies when your new rule will be processed in relation to the other default rules.

        • Under Source, select an option to specify from which IP address/IP address range the inbound traffic will come from.

        • Under Protocol, click UDP, and then in Source port range, enter the UDP port or port range that the inbound traffic will use.

        • Configure the Destination and Destination port range options to specify the destination IP address/IP address range and port/port range for outgoing traffic for this rule.

        • Under Action, click Allow.
      Creating a public IP address that's static

      The default allocation method for public IP addresses is dynamic, which means that the IP address may change when you stop and start a resource. To permanently reserve the public IP address so that it's always the same, do the following:

      1. In the Settings blade, click Public IP address.

      2. In the Choose public IP address blade, click Create new.

      3. In the Create public IP address blade, set the Assignment to Static.

      There's a nominal charge to use static public IP addresses. For more information, see IP address pricing.
    4. In the Summary blade, review the configuration of the virtual machine that you're about to create.

    5. In the Purchase blade, click Purchase.

    The Azure system provisions and then starts your virtual machine. This process takes several minutes. After Azure creates the virtual machine, the Azure Management Portal displays it in a blade on the Dashboard. Click All settings to view configuration information, connection details, and to access additional tools on the Settings blade.

    Note: Currently, Azure displays a Deployment failed error in the Dashboard due to a problem with the Azure Microsoft.Insights.VMDiagnosticsSettings virtual machine agent (VM agent). This error only prevents your virtual machine's Monitoring feature from displaying data. Your virtual machine will deploy successfully.

    To access your deployed virtual machine, click Virtual machines in the Azure Dashboard contents panel, and then click the name of your virtual machine.

    For instructions on how to update the VM agent, see Failure when deploying Streaming Engine image on Azure Marketplace (Linux).

    Connect to the virtual machine


    Microsoft Azure opens an endpoint automatically for you to access the virtual machine through a Secure Shell (SSH) connection so that you can manage the virtual machine settings and the applications that run on the machine. You must log in to the machine to get the user name and password that's required to sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager so that you can configure and manage the Wowza Streaming Engine media server software.

    To do this, you must install a Secure Shell (SSH) client on the computer that you'll use to access the virtual machine. There are many SSH client programs that you can choose from, but two popular choices are:

    • PuTTY - If you're using a computer that's running a Windows operating system.

    • OpenSSH - If you're using a computer that's running a Linux operating system.

    This section shows you how to use the PuTTY program to access the virtual machine.

    Log in to the virtual machine

    1. In the Azure portal, open your virtual machine blade and copy the Public IP address.

    2. Open the PuTTY SSH Client (putty.exe). In the PuTTY Configuration dialog box, in the Session category, enter the Public IP address that you copied into the Host Name box and use the default Port value (22).



    3. In the Connection > SSH > Auth category, in the Authentication parameters area, click Browse to find and open the PuTTy Private Key (.ppk) file, and then click Open.



    4. Select one of the options in the PuTTY Security Alert dialog box to continue the connection.



    5. Log in to the virtual machine using the name of the Administrator account that you created during virtual machine setup.


    You can now work with the virtual machine just as you would with any other server.

    Get Wowza Streaming Engine Manager login information and sign in to the manager

    1. In the PuTTY terminal window, type the following commands:
      cd /usr/local/WowzaStreamingEngine/conf
      cat admin.password
    2. Copy the user name (wowza) and the string that's used as a temporary password.



      These are the credentials that you need to sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager in order to manage your Streaming Engine instance.

    3. In a new browser window on your computer, tablet, or phone, open Wowza Streaming Engine Manager using the following URL:

      http://[public-ip-address]:8088/enginemanager

      To get the [public-ip-address], open your virtual machine blade in the Azure portal, and copy the Public IP address that's displayed into the URL.

    4. Sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager using the temporary credentials that you copied from the admin.password file.

    Wowza Streaming Engine Manager enables you to easily configure, manage, and monitor the Wowza Streaming Engine software. The browser-based manager enables publishers with a diverse range of technical abilities to have greater control and confidence when streaming video. To learn about the different parts of the Streaming Engine Manager user interface, see How to find your way around Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.

    Add your Wowza Streaming Engine license key


    The Wowza Streaming Engine media server software on the virtual machine is pre-loaded with a temporary license key. This license key doesn't enable use of the Wowza Transcoder, Wowza nDVR, and Wowza DRM features in the software. Follow the instructions in Add license keys to replace the temporary license key with your subscription or perpetual license key for Wowza Streaming Engine.

    Change the Administrator account for Wowza Streaming Engine Manager


    We recommend that you create a new user account to manage the Streaming Engine virtual machine instance through Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. Follow the instructions in Create user accounts to create a new user account with Administrator access.

    After you create this new account, sign out of the manager and then sign in using the new account. You can then delete the temporary wowza account if desired.

    Test the virtual machine instance


    1. In Streaming Engine Manager, in the Test Video area of the Home page, click Test Players.



    2. Insert your Azure virtual machine's public IP address into the Server box as shown below. You can get your Azure virtual machine's Public IP address value from the virtual machine blade in the Azure portal.


    The Test Players window that opens includes test players that are pre-configured to stream the sample.mp4 video file in the Streaming Engine software installation over various streaming formats. Each tab in the Test Players window either hosts a test player that you can use to play the video file or provides instructions for playing the video file. For example, to use the Adobe HDS protocol to play the sample.mp4 video file, click the Adobe HDS tab, and then click Start.

    Note: Due to the way that Azure processes variable lookup metadata, the test player Server box may show your virtual machine's private IP address, and not the required public IP address. To permanently substitute the public IP address for test players, and for the Home and Sources (Live) pages in the manager, you can update a Wowza Streaming Engine property setting. For more information, see Startup delays and hostname resolution problems on Azure Marketplace virtual machines.

    Stop the instance


    Stopping an instance won't delete its data, but it will de-allocate the public IP address. (You can restart a virtual machine that's stopped later and it will retain its domain name and the host name provided at configuration time.) Azure doesn't charge for stopped instances.

    To stop the instance, in your virtual machine blade, click the Stop icon.



    It may take a minute or two for the virtual machine to stop. Look for the Successfully stopped virtual machine notification to make sure that the virtual machine stopped successfully.

    Delete the instance


    To delete the virtual machine completely, in your virtual machine blade, click the Delete icon.



    Originally Published: 07-15-2014.
    Updated: For Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0 on 09-08-2016.

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