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

    This guide describes how to install and use Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software on a Windows Server 2012 R2 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


    Video tutorial: How to install and use Wowza Streaming Engine on a Microsoft Azure Windows Server virtual machine instance
    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
    Test the virtual machine instance
    Stop the instance
    Delete the instance

    Video tutorial: How to install and use Wowza Streaming Engine on a Microsoft Azure Windows Server virtual machine instance



    Getting started


    This guide assumes basic familiarity with Windows operating systems and Wowza Streaming Engine 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


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

    For all Wowza Streaming Engine software versions, 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.

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

    Note: You can purchase Subscription and Perpetual licenses for Wowza Streaming Engine software on our Wowza Streaming Engine Pricing webpage. If you already have a license, it will continue to work with all Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine images under the terms of your license agreement. If you want to upgrade your older license, see our Software Upgrade Options for details.
    For Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5 and later, you can purchase a Wowza Streaming Engine virtual machine image with an embedded license for the Streaming Engine software from Microsoft. The embedded license enables unlimited use of the Transcoder (for 64-bit instances only), 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 free 30-day 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: Windows (BYOL) or Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0: Windows (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 Windows 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. Then in Password, enter a password that will be used to authenticate the account user name.

      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 Using the Azure Portal to manage your Azure resources.

      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.

    Connect to the virtual machine


    Microsoft Azure opens an endpoint automatically for you to access the virtual machine through a Remote Desktop 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.

    Log in to the virtual machine

    1. In the Azure portal, open your virtual machine blade and click the Connect icon.



      The Azure system will automatically distribute a Remote Desktop Protocol (.rdp) file that you can use to access the virtual machine through a remote desktop connection.

    2. Click Open to open the file in your remote desktop client (most web browsers have a plugin that let you do this). You can also download the file to your computer and then double-click the downloaded file to open it in your remote desktop client.

    3. Click Connect to continue.



    4. In the Windows Security dialog box, click Use another account, type the Administrator user name and password that you created during virtual machine setup, and then click OK.



    5. Click Yes to verify the identity of the remote virtual machine.


    You can now work with the virtual machine just as you would with any other server over a Remote Desktop Services session.

    Note: Microsoft Azure also opens an endpoint automatically for you to access the Windows-based virtual machine through Windows PowerShell. For details, see How to install and configure Azure PowerShell.

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

    When you first log in to your virtual machine over a remote desktop connection, the Server Manager opens automatically. Do the following to get the user credentials that you need to sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.

    1. At the bottom of the Server Manager window, click the File Explorer icon.



    2. In File Explorer, open C:\Program Files (x86)\Wowza Media Systems\Wowza Streaming Engine\conf\admin.password in a text editor (such as Notepad).

    3. Replace the default user name (wowza) and password with your own user name and password, which you'll use to sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager in order to manage your Streaming Engine instance.



    4. Disconnect your Remote Desktop Services session.

    5. 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 into the URL.

    6. Sign in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager using the credentials that you created in 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.

    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 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: 07-21-2014.
    Updated: For Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0 on 09-08-2016.

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