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Thread: Need advise about Wowza settings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Question Need advise about Wowza settings

    Hello all,

    I am new to Wowza application and I am facing a problem, for which I was not able to find a solution so far ( reading alot of forum posts, documentations and recommendations). So here is the problem:

    I am streaming an event over RTMP ( using one channel ) and when there are more than 350 users, it takes 20-30 seconds for a new user to start viewing the event. For example, if there are few people watching the event, the page with the JW player loads almost instantly. However when there are more than 350 users, player appears after 20 seconds and then the video starts. Also there is a lag of 10 seconds and more.

    The weird thing is that the problem appears after having 350 users online. I did follow the performance tuning tutorial and now the problem occurs when there are 150-200 users. There are plenty resources on the server and I don't get why this happens.

    I will be very grateful if some advise/tips could be shared with me.

    I am running Wowza on Xeon Server with 2 Gbps connection. The goal of my project is to be able to stream one event to 2000 - 5000 users ( bitrate is 350 kbps ).

    Thank you in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012



    Thank you for your interest in Wowza Server. We're pleased that you're giving us the opportunity to support your streaming workflow.

    What bitrate do you have set in your encoder for publishing to Wowza? Are you using adaptive bitrate streaming? What are your exact encoder settings?

    Most often network bandwidth is the problem. As rule, consider this formula as a guide: (stream bitrate * max concurrent clients) < server bandwidth.

    It also sounds like you are concerned about live latency (delay between real-time and streaming playback). Here is an article that offers some help with latency issues: How to achieve the lowest latency from capture to playback

    I note that your player is taking 20 seconds to load. Are you experiencing issues with page load times through your web server? How does your playback startup perform when using a test player?

    If your intent is to reach 5,000 users, you will need to add edge servers. Take a look at this article as a reference: How to configure a live stream repeater.

    There are a few issues here to consider, each of which should be addressed incrementally. The most useful clues are in your log statements. It would also be helpful for us to take a look at your configuration folder to confirm your tuning settings and see if there is anything else the matter. Please create a support ticket by sending an email to Include a reference to this post and the following:

    - A copy of your [install-dir]/conf and /logs folders
    - [install-dir]/bin/setenv.bat (or
    - A description of your server including the processor attributes and available system memory
    - Your exact encoder settings (a screenshot is acceptable)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


    Hello Tim,

    Thank you for your speedy reply

    We do not use adaptive bitrate streaming. The settings for the encoder are as follows:

    Format: H.264
    Frame Rate: 25
    Input size : 768x576

    Bitrate : 350kbps ( output size 600 x 380 )

    In regard to the bandwidth, I believe that the current bandwidth is more than enough to handle 5000 users. If we stream the event at 350 kbps, this will be ~40 kb/s per user. 40 kb/s X 5000 user = ~195MB/s ( ~ 1.5 Gbps ). Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Anyway, we would like to achieve at this point a stable server which could handle 2500 - 3000 users.

    The server that we use is with the following configuration: CentOS 6, Xeon E3-1240 @ 3.30GHz, 4 GB ram, 2 GBps connection.

    Actually the stream works quite well once an user is connected. The main concern is that it takes 20-30 seconds for the player to appear. Here is the question, is it a settings for Wowza or the problem is with the Apache. I will try to play with the Apache settings, mainly the following ones to see if it makes any difference:


    Also, I will apply the recommendations for low latency capture and if the issue still persists, I will post the Wowza configuration.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    I think your math is slightly out. 350 kbps x 5,000 users = 1750 Mbps == 1.75 Gbps which is too high.
    Given your 2 Gbps connection, take 20% for overhead that leaves 1.6 Gbps remaining.

    When Wowza starts you will see the amount of processors available as this is printed in the logs.
    You should use this number to calculate the [total core count] as described in the Tuning guide.

    If the stream is working without issue and this is the delay is restricted to the web page only then I'm afraid we can't help as this is not a Wowza related issue.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


    Hi Jason,

    You are right

    For 5000 users 1.75 Gbps will be needed. However my goal at the moment is to make server stable with 2000 clients ( 2000 x 350 kbps = 700 Mbps ). I believe this should be possible with the current server.

    In regard to the tuning guide, I did update the VHost.xml according to the tutorial, as well as the recommended Java settings were applied.

    The issue with the player was resolved. As I suspected, the problem was with the Apache.

    However new issues arose with the recommended settings:

    1) When there are 300 users, it takes 20 seconds to start the video after the player was loaded. Sometimes the video does not start and the player returns that it cannot open the stream url.

    2) When the video is started, sometimes the image freezes for a second or two.

    Any thoughts or opinions how to fix these two issues will be gladly appreciated.

    I wonder if it is better to have "smaller" servers with multiple wowza applications instead having one "big" server ??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


    This is a short update.

    After several tests and modifications to VHosts.xml, I managed to increase the number of concurrent clients. Now the above mentioned issues occur when there are more than 500 users.

    However, I found another topic on your forum where a similar problem is described:

    According to the second reply, the issue is either with network or OS Limitation. Since I cannot figure out what limitation could cause such a problem on CentOS, I assume that the problem is with my current provider.

    So if I change the provider and take a dedicated server with 10GBps, do you think I will be able to stream an event to 5000 - 6000 users, or it is better to have several small servers ( origin and edge )?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012


    It sounds like your testing with Performance Tuning is helping. Each client stream will use a specific amount of bandwidth based on the bit rate configured in your live encoder or VOD file playback. It is critical that you factor the capacity of your network vs. the total number of streams that you intend to serve (plus 20% overhead, as my colleague JasonH mentioned). Again, the formula is (stream bitrate * max concurrent clients) < server bandwidth.

    The most reliable approach for serving large audiences, as you intend to accomplish, is to use a live repeater workflow. Live stream repeater is a method for delivering a single live stream across a multiple server deployment to many viewers. The setup uses an origin/edge configuration where the source stream is published to an origin server and the stream is made available for playback on multiple edge servers. This article describes how to configure live stream repeater (origin/edge) applications. For more information, see this tutorial on How to configure a live stream repeater.


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