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Thread: Stopping and starting EC2 instance to save money - drawbacks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Question Stopping and starting EC2 instance to save money - drawbacks?

    Because Amazon charges for their instances based on running hours, it's tempting to simply start the instance when you need it, then start the Wowza service, stream your content and then simply stop the instance when the show is over. Then next time you need to stream you just repeat that.

    We might only stream five one-hour events a week and so for us, applying this strategy, will mean much lower cost than having the instance always running.

    Now, are there any drawbacks to this? And would you recommend having the instance always running instead?

  2. #2

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    Hi,

    This is how a lot of people use Wowza on EC2.

    If you have a custom configuration that you need each time, you can also use a startup package. Please refer to the Wowza Media Server For EC2 Users Guide for more info.

    Roger.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger_l View Post
    If you have a custom configuration that you need each time, you can also use a startup package.
    Thanks Roger. The only customizations I have made are those described in "How to set up and run Wowza nDVR for live streaming" and "How to set up and run Wowza Transcoder AddOn for live streaming", so basically creating a couple of folders (live and dvr) as well as copying the Application.xml files and altering them.

    Then I have also made quite a few alterations to the transrate.xml

    These customizations are always present after starting the instance again, even though I have not setup a startup package. Is that surprising?

  4. #4
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    One drawback for us might be the renewal of the public IP address when the service is stopped/started.

    Is there any way to preserve the IP address, or any other work around that would save me the trouble of entering a new server URL / FMS URL in the streaming software, as well as in the player code?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by niemion View Post
    One drawback for us might be the renewal of the public IP address when the service is stopped/started.

    Is there any way to preserve the IP address, or any other work around that would save me the trouble of entering a new server URL / FMS URL in the streaming software, as well as in the player code?
    Elastic IP Addresses will help you preserve your IP even after stopping an instance. It does cost a little though.

    http://aws.amazon.com/articles/1346

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger_l View Post
    Hi,
    If you have a custom configuration that you need each time, you can also use a startup package. Please refer to the Wowza Media Server For EC2 Users Guide for more info.
    Any idea why my custom configuration is loaded every time I start Wowza? As far as I know I'm not using a custom startup package, yet all the folders I have created in applications and conf as well as the custom Application.xml files are present after a fresh start.

  7. #7
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    Are you using an EBS backed instance and stopping/starting it? The S3 backed instances which only allow you to start then terminate, not stop and start again, are the ones that need a startup package. The EBS backed instances can be stopped and started again and will still be configured as they were when stopped.

    Richard

  8. #8
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    Yes, it's an EBS instance then, the only instance type I'm familiar with.

    What advantages do the two type of instances have over one another? Who would prefer an S3 instance, and why?

    Also, I have added sudo su to /home/ec2-user/.bash_profile but I also wan't WowzaMediaServer to be started every time I boot up the server. In which file should I put service WowzaMediaServer start to archive this?

  9. #9

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    Hi,

    From what you are saying, it sounds like you are running your own custom EC2 instance with Wowza installed.

    If the instance is one of the Amazon Linux amis or is redhat based, you can use the following command as root to set Wowza to start on boot.

    chkconfig WowzaMediaServer on
    You can also select it from the services list if you have the setup command installed.

    Roger.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2012
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    Thank you for your instantaneous replies Roger, chkconfig WowzaMediaServer on was exactly what I was looking for. Yes, it is the Amazon Linux AMI 2013.09.2 I'm running.

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