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Thread: The optimal place to locate a Wowza server and when to use a CDN like Akamai

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    103

    Default The optimal place to locate a Wowza server and when to use a CDN like Akamai

    I'm trying to understand what it means to my viewers where the Wowza server they connect to is located. In the examples below I know I should account for some overhead, but let's keep that out to leave the math simple. In all cases a connection means a connection to a 1000 Kbps RTMP stream.

    If I set up a Wowza server at:

    • ... home with my 50 Mbps upload, I can theoretically serve 50 connections.

    • ... work with our 300 Mbps upload, I would theoretically be able to serve 300 connections.

    • ... a local datacenter with dedicated 10 Gbps upload, I would theoretically be able to serve 10,240 connections.

    • ... Amazon on a single EC2 instance with dedicated 10 Gbps upload, I would theoretically be able to serve 10,240 connections.

    • ... Amazon, and then distributed the stream to edges on another 100 EC2 instances with dedicated 10 Gbps upload, I would theoretically be able to serve 1,034,240 connections (101 servers each handling 10240 connections).

    • ... Home, work, local datacenter or Amazon on an EC2 instance, and then distributed the stream to Akamai (or another live streaming capable CDN), how many connections would I theoretically be able to serve?


    Now, one thing is how many connections I can theoretically handle, another thing is how many connections will actually be possible in a real world scenario. With regards to something as network congestion, how would a Wowza server at home, work, the local datacenter, an EC2 instance, a fleet of EC2 instances compare? And how would such setups perform compared to using Akamai's CDN?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    723

    Default

    Hi,

    When doing the match for getting the number of clients supported by a network connection, you must also take into account the IP overhead that is added to the media data packets. You should account for 15-20% of IP overhead. This would mean that you should deduct some 20% of your final connections count. For example, if your server has a 100 Mbps internet upload connection and you are streaming a 1Mbps stream, this means that the average number of client connections would be 80 and not 100.

    If you plan to distribute your content through a CDN like Akamai, you should ask their engineers to provide you the information on their network capacity and how many network resources are allocated to a published stream.

    Zoran

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    103

    Default

    Thank you Zoran.

    Let's forget about bandwidth calculations for a moment.

    If I know for certain events, that 99 % of my viewers are all based within 300 miles, and I want to make their viewing experience the best, would it be best to set up the Wowza server:

    ... in a local datacenter that's in the same local area as 99 % of my viewers
    ... in the same local datacenter and then distribute it to Akamai

    and how would those two options compare to setting up the Wowza server:

    ... On an EC2 instance that's more than 1000 miles from 99 % of my viewers
    ... On an EC2 instance that then distributes it to Akamai

    About asking Akamai about network capacity, wouldn't I get a rather vague answer from some sales template? Or would they be able and willing to give me exact numbers?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    723

    Default

    Hi,

    The best server placement is where the connection between the client and the server is optimal. The network connectivity between the client and server is more important than the geographical distance between the two. The only way to know for sure is to test.
    I don't have any information about the location of Akamai servers and what is their network throughput. It is another question you should address to Akamai.

    About asking Akamai about network capacity, wouldn't I get a rather vague answer from some sales template? Or would they be able and willing to give me exact numbers?
    To find out what kind of information they give out, you should first ask them. I cannot speculate on this.
    However, if you do get any relevant information from Akamai, I would appreciate it if you could share that info with the rest of our forum community.

    Zoran

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