Video Streaming is important for business -- and it is equally important for a company to know as much as possible about the business of video streaming if it wants to utilize this technology to the fullest, for optimum development. From Entertainment, to Ecommerce, to Education – video streaming is employed to modernize every enterprise, and optimize all ROI. Herein come two vital questions the answers to which you would profit better to know:
- How to select the right video streaming workflow for your company?
- What are the video streaming media workflow options that your organization can have?
There are certain key factors, the knowledge and consideration of which can enable you to decide how to select the right video streaming workflow for your company, which we have discussed in detail earlier.
Let us, now, look more closely at what the video streaming media workflow options are that your organization can have.
Totally On Premises
This kind of a solution allows you complete control over your video streaming infrastructure – right from the networking layer to the User Experience or the viewing application. With this option, your workflow costs can be more predictable, and the OPEX, lower. In the long run, though, this can be a more expensive option, due to
- Primary and recurring CAPEX for hardware
- Necessity to overprovision for viewership spikes
- Perpetual maintenance of operating system and network.
The Cloud is looked upon as ideal for the live streaming of those events where viewership undergoes quick fluctuation, due to the following factors –
- With Cloud, the financing model of your company focuses on OPEX, and not CAPEX
- Your capacity can be scaled up and down within a matter of minutes
- Hardware and maintenance costs can be reduced
- Fluctuations in viewership can be handled quickly by scaling
- Intensive processing jobs can be transferred to third party infrastructure
There are three primary options associated with Cloud –
Infrastructure as a Service: In this kind of a model, you have more control over your infrastructure, and the central hardware and network management is left to the provider, due to a self-managed cloud deployment of virtual machines. Of course, you also have the responsibility of the maintenance of those virtual machines, including the updating of the operating system, and security.
Platform as a Service: The complexities of live streaming are minimized by a cloud-based managed service, when most of the configuration and management are offloaded to third-party specialists. As a result, you do not need to invest a lot on resources and expertise, in order to get started. What is offered in scalability can lack in control, though.
With the development of your requirements, you might want to work with a cloud-based service which can present features that are more advanced; or a REST API, to gain intricate control. You might also want to work with a cloud-based service that is quick to add fresh capabilities, and keep your video streaming platform prepared for accommodating the future. At that point of time, you can also consider the deploying of an IaaS-based solution to gain the greatest level of control over cloud infrastructure.
Software as a Service: With this, you are dissociated from all the underlying components related to processing and delivery, as the player is provided by a vendor on a hosted page. All you need to do is indicate that hosted web page to your viewers.
The approach of Hybrid -- which is a part of both on-premises and cloud resources – can be most suitable for the workflow mobility of the future, owing to its flexibility. You can create your ideal balance of control as well as economics, by mix-matching several components.
Hybrid deployments can take care of all types of video streaming scenarios –
- Offloading of peak volume distribution
- Offsite processing of numerous long running channels, whether live or Over The T
A Hybrid model can help your company in partnering with third parties for the purpose of handling technology updates and scaling. However, human resources are still necessary for the local management of some of the workflow.
An average example of a Hybrid workflow would be any scheme of things involving a live camera feed getting encoded on premises, and getting published to a server of local origin; the stream, in turn, going for wide distribution by getting sent to a CDN. CDNs – akin to cloud services – furnish computing and storage datacenters that are globally distributed, and connected by hefty internet connections. Resources get optimized, so as to allow the content to progress as briskly as possible to the ones who have requested for it; with the focus on the optimization of delivery routes and methods, so that low-latency responses can be achieved.
An example of a simple enterprise Hybrid (IaaS) deployment can present valuable insights. It has almost been a tradition for enterprises – that is companies and institutions that are medium-to-large – to have on premise deployments. The factors behind this were:
- Reduced latency
- Local control
- Available bandwidth
- Costs of bandwidth
etc. This example can be applicable to any live event. Now-a-days, though, the Cloud is being used by more and more enterprises for the powering of their video streaming workflows.
On a local basis, live feeds from one or more cameras are captured by an encoder. The encoder then develops one 1080p output stream, which is simultaneously recorded and pushed by it to a server of some local streaming media. That server transports the HD stream to an IaaS cloud instance that is more powerful, launched 60 minutes ahead of time, and configured both as a media server plus a transcoder.
The single 1080p stream is then converted into a set of streams at varying bitrates and resolutions – ranging between 1080p to 160p -- by the cloud-based transcoder. These are sent back to the onsite media server. The incoming ABR stream set is then repackaged – with some CPU power – into the adaptive Apple HTTP Live Streaming format, and a sole, traditional, Flash RTMP stream at 480p, as a backup for older browsers and devices.
When viewers visit an intranet content portal to click on the embedded video player that is there, they see the HLS adaptive stream, or the RTMP stream on their screens, depending on the playback capabilities of their devices.
As is evident, live video streaming is not something that can have a generalized approach. Every single scenario can have a set of requirements unique to itself. The reason why it is important for you to choose the workflow that is just right for the specific needs of your organization.
A Friendly Advice
Think about the development of a spreadsheet comparing the likely deployment models, after determining some key deciding factors related to the scenario of your company. The spreadsheet that you create can be just a list of pros and cons for each model, but the more informative and objective thing would be to compare projected bottom-line costs, since each factor, namely
- Time to Market
- Third Party Services
will be having a distinct financial impact. Begin testing by choosing the simplest way ahead. You are likely to notice that as you carry on with your experimenting, you get closer and closer to just the right solution for you by knowing and refining your requirements constantly.
Speaking of the right solution, you are most welcome to contact us at Ascentspark Software for the development of video streaming, delivery, distribution, and monetization solutions absolutely customized to suit the particular needs of your company for the highest ROI.
You are also invited to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation related to the matter of video streaming, and how your ideas related to the subject of VOD and video streaming can be turned into the most beneficial and profitable of realities.