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Recommended AWS or other infrastructure for use case

Alex O


Hi there,

Somebody has approached me looking to create a PPV music performance website. At the start, we're only looking to run 1 or 2 of these events per month, but due to the number of viewers that are anticipated, and the high quality of the streams, I'm looking for recommendations for what I can use to help with this.

We use only 1 RTMP input and are using the in-built video player to play HLS to all viewers. Number of viewers can range between 500-2000 and the bitrate of ther video will be 7Mbps. These events will go on for an average of 3 hours.

Firstly, I understand that the network requirements for this would be huge, essentially needing a maximum of 14Gbps connection. Does anybody know of a service which might help with this? I am not sure EC2 is even capable of this.

With this use case, can I get away with using 1 instance of AMS (potentially connected to CloudFront)? If so, what requirements would be needed? If not, what type and number of instances would be better suited?

I see that there are documents for scaling, but I don't know if they are appropriate for my use case. With this project inevitable going to cost a lot of money, I would rather make sure I have the least amount of hardware required to make it happen.

Thanks in advance for any help regarding my questions.
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Hi Burak,

Thank you for the link - I set it up and ran some tests and it seemed to work well. Unfortunately the costs of using AWS, purely from a data transfer perspective for this project, is too much for the client.

I will look at alternative solutions. For now, I would like to further understand the requirements for creating a cluster for this scenario. There is only 1 video input, broadcasting in just 1 country and upto 2000 viewers, so would a cluster in my case still require both Edge and Origin servers? Would I need an Origin server at all? If I do, I guess I would need only 1? If I do need only 1, would this mean that this origin server would need the full bandwidth of all of the Edge servers in order for them to pull the video down for all the viewers connected to that Edge server?

If I need many smaller AMS instances in order to try and support the massive network transfer of 2000, I assume the requirements of each server would be low. If I had smaller servers that would support upto 50 viewers with the 1 same input as all of them, what would the requirements be per instance?

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For an AMS cluster we strongly recommend separate origin and edge servers.

In your case you can have a small origin. Since you will use HLS, server bandwidth is the important parameter for edge calculation.
You can find the necessary number of the edge servers, dividing total data transfer to players in one second by bandwidth of one edge server. 
BTW origin server does not need full bandwidth of edges.


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Hi Alex,

As Burak mentioned, life is somewhat easier with HLS. I understand your requirement as below:

(1) RTMP for publishing to Ant Server
(2) RTMP to HLS from Origin server. Have you considered using H.265? Your bit rate of 7mbps seems too high...

From here, you have two options:
(1) Use CDN like Cloud Front (8c to 20c perGbyte depending upon region) or other CDN where you do little more work but cost could be 3cents to 6cents. You should build a spreadsheet to see what would be the cost for 7mbps for 3hrs for 2000 users.

(2) Use multiple edge servers on demand via auto scaling. More engineering upfront but potentially lower cost. Edge servers provide video directly to end users.

Hope that the above helps.



Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 8, 2020, at 11:26 AM, Alex O <lexocarroll@gmail.com> wrote:


Thanks Burak, that has explained it well. Appreciate your help.




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Hi Dhimant,

Thanks for your reply. Your overview accurately explains our environment.

Honestly, I'm not sure what H.265 is. How would it benefit us? 7Mbps isn't high if you consider that the video is broadcast at 1080p / 60 FPS and quality is what we're going for (especially if people are paying to watch it), and we would offer higher bitrates depending on the client.

CloudFront is far too expensive to use for this project. Even at 8c per GB, that is higher than using a service such as Dacast (on average over a year), which is what we aim to compare ourselves with on terms of pricing.

My option at the moment is to use a VPS provider (Linode or Digital Ocean at the moment) and try to automate the scaling of edge servers. The biggest bottleneck will of course be network upload speed, so my plan would be to try and automate the scaling of the edge servers based on network load, though this may require manual work since it's unclear if I can do this, or if the automation part only works with other resources such as CPU and RAM.

I'm still curious to if I really need more than 1 Origin Server in this environment, or just multiples of the Edge server. Also, if I do need only 1 Origin server, is it required to have the MongoDB server, or should I be able to just load the outgoing traffic of the edge servers with a load balancer and use the origin server only as a point of publishing (which doesn't have to go through the load balancer)?


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