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четверг, 16 февраля 2017 г.

Preparing to Live Streaming: 5 Tips

Some CDN companies have solutions created especially for live streaming. If you want to launch a website that focuses on video streaming, you should take into consideration five important things.

Define Your Target Audience

When preparing for streaming, you should first decide who your target audience is. Find out where the majority of users are located, what are the peculiarities of connection and speed of Internet. For example, if your audience is located in regions with high speed of connection, you can choose high bit rate for your videos. It is also important to have a CDN streaming server located as close to users’ location as possible.

Select the right encoder

There are many different encoders starting from free simple ones and finishing by professional variants. Choose the one that meets your requirements. Beginners are recommended Flash Media Live Encoder since it is free, and users don’t have to be tech savvy to navigate it.

Specify appropriate video/audio settings

Settings should be chosen so that to reach maximum quality of your audio or video. Usually, upload speed is the factor that defines the settings. It is recommended to choose video format H.264 with bit rate speed 500-600 kbps.

As for audio files, their settings should be as follows:

  •         AAC format (it is supported by different platforms).
  •         Mono channel (Select Stereo only if it is supported by your audio capture device).
  •      Sample rate: 11025
  •       Average bit rate: about 20 Kpbs

Define Location

At the moment, there are numerous CDN streaming data centers in Asia, the USA and Central Europe. Choose the location that is close to your users. Before publishing live stream, try showing it online to several people to text the quality of video and adjust settings in time.

Test The Network

Prior to finally publishing live streaming, prepare several different devices (smartphone, tablet and PC). Then release a file on a test page of your site and generate embed code in control panel. Watch the video from several devices to make sure that everything runs without problems.

How to Increase Server Efficiency?

Even if you have a top-notch server, one day you may realize its efficiency is not enough to complete tasks. Data-centers take care of cooling, power consumption and performance, but you can also do a few things to improve work of your server. Let’s observe three main methods of improvement of server efficiency.

Virtualization


Don’t want to buy extra servers and invest into infrastructure? Then get the most from the existing one. This is possible with the help of virtualization. Virtual server is a computer that performs functions of several machines. Special software virtually divides one hard disk into several parts each of which can act like a separate hard drive. Thanks to that, you can use several OS on one machine saving space and reducing expenses.

Management Tools


Management tools help optimizing performance relatively to power consumption and increase uptime. Different tools serve for different purposes, for instance, some of them help with power management policies while others help to maximize available resources. Some tools allow monitoring server characteristics and state in data center. Taking into account the workload of other servers you can distribute the resources to that to achieve maximum capacity.

Choose the newest models


If your server is not powerful enough, maybe it’s high time to order a more advanced solution? Refreshment of server is a nice way to boost efficiency. Invest into the newest models that provide better CPU and higher energy efficiency. Professionals recommend renewing servers every three years to make sure that your organization has enough resources. Even if characteristics and resources exceed your requirements, with fresh models of servers you will be prepared for the future. But before opting for this or that solution, make sure that you invest into servers tailored to your needs and optimized for your applications. If you work with a well established company, don’t hesitate to ask whether it has some newer solutions and servers.

Be proactive and choose servers that will be useful both now and in a couple of years. The above mentioned methods will help you to get maximum out of your hardware.



вторник, 7 февраля 2017 г.

Do I need CDN?

Content delivery network (CDN) consists of servers that duplicate content and deliver it to end users. Such technology makes page loading faster and improves user experience regardless of their location and time of day.

While your website gets bigger and audience grows, traffic gets higher, as well. Without CDN, data loading may be too slow, which causes discontent among users and repels them. At the moment, lots of companies use CDNs. Although this solution may cost a lot (but not always), it is beneficial in the long run. Besides, even small companies can afford CDN by simply opting for cheap networks.

When it comes to expenses, CDN can be a wiser solution than switching to another hosting plan. Besides, it will provide better coverage and improve higher speed of connection. In many cases, CDN together with simple tricks can boost the speed of connection better than other hosting plans. As soon as you start using a CDN you will notice that bandwidth consumption decreased considerably.

Why do I need a content delivery network?


Some companies have no idea what CDN services are, and think they don’t need such technology. But the truth is that no matter how great content/design/service is – if your website is too slow for visitors, they are likely to switch to the competitors. Instead of waiting for the pages to load, they will just abandon website and search for other solutions.

When CDN should be used?


How can one know that it is the right time to order CDN for his organization?

1. When too much content is created and uploaded on the website. Increasing volume of content puts load on website infrastructure, and if too much bandwidth is used (means the amount that is not supported by server configuration), performance will be impacted. CDN balances loading and always provides sufficient speed of data loading. Besides, its implementation and setup are not complicated.

2. When traffic is too high. Appearance of new content means attraction of more users, which can result into slow loading and poor performance. Besides, overloading can affect overall functionality of website. CDN prevents negative impact of traffic spikes.

3. When the number of mobile visitors grows. If your website pages are not mobile optimized, CDN can help to deliver them better.


Does the number of PoPs matter for CDN quality?

 Users choose CDN (Content Delivery Network) basing on different factors including the number of PoPs (points of presence). Though this aspect is crucial, it is not the most important thing about CDNs. Find out why proximity of PoPs is of more importance than their number.

Some companies think that the more PoPs they have at their disposal, the better. However, excessive amount of PoPs may have negative impact on content delivery, especially, when servers are placed in wrong locations.

When more PoPs is better?


Points of presence have several functions:

- They make content geographically closer to the visitors.

- They balance loading over edge servers and offload the origin server.

- They ensure 100% redundancy.

A huge number of PoPs is important for companies with worldwide coverage and audience spread over the globe. Thanks to them, a company may store a lot of resource-hungry content and deliver it without problems. Besides, if a company want to expand its presence in several regions, it will definitely benefit from extra PoPs in its CDN network.

When the number of PoPs does not matter?


If CDN network is too large and too robust for your demands, turns out you overpay for unnecessary resources and facilities. What really matters is not the number of PoPs, but their relevance for your audience. You should take into consideration where PoPs are located relatively to your visitors.

When comparing CDN solutions, you should consider the location of PoPs and their density. It means that if your target audience is located in India and China, PoPs should be concentrated in Asia, not other regions. A correctly chosen CDN will totally pay off, because you have an infrastructure that works for your exact business.

Static content vs Dynamic content


Although most companies need delivery of static contents (images, scripts, regularly video files), there is a minor number of PoPs created especially for delivering dynamic content, and some enterprises want this kind of solution. The problem is that dynamic content is hard to cache, and most often has to be transferred directly from the origin server. Thus, companies that focus on delivery of dynamic content should opt for higher quality of the origin server – CDN with usual PoPs won’t be of much use.