VOD Edge applications ingest video on demand files from a Media Cache source and stream the VOD files to players.
Video on demand (VOD) are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content when they choose to, rather than having to watch at a specific broadcast time.
VIDIZMO seamlessly integrates with Wowza Streaming Engine’s functionality to serve VOD content for large-scale deployment.
This article is divided into the following sections:
- Setting up a Network Share on a Server that will be used by Wowza to serve the content.
- Configuring Wowza VOD Edge Application to use the Network Share defined in Step #1.
- Configuring the IIS in VIDIZMO Application Server to use the Network Share.
- Configure VIDIZMO Application to use Wowza as its provider.
1. Setting Up A Network Share
To serve VOD content, a shared storage will be required which can be accessed by both Wowza and VIDIZMO. A Network Share folder will be created for this purpose. You will also need this Network Share when configuring Media Cache in the Wowza Streaming Engine.
The Media Cache feature in Wowza Streaming Engine is a read -through caching mechanism for VOD streaming. Regular Cache only caches content upon complete download, which proves inefficient for very large VOD files. Wowza Media Cache caches partial content so it only caches what's actually requested. If a user only views a short portion of a file, only that portion is initially cached. When another user views the same content, they'll initially get the cached content and then, after they get to the end of the cached content, Media Cache automatically starts caching the new content. If the content has not been watched for a period of time, it is automatically flushed from the cache to make room for new content.
With Media Cache in Wowza, the Origin is a Web Server or a Network Share, since Wowza Streaming Engine does not use its own storage.
In our example, we will be using Network Share, which will be used by Wowza to serve the content.
Follow the steps below to configure a Network Share.
1. Login and navigate to the Computer Management on the Server where you want to setup the Network Share.
2. From the Computer Management window, click on Shared Folders.
3. Right click on Shares and select New Share.
4. This will bring up the “Create A Shared Folder Wizard”.
5. Browse to the location from where the folder will be shared.
6. Make a New Folder on which the Network Share will be applied. This is the folder that will be used by Wowza to serve and save the content.
7. Give a name to the share making sure there are no special characters or spaces in the Share name.
8. Select the Customized permissions option to give Read only rights to everyone and Full controls to a specific domain user.
Note: Credentials of this domain user will be required while configuring IIS in the VIDIZMO Application Server to configure the Upload Services.
i. Click on the "Custom..." button to open Customize Permissions dialog.
ii. Use the Add button to add a user on which the permissions will be applied.
iii. In the "Enter the object names to select", provide a service account to use for this purpose. e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
iv. After the user account has been added to the list, apply the permissions.
9. Complete the Shared Folder Wizard by clicking on the "Finish" button and copy the Share path for later use. This Share path will be used to configure Wowza VOD Edge Application and the CDN and IIS in VIDIZMO Application Server.
2. Configuring The Wowza VOD Edge Application
Wowza VOD Edge Application needs to be configured to use the Network Share that was setup in the previous step in order to serve the content.
1. Login to the Wowza streaming engine server. To configure VOD Edge application in Wowza, we need to configure a media cache first. VOD Edge application uses media cache to serve the content. We will configure the media cache with the help of the network share that we configured in the first part.
i. Select the Server tab on the top bar to bring up the Server Setup screen.
ii. Click on Media Cache.
2. On the Media Cache screen:
i. Select the Sources tab.
ii. Click on the "+ Add Media Cache Source" to add a new Cache Source.
There are two types of Media Caches, Store and Source. A Media Cache Store defines the path that is used by Wowza to cache the files, while the Media Cache Source defines the path which is used by Wowza to serve the files.
Since Wowza will be used for serving the content, we will be using Media Cache Source.
3. There are 5 different types of Source types that can be used. HTTP, File, Amazon S3, Azure and Google Cloud Storage. Since we are using a physical network path, therefore we will use the source type as "File".
In Wowza, the ability to define different paths allows different applications to be configured on the Wowza streaming server with those applications using their own separate paths or sources to serve content.
i. Provide a Source Name.
ii. Provide a suitable Prefix, which could be an alphanumeric combination and without spaces. In our example, we will be using the prefix name "Lexcorpinc"
iii. Provide the Base Path. This is the Share Path of the Network Share as in Step #6 of Setting Up Network Share.
iv. Use to "+Add" button to save the Media Cache Source.
4. Create a VOD Edge Application on Wowza Server to use the Cache Source created in Step #3 above.
i. Click on the Applications tab on the top bar.
ii. Under Video On Demand type, select VOD Edge.
5. Test the Player to verify the connectivity between Wowza and the Network Share path.
Place a sample file in the Network Share folder. This will be used by the Test Player to verify the network path connectivity with Wowza Server.
i. Click on the Test Players button.
ii. Test Player loads with the Media details. Click on the Start button to play the file.
iii. If the Media playback is successful, Share Path connectivity is verified.
Note: For Live Stream configuration in the VIDIZMO Application, Server and Stream names displayed here are required, which should be noted down for later use.
In the Test Player, the Media File Name needs to be changed to reflect Media Cache Source prefix in the path. After adding the Media Cache Source prefix to the Media File Name, click on the Start button to playback the media.
Successful media playback verifies Share Path connectivity.
3. Configuring IIS In VIDIZMO Application
VIDIZMO Application needs to be able to use the Network Share path created in Section #1 in order to serve media through Wowza Streaming Engine. To achieve this, IIS Server that has the VIDIZMO Application installed needs to be configured to use the Network Share path.
First, an existing “Vidizmo-Configuration” folder needs to be copied from the WebApp in the IIS Manager and paste it in the Network Share folder:
1. Open the IIS Manager on the Server which has the VIDIZMO Application installed. You will be required to log in using Administrative credentials to access the IIS Manager.
2. Under the WebApp directory in the IIS Manager, locate the CDN.
3. Right click on CDN to explore and open the location.
4. Copy the “Vidizmo-Configuration” folder and paste it in the Network Share folder. The Folder should be copied and not moved (cut) from the original location.
5. Now once again right click on CDN and remove it. Click “Yes” when prompted.
6. Right click on WebApp Directory and click on Add application to configure the Application to use the Network Share path.
7. In the “Add Application” Dialogue box, provide the following:
i. In Alias write “CDN”
ii. Give the Physical path of the Network Share.
iii. Click on Connect as and give the credentials along with the domain of the user who has Full Control on the Network Share. The Application will use these credentials to access the Network Share.
11. From the same Add Application screen, change the Application Pool, from “WebApp” to “CDN”.
12. Test Settings to verify the connectivity of the VIDIZMO Application with the Network Share.
13. Verify that CDN contains the "Upload Services" by expanding and viewing the services.
14. From “Upload Service” in the IIS Manager's base application pool, open the Advanced Settings.
15. In the Advanced Settings window, locate “Identity” under the “Process Model” section. Change the element to the domain user which has full control on the Network Share. Click the OK button to complete the configuration of IIS on the Application Server.
4. Configure VIDIZMO Application To Use Wowza As Its Provider
In the Vidizmo Application, Wowza needs to be configured as its provider.
1. You will now set the Network Share path defined earlier as the default upload path in VIDIZMO.
Login with Web Admin credentials to open System Configuration from the Web Admin tab on the top menu bar.
2. Among the Application Configurations on the left-hand side, scroll down and select “Domains and URLs”.
Under the Domains and URLs, scroll down to the Upload Path.
3. In the Upload Path, update the path of the Network Share created in Section #1 of this article. VIDIZMO will use this Network Share to upload the content.
4. Edit VIDIZMO Content Hosting & Encoding information:
i. Click on Admin from the top menu bar
ii. Select Control Panel from the dropdown menu
iii. Click on Content Hosting and Encoding tab.
iv. Click on the Edit icon.
Update Content Provider in VIDIZMO configuration to use Wowza as its content provider by entering the URLs according to the following syntax:
http://[Wowza Server Address]:1935/[Application Name on Wowza Server]/_definist_/Media Cache Prefix/Tenant ID/
- Wowza Server Address: IP Address of the Wowza Server.
- 1935: By default, this port is used.
- _definist_: This appears by default in the URL.
- Application Name on Wowza Server: Name of the Application define in the Wowza Server. In our example, it is "lexcorpinc".
- Media Cache Prefix: This is the prefix define when setting up Media Cache Source. In our example, it is "Lexcorpinc".
- Tenant ID: As an example, you can use Tenant ID, which is a unique, numeric number and it can be obtained from Admin >> Settings >> General screen. The value used here will also be used for “CDN Folder Name” when editing the Channel. In our example, we have used "2", which is the Tenant ID for this Channe.
The completed URL will look like the following:
Provide this URL in the Provider Streaming URL and in the Provider URL fields.
FTP Upload URL: Change to reflect the VIDIZMO Application Server domain name (ftp://[domain name ]/cdn/)
TLU and API Key: This should be set to N/A because it was a feature that was used in earlier versions but not used anymore.
CDN Folder Name: Provide the same value that was used in the provider URL i.e. "2" in our example.
FTP Folder Name: Provide the same value that was used in the provider URL i.e. "2" in our example.
Content Type: Add entries for Video and Audio.
Content Access Mode: Select CDS format as content type.
Finally, click on the Update URL button to update the information on this screen to complete configuring the application for smooth streaming of audio and video only through Wowza.
9. From Control Panel as in the step above, select the Transcoding tab. From here disable iPhone Streaming and Enable SMIL Encoding for Video. This will disable HLS content renditions produced by VIDIZMO. By default, Wowza dynamically generates HLS content and other formats using ‘SMIL’, you need to enable ‘SMIL’ along with other ‘mp4’ encoding profiles.
These steps allow VIDIZMO to be configured to serve videos through Wowza, with Wowza provider URL being displayed instead of VIDIZMO's URL.
Subject: Central Administration
Action: Get, Update, Add