CLOUD BASED INFRASTRUCTURES – KEEPING THE COSTS DOWN Posted on October 2nd, 2019 | Posted by Chris Jones

Event Based Scheduling

As the song goes “Money makes the world go ‘round”, and we could all do with a little bit more or it or at least hold on to what we already have. As a streaming media provider, keeping down the cost of cloud based infrastructures is definitely going to be high on your list of priorities.   

 

When cloud infrastructure revolutionised the IT industry, it enabled low cost and high complexity infrastructure to be deployed in an instant; networks and virtual machines grow out of nothing and charge for the time that the instances are alive.

 

Left unmanaged, these charges can rack up quite quickly. Machines left idle can be an expensive commodity, as can provisioning a machine that is too powerful for its task. 

 

Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers like Azure and AWS, have various billing strategies that will allow you to purchase at a reduced rate and apps to monitor your spending. These are valuable tools, however, they require time and close attention to ensure that you keep on top of the spending. Automatic scaling is a good option too, but used alone this can be tricky to optimise and can be hard to implement with a stateful, mission critical application like live streaming - often requiring additional infrastructure, or fundamental changes in architecture to accommodate the extra flexibility. 

 

Keeping your infrastructure bill low by intelligently managing the way that you provision your IaaS platform, becomes a key strategy. Knowing exactly when you need infrastructure, how much and for how long, enables you to make choices informed by this information. Combine this with robust, automated, provisioning and suddenly you are back in control.

 

VUALTO CONTROL HUB (VCH) uses Event-based scheduling to organise your Live Streams, so we are in an ideal position to automate the provisioning of infrastructure, just-in-time, and according to the parameters configured in your Event. It can create a deployment of all the streaming infrastructure, when you need it; each server optimised for the specific role at hand. Finally, it will de-provision the parts of the infrastructure that are no longer necessary.

 

When an event is scheduled, the infrastructure for that event can be defined or provided in a pre-configured Infrastructure profile - a template for similar events. 

 

The origins, encoders and other infrastructure components can be built, installed and configured automatically before the event is scheduled to start, and all tied into the monitoring already available in the VCH.

 

 

Origin Scaling Timeline

 

Each event creates a new deployment of the required infrastructure in your Azure or AWS account. A deployment can incrementally add new sets of servers, meaning that you can deploy multiple encoders and origin servers into your environment across redundant regions. 

 

Names and tags are generated based off the meta in your event so everything is easy to find and can be traced on your cloud platform usage stats.

 

At a set time after the event has ended the deployment will be terminated and all resources will be de-provisioned.

 

Using a just-in-time deployment strategy, reduces cost in two ways -

 

  1. The usage time is greatly reduced. Unused servers are de-provisioned and will not cost you anything.
  2. The size of the servers required can be tailored to the requirements of the event. This often means its possible to scale down the size of the servers to a lower tier.

 

Automated provisioning can typically create and install multiple Linux servers in the cloud in under 10 minutes; using pre configured images can reduce this even further.

Relying on tested, repeatable automated scripts can minimise variations in configuration and can eliminate human error from the process.

 

This is just one example of how the VUALTO CONTROL HUB can automate the provisioning of your infrastructure. THE VCH is a sophisticated video orchestration and delivery tool, which offers a host of features that can be applied to your particular business model, enabling you to deliver a quality, scalable and robust viewing experience, whilst maximising your profitability. For more information on the VCH, please click here. You can also request a demo of VCH here.