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CDN Performance and Cost Optimization for Video Streaming

Presented at Streaming Media West. Techniques for evaluating CDN providers for video streaming.
Tips and tricks for using serverless computing tools like AWS Lambda and GOAD for quick and reliable testing.
Including questions like:
* How to evaluate new CDN partners in a highly commoditized and undifferentiated industry?
* How long can I keep origin request cached on the CDN?
(eg; 1 month, 6 months, 1 year?)
* What are the costs of that data retention on your provider?
* What are my time to first frame values?
* IF all player conditions are equal, how long did it take to….
make a player request
download the manifest; queue into a player
download a chunk; seek to a chunk
begin playback
* How does this improve my QoS experience for my clients for my consumers?
* Should I make my chunk size small?
* Should I invest in re-encoding my library with a new codec?


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CDN Performance and Cost Optimization for Video Streaming

  1. 1. Zype CDN Performance & Cost Economics Streaming Media West 11/19/2019 Check us out at https://www.zype.com
  2. 2. Agenda About Zype CDN Evaluation Background Testing Methodology & Approach Evaluating KPIs & Results Learnings & Opportunities
  3. 3. About Zype ● Full stack video content management and distribution infrastructure. ● Dashboards, APIs, & publishing tools to build video products and services at scale ● Publish apps & video services across web, social, mobile, and OTT / connected TV ● On-demand, live, linear-live, and linear playout products ● Support for subscription, transaction, and ad monetization ● Founded in 2014, HQ in New York
  4. 4. VideoMeta™ CMS Easily import, manage and curate video and manage subscriber data App Distribution Distribute and monetize content across all web, mobile and CTV/OTT devices and MVPD partners Monetization Full support for all monetization models - Subscriptions, Transactional, Ad-Based or any hybrid. Analytics Powerful analytics dashboard providing valuable insight into engagement, streaming, and revenue Streaming CDN-agnostic delivery with performance and analytics in mind Zype Live Deliver and monetize premium live video to any destination with API enabled encoding for live, linear and social multicasted events Embeddables Extend the power of the Zype platform to your own website with easy-to-use video embeds Integration Hooks Integrate Zype with all core SaaS products you use to power your business 4 Social & Syndication Easily publish content to key social platforms to build awareness, drive adoption or syndicated revenue streams Full stack Video Content Management & Distribution infrastructure
  5. 5. Aren’t CDNs all the same? How to evaluate new CDN partners in a highly commoditized and undifferentiated industry?
  6. 6. Big 3: CDN Evaluation Rubric Find 3 well known, top tier providers to evaluate Providers Core Criteria Integration Evaluate performance, costs, and feature sets How easy is it to integrate into our delivery pipeline
  7. 7. Primary performance metrics we evaluated ● Time to first frame ● Caching policies ● Cache-hit ratios ● Reducing origin hits by advertised features ● Origin egress ● Player performance (Sorry, we didn’t care about the Weissman scores)
  8. 8. Performance & Cost KPIs Cost Performance● What are the cache hit ratios over time ○ How long can we keep origin requests cached on the CDN before they expire ○ Understand the benefits and cost of Hyper/Mid-Tier/Origin Shield Caches ● We need to understand what my egress traffic (and costs) would be for origin request ○ How much transfer costs would be incurred over time (day/month/year) ○ Understand how CDN caching policies will affect origin requests over time
  9. 9. Features we actually care about Origin shields / hypercaching Mid-tier caching architecture and implications Security features Delivery cost Origin egress and routing 05 01 02 03 04
  10. 10. Testing methodology / criteria Origin & Transfer Considerations Load & Performance Geographic Distribution Endpoints & Players
  11. 11. Using Goad to Build a Test Framework What is a goad? AWS Lambda powered, highly distributed, load testing tool written Go GOAD is a nodeJS application that executes within AWS lambda. Given the nature of it’s architecture, it’s highly distribute, relatively simple to implement, and lightweight. Requiring very little engineering engagement Check it out > https://goad.io/
  12. 12. Using Goad to Simulate Globally Analyze and Compare the results Leverage AWS Athena for analyzing the data Storage the resultant data in S3 SQS queues for centralizing results Build a Goad microservice; leveraging regionalized Lambda functions for generating global requests and playback execution Build staging environments; each configured to a CDN provider Distributed Player Requests at Scale Testing Framework & Methodology
  13. 13. Test Execution Strategy Using Goad Regions Assets Concurrency Tests • US EAST, US WEST, CANADA,UK, INDIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA • 10 unique & content specific video assets; per CDN • A mix of consistent and varied content types (50/50) • Identically encoded • 2 live streams • How many concurrent, sustained requests do we want to test for •1 per minute •5 per minute •10,000 per 5 minutes •100,000 per 15 minutes • Tests were executed over the course of a month + 1 week • A typical test would span several days, some as long as a week; continuous request load
  14. 14. Analysis Architecture ● Goad microservice using regionalized Lambda cloud functions for generating player requests and playback ● Goad sends those requests directly to a bucket (us-east-1) ● Where a predefined AWS Glue model is leveraged against the JSON files in S3 by Athena Results
  15. 15. Understanding our Test Results: Performance ● How long can I keep origin request cached on the CDN? ○ (eg; 1 month, 6 months, 1 year?) ○ what are the costs of that data renition on your provider (if applicable) ● What are my time to first frame values per provider ○ IF all player conditions are equal, how long did it take to…. ■ make a player request ■ download the manifest; queue into a player ■ download a chunk; seek to a chunk ■ begin playback ○ How does this improve my QoS experience for my clients for my consumers ■ should I make my chunk size small ■ should I invest in re-encode my library with a new codec
  16. 16. Results Current CDN CDN 2 CDN 3 CDN 4 April 2019 VOD Testing to Date Testing to Date Testing to Date Total = 565.86 TB Total = 632.8.4GB Total = 5.20TB Total = 1.17GB Origin Egress = 367.44 TB Origin Egress = 2.4GB Origin Egress = 29.7GB Origin Egress = 1.01GB Total Requests = 251.73 million Total Requests = 1.22 million Total Requests = 1.55million Total Requests = 700,360 Hits = 91.06 million Hits = 1.21 million Hits = 1.37million Hits = 294,520 Misses = 159.23 million Misses = 3810 Misses = 180k Misses = 405,840 Errors(all) = 1.44 million Errors(all) = 0 Errors(all) = 900 Errors(all) = too many Avg Efficiency for April = 63% Avg Efficiency = 98.9 % Avg Efficiency = 88.7% Avg Efficiency = 42%
  17. 17. AVG CDN Latency North Americatime(ms) CDN 4 CDN 1 CDN 3 CDN 2 April - May 2019
  18. 18. Understanding our Test Results: Cost ● Breaking down results by KPI ○ Calculate the following (for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month) ■ How content was delivered? ■ How much did that delivery cost? ■ How many origin requests were made? ■ How much did I pay in origin transfer cost for those request? ■ What are my fixed CDN platform fees?
  19. 19. Evaluating cost (don’t forget origin egress!!!) Delivery Costs (per GB), Platform Origin Egress Codecs & Advanced Features Total Cost of Ownership
  20. 20. Real VOD Use Case Post- Optimization
  21. 21. Conclusions ● Caching policies: the longevity of assets sitting on the CDN is important ○ Decreases overall origin requests ○ Decreases overall cdn transfer costs (if applicable) ● As a provider, origin egress (particularly when operating origins within the cloud) can make or break your delivery margins ○ Understanding origin transfer cost is imperative ● Routing and first-hop considerations ○ Origin egress transfer costs are directly related to outbound traffic egressing. To optimize routing, understand the network topology between your cloud origin and your CDN of choice (if not all of them). There can be hidden cost savings there ● Negotiate a good delivery rate
  22. 22. https://www.zype.com New York City 115 Broadway, FL5 New York, NY 10006 Thanks! Check us out at https://www.zype.com

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