Review: Flumotion Streaming Server

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“We make it easy on our customers by negotiating all the codec licensing and bundling it together in one product”, says Laballos, “so that our customers can focus on their core business and not have to become video experts.”

We weren’t able to test the server on scalability features, but the essence of Flumotion Streaming Server, such as Wowza’s Media Server Pro Advanced, is the concept of having a single server for all streaming codecs.

The company’s logic is based on two points: First is the ability to handle a variety of streaming formats within one machine, especially if the types of viewers are unknown; second, and somewhat corollary to the first, is the ability to transcode from one file format to multiple file formats within the same server.

The upside to this is simplified traffic management and server configuration, since Flumotion Streaming Server can be used out of the box on a standard machine, just as we did on a standard Dell with a live Fedora distribution.

The downside is that the box has the potential to be overwhelmed by a variety of format requests. The addition of on-demand file transcoding, set to launch in beta in October, is also beneficial for on-demand content distribution to a variety of players, but the need for additional computing resources to handle the transcoding while also serving up streams may tax the computer hardware enough that a second server would be required, thereby negating some of the cost savings of multiple formats on a single server platform.

Regardless, products such as Flumotion Streaming Server win in two other categories that mean the most: ease of use and low cost for those companies that otherwise might not be comfortable trying out in-house streaming services. Fumagalli touched on a few types of bundles that Fluendo prepares to help make the purchase decision less difficult for these companies.

“We prepare bundles for radio stations, TV, retailers, and others”, says Fumagalli, “who may not want to walk through all the various plug-in options, but we also see the need to take our internal scenario [configuration] tool and make it available to those who want to build their own bundle.”

Server upgrades, or upsells to different modules in the Flumotion Streaming Server, are also of interest to those who might consider starting with the lowest cost option. The ability to upgrade portions of the server without upgrading everything at one time is possible, and with version 1.2 to be released in mid-October, Fluendo is planning an e-shop initiative that will allow a configurator tool for both upgrades and functionality that will let users choose which portions to upgrade. The e-shop initiative will also provide the ability for Flumotion platform service customers to buy services in a modular way. The e-shop is scheduled for a beta in September; it was not ready for review at the time of our testing.

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