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  1. #1

    Quad Opteron or Load Balanced Dual Operton for Streaming?

    We have a client interested in setting up streaming for about 1-2k simultaneous (24kbit/s each) radio users via media services.

    Would a Quad Opteron, 8-16gb RAM, 5x73gb 10k SCSI RAID 5 be able to handle this, or would a load balanced 3-4xDual Opteron be better? The quad operton would be cheaper management wise, but would not be as scalable.

    Any suggestions/comments are welcome...

  2. #2
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    <preface>I have very little first hand streaming knowledge, this is mainly from what I have read.</preface>

    I am assuming you are talking about streaming audio (24kbit/s is why I say that), in that case you are really going way overboard on the machine as far as I know. Streaming takes almost no CPU power IIRC. What software is going to be used? Shoutcast?
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  3. #3
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    I have just a hint:
    streaming in .ogg format, instead of mp3, cause it's half the size and same quality, so for ogg in 24kbit you will have mp3 at 48kbit (quality)
    Got Fused?

  4. #4
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    Only the encoder server really needs any horsepower; the broadcast boxes just need a bunch or RAM and a 100 Mb/s or Gig-E port.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, you just needn a really good network throughput.
    I'd always go for the load balanced option if price doesn't come into it. That way if one server suffers some sort of catastrophic failure, you've always got the other.

  6. #6
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    Do you really need the CPU power? I would tend to believe that this type of application would benefit more from a large amount of RAM and disk I/O. Why not put 16-32GB of RAM in a dual Opteron, and give it a large RAID10 array?
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  7. #7
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    From what I have read about streaming audio, a simple p4 2.8Ghz machine with 1GB of ram should be able to handle this.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crucialx
    We have a client interested in setting up streaming for about 1-2k simultaneous (24kbit/s each) radio users via media services.

    Would a Quad Opteron, 8-16gb RAM, 5x73gb 10k SCSI RAID 5 be able to handle this, or would a load balanced 3-4xDual Opteron be better? The quad operton would be cheaper management wise, but would not be as scalable.

    Any suggestions/comments are welcome...
    rofl copter! how about a p4 2.8 with a single scsi drive.

  9. #9
    Yep, just had another chat with our client and seems they had severly overestimatd the hardware requirements. A couple of load balanced low end machines looks like the best way to go to keep a bit of redundancy, and and keep costs down a bit. Thanks for all the suggestions!

  10. #10
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    What are you going to be using for the streaming? Load balancing is usually a waste of time as well (I believe you can just use the relay function in shoutcast to achieve the same thing if that's the route you're going).
    Mike from Zoodia.com
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  11. #11
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    if we are talking about saving money and bandwith you can just put the media files on torrents, but ...who doesn't want his own server?
    Got Fused?

  12. #12
    I believe our client is already using Windows Media Services, although I'm not to sure, still getting all the info we need from them and finding the best solution which meets their budget. We would be using a load balancer for redudancy more than anything, currently I believe they have 2xP4 setup to handle their current load.

  13. #13
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    Way, way overboard on the hardware. A 3 ghz P4 and 2 gigs of ram will do the trick.

    And if they are doing Win Media for a radio station, you dont need to load balance with hardware, just use two http to point to two different servers, with the other as a backup

    Would suggest two SATA or SCSII drives with Raid 1 (or better) to handle the log files. (assuming that they are going to be using windows media server and the winmedia log files)

    Suggest that you use two NICs: one for the stream from the encoder, the other for outbound to the clients. Makes it easier to troubleshoot.

  14. #14
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    If you read the spec for Win Media services it breaks down the capacity levels of all types of hardware. Essentially the lowest spec'd server Microsoft tested was a P4 2.8ghz and easily did 2800 connections at 32kbps. Do some simple research using available white papers.

    In real life, we see between 2000 and 2400 connections per single CPU server before latency starts getting jumpy.
    bye

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