Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced that CloudFront now supports Flash streaming (RTMP) in addition to progressive downloads (HTTP). Live streaming is also expected to be rolled out at some point in 2010.
This is all being made possible by Amazon’s decision to deploy Flash Media Servers (FMS) at its 14 edge locations. The decision to go with FMS over Wowza Media Server is somewhat surprising given the fact we’ve been streaming off AWS for quite some time using Wowza Media Server for EC2 .
Even though we were really happy with the quality of service we eventually got out of this, setting it up was not a pleasant experience.
Given what I’ve just said why did we go down this route when there are plenty of content delivery networks (CDN’s) we could have used for this?
Bottom line, pricing and flexibility.
Put simply, using a CDN for true streaming (RTMP) more often that not is out of reach for low-volume publishers due to cost, long-term contracts and minimum commitments.
Hence, our decision to stream off of AWS using Wowza.
Now that CloudFront has deployed FMS we will certainly be reassessing our current set-up.
Using Amazon CloudFront for true-streaming offers low-volume publishers like us the following benefits:
- high performance
- reliable delivery
- global coverage
- ability to leverage other streaming protocols such as RTMPT, RTMPE, RTMPTE
- no up-front commitments
- no additional platform or licensing fees
- no long-term contracts
We will definitely be testing CloudFront for streaming and will report back on our findings in the New Year.