Author Topic: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?  (Read 4592 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« on: December 31, 2011, 11:18:38 pm »
Throwing this one out there because Chris and I aren't experts at this stuff.
As you may know we are looking to fix our server issues and want to get right.
We are currently on a cheap shared server for the web site itself, which of course should be more than enough for just the usual website traffic. Our problem is clearly streaming audio delivery.
30MB/show, 4 shows a month, 2500 listeners or so, gives 300GB/month data transfer (not including any overhead)
I have started to host the audio files on my dedicated server, but that's only a temporary solution.

So we have been looking at a VPS server, but I'm now doubting whether this would be suitable for such streaming data transfer?
A dedicated server might be overkill for such streaming content?

Perhaps Amazon S3 ($0.14/GB) or Rackspace CloudFiles ($0.15/GB) would be the most appropriate solution? (any others cheaper?)
Rackspace has CDN for free, so content is distributed on servers around the world.

Anyone got any real experience with streaming content delivery like this and can offer advice on the most appropriate (and cost effective) solution?

Thanks.
Dave.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 12:28:51 am »
Rackspace CDN have had their reliability problems like the odd 4 hours dropout.

Have you looked at http://www.maxcdn.com/? They seem good, and well organised. You don't have to be a genius to use it.

Amazon's Cloudfront seem to charge for GET requests whereas maxcdn is just charging for bandwidth alone. The pricing per request is normally trivial, UNLESS something goes wrong and download clients start sending thousands of requests to try and resume downloads.

The other way you can go is with a service like http://www.cloudflare.com that basically goes in front of your website and caches the content to give you an effective CDN. 

Richard

 

Offline amspire

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 12:46:16 am »
Just moving to a virtual server like an Amazon s3 instance still means all your traffic is going to one server. It still dies if everyone tries to access it at once unless there is a CDN cache in front of the s3 server.

A hosting service like Squarespace.com includes a CDN-like service by default, so it will never get overloaded, and the price for unlimited bandwidth is not bad. Squarespace allows for easy import of Wordpress sites, but what happens if you want to leave again? Squarespace may be worth considering for a pure media serving site and it is nice to use.

Richard
 

alm

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 03:41:26 pm »
Just moving to a virtual server like an Amazon s3 instance still means all your traffic is going to one server. It still dies if everyone tries to access it at once unless there is a CDN cache in front of the s3 server.
Amazon S3 is not really a virtual server (you may be thinking of EC2), it's just a cloud storage service with an SLA and specified availability. The main issue with it is that traffic is quite expensive.

A hosting service like Squarespace.com includes a CDN-like service by default, so it will never get overloaded, and the price for unlimited bandwidth is not bad. Squarespace allows for easy import of Wordpress sites, but what happens if you want to leave again? Squarespace may be worth considering for a pure media serving site and it is nice to use.
I would be hesitant to use any service offering 'unlimited' something for heavy usage. The difference between 'unlimited' and limited services is that the latter won't cut you off before you reach the limit, but the former may cut you off whenever they decide you're using too much of their service.
 

Offline steff

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 04:24:02 pm »
FWIW, my $orkplace are using both the inevitable Akamai (static files) and http://www.cotendo.com/ for site acceleration. Akamai are what you'd expect - excellent (which is why pretty much the whole world uses them) and pricey. Cotendo have been a pleasant surprise - they're relatively small and new but appear to be very switched on. I believe they do a pure CDN now and I'd expect that to be very good, given it's a simpler problem than the acceleration they already do for us. If you decide to contact them feel free to tell them that steff at Last.fm sent you.

Another alternative, which is appealingly simple or appallingly crude depending on how you look at it, is to rent a bunch of smallish VPSes and serve from all of them, using a shortish DNS TTL and load balance simply by adding or removing DNS entries. The lowest widely-respected TTL will be an hour or but that may well be quick enough for your application and scaling up or moving providers is trivial: just rent or stop renting a VPS (or spin up/stop an Amazon EC3 instance) and change the zonefile. In fact, this DNS fiddling is pretty much what the expensive "Global Load Balancer" appliances do, albeit some of them are bright enough to look at where DNS requests are coming from and serve the record for the closest/cheapest/least-busy origin server.

If I can help at all with this, do let me know - I've spent the past several years doing this sort of thing for big web sites.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 09:52:46 pm »
Just moving to a virtual server like an Amazon s3 instance still means all your traffic is going to one server. It still dies if everyone tries to access it at once unless there is a CDN cache in front of the s3 server.
Amazon S3 is not really a virtual server (you may be thinking of EC2), it's just a cloud storage service with an SLA and specified availability. The main issue with it is that traffic is quite expensive.
You are right - don't know what I was thinking. A month ago, I was looking into using EC2 and I guess it was on my mind.
Quote
....  Squarespace may be worth considering for a pure media serving site and it is nice to use.
I would be hesitant to use any service offering 'unlimited' something for heavy usage. The difference between 'unlimited' and limited services is that the latter won't cut you off before you reach the limit, but the former may cut you off whenever they decide you're using too much of their service.
You are correct again. You would have to ask Squarespace what traffic is acceptable.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 10:23:28 pm »
Thanks guys.
Current front runner looks to be www.libsyn.com to host the MP3 files.
They specifically do large streaming podcasts via a CDN network (not sure which one) and offer proper episode stats and phone apps to access the show.

Dave.
 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 02:53:14 pm »
Random idea, but ever considered putting your audio content on soundcloud.com?

It also provides you a nice player you can embed on the amphour website.
 

Offline Stephen Hill

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 10:40:48 pm »
If your just looking for online storage, perhaps you might consider Google Cloud Storage: http://code.google.com/apis/storage/
 

Online mariush

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Re: New AmpHour Hosting - VPS or S3 space?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 01:05:34 am »
The company I currently rent dedicated servers from (Swiftway) has a promotion for their CDN service: first 3 months for 1$, 56$ a month after for 2 TB a month of bandwidth.  7 cents per GB after.  Link to the offer: http://www.swiftway.net/offer/cdn-offer/

I think it's a very good deal for a content delivery network BUT...

A CDN won't help you with live streaming, it's just for downloads.... and honestly, I don't think you're at that point where you'd have the need for a CDN. 

Have a look at the "cloud server" offers here:  http://www.leaseweb.com/en/cloud-hosting/express-cloud

Even the 9 euro vps (because basically that's what it is) would be enough for serving the static files to users - the vps comes with 500 GB of bandwidth and 40 GB of disk space and this company is well known and has great datacenter, so the people will have no problems.

For streaming the show, I'd suggest having a look at Voxel.net:  http://voxel.net/voxcloud

You can rent a cloud server by the hour for 0.10$ an hour and pay for bandwidth separately at 0.10$ a GB and their network is awesome (and they add CDN for free, but if you pay for a few hours a week it doesn't help you much).

Your only problem would be the IP changes - I'm not sure how their cloud servers work but I think you can just create the cloud server, use it, stop it, restart it after a week or when you want to use it and you'll pay only for the hours it's online and bandwidth you use... and it's probably going to have the same IP but you have to chat with them to confirm.

 

You can rent the server an hour or so in advance, set up the streaming server software and after the show
 
 


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