A video streaming dedicated server is an ideal solution if you are offering your web users a video on demand, a video sharing / live streaming platform, or an online video platform. Video streaming dedicated servers deal with large volumes of data and need to scale nearly all their specifications, including RAM, disk space, bandwidth, and port size.
Compromising on CPU
To save money, about the only component you could possibly compromise on is the CPU, but don’t go too far. You will still need a robust CPU to handle dynamic content.
What dynamic content you might ask? While most of the business logic could be taken up by the web server (geo-restrictions, age restrictions, CDN rules, etc.) the resolution of the video is usually in the control of the video streaming server itself. If your streaming application is well designed, the application will detect if the client’s internet connection is unable to handle a video stream. It will then adjust the video resolution to reduce buffering and improve the user experience.
How much RAM do I need?
Nothing below 16 gigabytes. Every time a video has been streamed, it will need to be uploaded to memory. If the same video is streamed multiple times simultaneously, then it is being uploaded to memory multiple times.
To determine if you need more RAM, do the following exercise. What is the size of 30 seconds of video on your server (an HD video should come to around 30MBs)? Now, how many users are accessing your streaming service simultaneously? Multiply these two numbers, if it is greater than 12GBs, upgrade your RAM to 32GBs. If it is greater than 28GBs, upgrade to 64 GBs.
Think Twice about Disk Space.
At first, disk space seems rather easy to estimate. Just find out the size of all your videos, and make sure the server has the capacity for that. However, it is not that simple. First, you need to consider all the different resolutions your videos could be streamed in. You will have multiple copies of your videos at various levels of quality. Second, you want to leave some “empty” space in your disk for the application to use for caching, just as in the case for RAM.
Remember, an SSD can improve your application speed by storing your most popular videos and serving as an application cache. However, use a normal hard-disk for the bulk of your videos due to the lower cost it has.
Unmetered Bandwidth Dedicated Server
One of the most important performance factors when building a dedicated server for video streaming is the bandwidth.
If you’re just starting out and don’t expect a lot of visitors, a metered 1 Gbps port dedicated server will be enough. However, if you’re running an established tube streaming service, you should opt for an unmetered solution because your bandwidth usage could vary greatly from one month to the next. Make sure that the hosting provider you choose supports and allows content streaming, and make sure you test the provider’s network performance because not all networks are created equal and not all bandwidth is of the same quality.
Bandwidth Port Size Matters
For the bandwidth port size, you would want to size this based on peak streaming demand. An HD video consumes 1 MB/second. If you are given a 1 GB/second port, then it can handle at most 1000 simultaneous HD streamers. As a safety factor, if you estimate having more than 800 simultaneous HD streamers, you may want to upgrade your port.
At Maple-Hosting, we offer True-Unmetered Dedicated Servers that are perfect for video streaming and IPTV.
Furthermore, if you get an unmetered server with a port of 2 Gbps or more, you will automatically get a dedicated full-duplex 10 Gbps port that you can burst during your peak time. So if for example, you’ve purchased a True-Unmetered 2 Gbps port, you’ll be able to use 2 Gbps as per 95th percentile, but you will also be able to burst up to 10 Gbps for short periods of times. For clarification, the 95th percentile bandwidth billing method allows you to have short (generally less than 36 hours per month) bursts in traffic without overage charges.
Maple-Hosting is a privately owned hosting company that has been offering Netherlands VPS Hosting & Netherlands Dedicated Servers to partners around the world since June 2008. We focus on providing an exceptional hosting experience that allows our customers to focus on their businesses.