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Case Study: Microbrewery Taps Flash For Live Coverage of Annual Cycling Event

New Belgium archived the video on the laptop as it was uploading live for future on-demand use on its website. StreamGuys offloads these files from New Belgium’s local servers and provides on-demand streaming over its network. The co-located servers ensure that multiple viewers can simultaneously stream these videos on-demand. StreamGuys also mirrored the network so the video will arrive from the relay site closest to the viewer’s location. The files can be seen on-demand here.

StreamGuys monitored the event live for New Belgium from its Arcata offices, with a full support team to troubleshoot and measure the audience. There were no technical problems to report, and the Wowza server handled the live streaming audience flawlessly. New Belgium registered several thousand viewers over the course of the event, and expects to build on its numbers in 2008 and beyond.

StreamGuys typically addresses monitoring in three ways: Live, real-time monitoring of single events such as the Tour de Fat; "StreamGuys Reports," a form of post-event data analysis using log files; and billing-based measurements from traffic-oriented data.

The advantage of live monitoring is that everyone who is connected can be seen in real-time. As each person connects, operators keep count of simultaneous connections from the Arcata network operations center to get a feel for the audience size and the peak load. New Belgium received feedback of this information during the course of the Ft. Collins event.

Other real-time activities in single and multi-channel applications include monitoring the bit rate of each stream and the aggregate bandwidth used. Real-time monitoring also allows for the development of graphical representations that report how many people were connected at any time.

Reporting and Analysis
StreamGuys Reports are processed after the event. These reports include downloading log files from the servers and analyzing the data. Log performance data, for example, compiles the geographical reach of the stream, and how many viewers tuned in from each region. These logs also show which media players were in use, which can be helpful to our clients, such as broadcasters who are designing functionality for certain players. Meanwhile, billing-based measurements are excellent tools for managing resources and forecasting growth based on historic trends. Bandwidth analysis allows broadcasters and other streaming media providers to best utilize and budget resources, while understanding audience behavior over specific time periods.

While New Belgium was a single-channel event, StreamGuys also specializes in multi-channel streaming applications. The StreamGuys platform is designed to enable all the technology the company provides based on client needs. It allows the client to take advantage of different services by setting up, processing, and managing hundreds of different channels simultaneously, with costs focused on an aggregated amount of traffic based on the usage. That platform service allows the client to build a model that doesn’t incrementally raise costs for each individual channel.

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