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Managing large amounts of video files

Discussion on the best way to server Flash video files

5:00 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 5, 2008
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Hello All,

I run a live streaming video website, which also archives each live stream and makes it available for viewing. The videos are streamed using RTMP and saved as FLV files.

We're using Debian, LAMP and Wowza.

Right now we have about 20GB of video files, but we're currently making a scale-out plan to make sure we can handle serving lots of files to lots of users while still maintaining good live streaming performance.

People have suggested RAID but i don't know if this is the way to go. From what I've seen the bottleneck in this scenario is disk access times and I/O load overall. It seems that CPU and RAM are not such a big deal, in this scenario at least.

Thus I figured this could be solved by simply adding a lot of hard drives to our server (and more servers later on) and distributing the archives evenly across all the drives. We would then alter our recording software to write to the drives in a round-robin fashion.

This would hopefully achieve a good distribution of files which would maintain decent performance to the streaming user.

What do you guys think about this? Will this work, or do I have to use RAID?

Any info greatly appreciated!


7:45 pm on June 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 20, 2007
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everyone recommend RAID, but it doesnt necessary mean it is the right solution for you.

Personally, for you, I would recommend mirrored RAID and setup lots of drives. Perferable, all the same spec. Do plan for hard-drive problems, as the more drives you have, the more likely one will go down. Also the other problem is that hard drives change every few years. The amount of time I've spent trying to replace a drive with one of simular spec to find it no longer exists.

[edited by: Seb7 at 7:46 pm (utc) on June 15, 2008]