Adobe Media Server, Apache, and Windows

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, for the benefit of anyone else who encounters the problem. Things are going to get crazy around here, so I might as well get this out there and out of my drafts!


The problem itself is that we run a number of Adobe Media Server 5 instances at the University of Denver and after an upgrade over the Summer Quarter, streaming and stability pretty much went from 100% reliable to “we need to find another streaming solution”.

So the setup is AMS5, bundled Apache 2.4, and Windows Server 2012. On both live streams and VOD – we saw similar behavior… the services were all still running… but no content was being served. After looking at a number of parameters we discovered that our RTMP streams were actually running fine. It was the HLS streams which were constantly dying.

We were actually having to restart the services to get streams running again multiple times a day – for weeks. It was an incredibly frustrating experience and searches for this problem in regard to AMS yielded no workable results. I even tried reaching out to Adobe through my contacts with them and was met with complete silence. Absolutely frustrating.

It wasn’t until I began excluding the term “AMS” from my research – and looked only toward Windows and Apache HTTPD that I found anything close to what I was experiencing.

asf_logo

I found 2 different posts about what appears to be the exact same issue – not with AMS itself… but with Apache on Windows:

Both threads suggest the addition of the following parameters to the main Apache configuration file:

AcceptFilter http none
EnableSendfile Off
EnableMMAP off

Performing the mentioned adjustments to the Apache 2.4 configuration file within your AMS installation absolutely resolves this issue. Here is the modified httpd.conf located at {PROGRAMS}\Adobe\Adobe Media Server 5\Apache2.4\conf as an example:

#
# This is the main Apache server configuration file. It contains the
# configuration directives that give the server its instructions.
# See <URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/> for detailed information.
# In particular, see
# <URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/directives.html>
# for a discussion of each configuration directive.
#
# Please see httpd.conf.orig for the configuration of a default
# (non-AMS) installation of apache.
Define AMS_BASE_PATH ".."
Define WEB_ROOT "/webroot"
Define AMS_WEB_ROOT ${AMS_BASE_PATH}${WEB_ROOT}
Listen 80
Listen 8134

LoadModule slotmem_shm_module modules/mod_slotmem_shm.so

# If you plan to run AMS as root on linux, you _must_ specify a
# valid user, with access to the AMS installation direction, or
# apache will not run.
#
# If you've used the default installer, nobody (or whatever other
# username you gave to the installer) will work here.
#
# If you're running a developer build under your own home directory,
# you should use your own username.

AcceptFilter http none
EnableSendfile Off
EnableMMAP off
AccessFileName .htaccess
ServerSignature On
UseCanonicalName Off
HostnameLookups Off

Timeout 120
KeepAlive On
MaxKeepAliveRequests 100
KeepAliveTimeout 15

This was an incredibly frustrating experience for myself and many others involved. I hope this post helps someone out there to resolve this problem without the weeks upon weeks of crap I had to deal with!

Getting Started with Flash Media Server

After presenting on this topic last month for the Hawaii Flash User Group, I was approached by the FMS User Group asking if I would do the presentation for them as well. No problem, right!

This presentation will provide an introduction to Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 and the use of streaming video with the Flash platform. We will have a look at a number of topics, including; setting up a local development server instance, testing RTMP, HDS, and HLS streaming with sample files, using the Flash Media Server adminstration console, extending HDS/HLS to tap into the applications directory to share RTMP-ready streams over HTTP, have a look at a variety of playback options including Strobe and the OSMF, provide some pointers on encoding tools and settings for video, examine some extended uses for Flash video playback through real-world application development scenarios.

So here are my slides and a link to the group entry:

[Looks I have the wrong AUG name on the slides… ah… should be FMS User Group]

Making Rich Video Happen!

Presentation at the Teaching with Technology Conference, Boulder, CO.
August 11, 2010 – 1:10 p.m.

The University of Denver made a strong commitment to delivering rich media for classroom use across campus years ago and we are still going strong. This presentation will cover every aspect of video capture, cataloging, and delivery at DU today through custom-developed solutions as well as failures and lessons learned.

Archives: Adobe Education Seminar Series

The archived presentations from the recent Adobe Education Seminar Series are now available for viewing.

Join Adobe in this three-part seminar series to learn how you can create and stream engaging video on the web.


Session 1: Video Use Cases in Higher Education: Expand your audience through video

Discover new and exciting ways to increase the exposure, enrollment, and fundraising potential of your university through the use of video on your university’s website. From distance learning, to the broadcast of live athletic events and artistic performances, to campus tours and new student orientation, all of this and more can be brought to life on your website, increasing the interest of potential students, keeping alumni engaged in their alma mater, and thereby bringing more revenue to your institution.

Hear from representatives from the University of Denver about their successes with Flash video on their campus!

Presenters:

Joseph Labrecque
Senior Multimedia Application Developer
Adobe Higher Education Leader
University of Denver

Leslie Trumble
Director Visual Media Center
University of Denver


Session 2: From Concept to Distribution: Products that will help you capture, edit, and distribute your video online

Learn about the Adobe video workflow from end-to-end. We will start with authoring content in Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 Production Premium and follow the process to Adobe Flash® Media Server for secure streaming of video content to your website. John will talk about some of the workflow options that are particularly relevant to educational usage of streaming video including the robust options that are available for Digital Rights Management of Adobe Flash Video.

Presenter:

John Schuman
Solution Architect
Digital Video Solutions
Adobe


Session 3: Making it all happen: A discussion of how to implement a video solution at your institution

In this final session, you will learn how to implement a video solution on your campus, using the tools and technologies previously presented in this series. Nick and John will go deeper into the technology behind a complete video solution, steps for implementation and decisions to be made in your implementation, all the way through getting video live on your website.

Presenters:

John Schuman
Solution Architect
Digital Video Solutions
Adobe

Joseph Labrecque
Senior Multimedia Application Developer
Adobe Higher Education Leader
University of Denver

Nick Hippe
Sales Engineer
Digital Media
Adobe

Announcing: Adobe Education Seminar Series

At the Adobe Education Leader Summer Institute this past July, I gave a presentation entitled Leveraging the Flash Platform to Deliver Dynamic Media Across Campus which dealt with what the University of Denver is working on in regard to the Flash Platform, focusing upon our work with CourseMedia™. I received a good deal of positive feedback from both Adobe employees and fellow AELs (Adobe Education Leaders) in attendance.

AEL Preso

A few weeks after the event, I was contacted by the Adobe Education team to gauge my interest in being part of a seminar series they were putting together around how universities are implementing video solutions across campus. DU CourseMedia™ will be one of the points of focus in the upcoming seminar series.

Please learn more and register for the event to join us through Adobe Connect for the following sessions:

  1. SESSION 1 – Video Use Cases in Higher Education: Expand your audience through video (September 9)
  2. SESSION 2 – From Concept to Distribution: Products that will help you capture, edit, and distribute your video online (September 16)
  3. SESSION 3 – Making it all happen: A discussion of how to implement a video solution at your institution (September 23)

I’ll be presenting on both the 1st and 3rd sessions along with Sandy Balzer, John Schuman, and Nick Hippe from Adobe. DU’s Leslie Trumble will also be joining us in presenting Session 1 to contribute her unique perspective on faculty usage through her work at the Visual Media Center.


Register

Register!