What are the functions of our management system?
To operate a CDN and provide delivery services for the operator's own premium content offering or to wholesale/retail services to other content owners, a number of functions are required within a CDN over and above basic content delivery and replication. Typically these functions are not provided as pre-integration solutions with CDNs and require additional hardware, third party software licenses and CDN supplier professional services to deploy, whereas with Velocix, these come as standard in the product.
The Velocix CDN includes a range of pre-integrated management functions that are invaluable in the operation of the CDN, having previously provided CDN services to content owners for several years. The following fully functional and pre-integrated functions are part of the default platform:
- Multi-tenant CDN service user portal
- Reporting and billing
- Content distribution controls
- Network monitoring and alerts
- Troubleshooting tools
The Velocix Console is the management application through which CDN management occurs. It has two distinct parts: Operator control portal and a CDN customer portal.
A common requirement for operators looking to deploy a CDN service is to be able to sell CDN services to content owners. To support this model it is crucial that the CDN supports an interface to multi-tenant different services within the CDN.Each content owner will need to manage their content services and assign specific roles and responsibilities within their organization.They are used to having access to reports, account, billing information and also a method to view published content, change delivery parameters and manage content accounts. For the CDN owner the requirements to support multiple account hierarchies and allow each content owner to manage their own services with reseller functionality will be required. The content owner and the CDN owner requirements are respectively served by the CDN customer part and the operator control part of the Velocix Console.
To produce content owner bills information associated to specific services for cost per GB and storage are required and then bills calculated against these. All these capabilities are available on the Velocix platform.
A core component of any CDN is the ability to apply geo-blocking on delivery requests. The process of cache selection will also use geo-IP information to identify closest delivery caches to consumers. Carrier grade geo-IP solutions require processes to integrate data updates into the CDN on regular intervals. The geo-IPsolutionis fully integrated into the Velocix solution as standard.
Based on the Nagios application, through a combination of SNMP traps and scripts the system provides status and alerts for all CDN components and appliances. Nagios monitors hosts and services, alerting the operations centre when things go wrong and again when they get better. Services are measured against a threshold value and results are displayed. Complementing Nagios, Cacti provides ingress / egress traffic monitoring down to interface level for each appliance and generates performance loading metrics.
To simplify and empower troubleshooting functions, the Velocix CDN integrates a number of tools that provide direct connection to streaming servers bypassing control and routing elements of the CDN. These tools are also useful for testing purposes following maintenance work. An additional set of tools provide lights-out remote administration of the hardware and a view on capacity demand. The list of tools available comprises:
- The Adobe Flash Media Administration Console for Flash Media Server resources and documentation
- The Flash On-demand test application and the Flash Live Streaming test applications
- The Windows On-Demand Media Streaming and the Windows Media Live Streaming test applications
- The Cache Load Averages for a CDN wide view of the caches load
- The Flash SWF for the testing of secure delivery of Flash video
- The Lights-out remote administrator