Two big reasons to run real-time media streaming on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

January 29, 2021 | 3 minute read
Mari Brands
Principal Technical Program Manager
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As the global pandemic has drastically limited in-person events, the demand for high-quality livestreaming content has skyrocketed.

Phenix Real Time Solutions, a Chicago-based real-time video streaming provider, was able to quickly meet this soaring demand for streaming workloads, including automobile auctions, online gambling, sports betting, and live entertainment events, which all require subsecond-latency at a global scale. Phenix's synchronous multicamera streaming solution enables viewers to watch live sports games from any angle on any device in real-time. The workload demand has increased by over 300% in the last year, but with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), Phenix has saved over 40% in operational costs.

Phenix's cutting-edge experience illustrates two powerful reasons for companies to turn to OCI's flexible computing for their real-time media streaming needs.

Reason 1: 40% lower operational cost

OCI’s Flexible Compute, namely the E3.Flex virtual machines (VM), allows users to customize each instance to the exact number of cores (1 to 64), and memory (1–64 GB per core, up to 1024 GB total per instance). These specs can’t be done on other cloud providers.

“OCI’s E3.Flex compute is an amazing revolution—a game changer, just with its raw performance alone,” says Dr. Stefan Birrer, the cofounder and chief software architect of Phenix Real Time Solutions. “The true value is actually in cost-performance that outpaces anything in the market we’ve seen today out of all the cloud vendors.”

Phenix uses over 10,000 cores of E3.Flex instances across dozens of Oracle Cloud regions spread worldwide to support their subsecond latency streaming workloads. Choosing the exact number of cores and memory for each Compute instance anytime and as often as needed, based on each workload requirement, has enabled Phenix to scale their business quickly without having to pay for the overhead of any extra, unnecessary cores or memory. Phenix cut their operating cost by over 40% on the same number of workloads. The per-second billing granularity of OCI E3 and separated billing of OCPU and memory resources also help a streaming provider like Phenix. Their client workloads vary anywhere from a short 10-minute interactive online game to live sports that can last hours.

All that content streaming can add up to some significant data transfer cost. Unlike some of the other major cloud competitors like AWS, OCI doesn’t penalize for high availability and data transfer between availability domains within a single region is free.

Reason 2: Over 20% better performance with more workloads

Streaming real-time, high-definition packets to millions of viewers worldwide demands compute power that can scale quickly without compromising performance. OCI E3.Flex instance is built on the AMD EPYC 7742 processor with a base clock frequency of 2.25 GHz and a max boost of 3.4 GHz. It supports 1 Gbps per OCPU, up to a maximum of 40 Gbps for network bandwidth for a single core and its associated thread. “It’s our preferred shape now because it outperforms by 20% or more,” says Dr. Birrer, when compared with compute offerings from other major cloud vendors with similar or even higher price points.

Figure: Independent performance benchmark comparison provided by Phenix Real Time Solutions.

“AMD and Oracle Cloud have successfully collaborated over the years, equipping Oracle Cloud customers, like Phenix Real Time Solutions with access to virtual machines that support higher core counts and increased memory bandwidth that are well suited for both general-purpose and high bandwidth workloads,” said Vladimir Rozanovich, corporate vice president, Enterprise and Server Sales, AMD. “With the power of 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors and Oracle Cloud technology, end users can get the most out of Oracle Cloud ‘E3 standard,’ for applications that need access to high-performance capabilities.”

Try it out for yourself and see the benefit that streaming customers like Phenix, Zoom, and 8x8 are getting from this unparalleled cost-performance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute instances today.

Flexible VMs are available to use in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, SDK, CLI, and Terraform for your automation needs. This capability is automatically enabled for all your existing and new E3 VM instances in commercial regions. You can sign up for the Oracle Cloud Free Tier or a 30-day free trial, which includes US$300 in credit to get you started with a range of services, including compute, storage, and networking.

Mari Brands

Principal Technical Program Manager

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