A core function of TekMedia is media transcoding. The TekMedia platform enables any user to publish a form on their end and allow it's users to upload videos. The videos are ingested by the TekMedia servers and transcoded to flash (flv) formats. Transcoding is a CPU intensive operation and can occur in bursts. Hence we needed a methodology to handle the burst loads and provide an experience to our customers where the wait time for the time a file is uploaded to when it is available for viewing was minimum. Have dedicated servers for handling the transcoding was proving to be quite expensive. Moreover there needed to be a better way to handle surges in traffic, without compromising on the user experience.
After three months of the launch of AWS, in July 2007, TekMedia (a finalist at Proto.in) was launched, working completely off Amazon Web Services. Building on S3 for media storage and streaming, EC2 for dynamic computing and instance spawning for transcoding and SQS for storing the transcoding requests in a queue, TekMedia had scalability built into the entire architecture.
The following architecture was built to introduce a new paradigm to the computing world which was "The response time of the application is inversely proportional to the load or response = 1/web-server load".
The above simply meant that the more the load on the system, the more the number of instances which will process the media to transcode the output.
"What the above allowed us to do was to sleep easy. We did not have to worry about scaling the infrastructure, while our sales team went about going and acquiring customers," says Gaurav Bhatnagar, Director Tekriti Software.
"Our intelligent algorithm automatically created new instances in the cloud, from a pre-built AMI, which was configured to poll the simple queue service as soon as it came into the running state. Once up the instance would read the message from the queue, fetch the video from the input S3 bucket, transcode the video, insert it into the output bucket, write a new message in the output queue, check for any pending messages in the input queue, or shutdown if none were pending," says Manish Dhingra, Director Tekriti Software .More importantly we were creating and releasing instances JIT (Just in Time) which further allowed us to work of a very tight budget. The fixed costs were only for the web and database server.
At this time, TekMedia is powering the media publishing features of numerous web based platforms. TekMedia is an integral part of PeopleAggregator platform for video publishing. Besides this TekMedia powers the media publishing functionality of SocialWorld.com and MyCollegeVid.com. We have been able to extend significant cost advantages to our customers because of the cost savings we have had using the AWS stack.