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Posts Tagged ‘content delivery’

This is going to be a quick guide for our customers who are looking to utilise FTP to upload and manage their content. If you’re not already a customer and are interested in learning more about our various CDN solutions, you can find contact details at the bottom of this article.

For those who’ve never used it, FTP uploading could seem like a daunting task but in reality it’s actually very straight forward and offers you a more effective way to manage your content. There are a few things you need to do before you can start uploading but we will cover these in a step by step fashion below. Firstly however, I will give you a brief description of how FTP works.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a means of sending files over the internet for storage at a remote location. It shares similarities with HTTP which is the protocol for which content and websites are delivered from a server to a web browser – however, FTP is only utilised for the transferring of files.

A great way to visualise how FTP works is to look at your ‘My Documents’ folder on your computer. If you access your ‘My Documents’ folder, you will find numerous files and folders which were all saved locally by you on your machine. FTP is a solution that allows you to utilise the internet to view and interact with storage folders much like your ‘My Documents’ folder but in other remote locations. In this case you will be using FTP to access your folder which is located on the Limelight CDN. When you connect to the folder, you create a direct link from your local machine to the CDN so files can be transferred over the internet for remote storage.

FTPdiagram

So moving forward, here are the steps you need to take to get uploading.

Step 1 – Download an FTP client.

An FTP client is a piece of software that allows you to interact with the files stored on the remote folder. It works much like Windows Explorer – Windows Explorer being the utility that you use to navigate your files on your PC.

All you have to do is give the FTP client some connection details and it will connect to your remote folder so you can chose files from your local machine to upload. You can also use the FTP client to create additional folders and generally manage your files.

There are a number of different FTP clients you can use but for this guide, we are going to use FileZilla which is a free, simple to use, open source FTP client. You can start the download by clicking this link: http://player.mydeo.com/filezilla.exe – when installing, please beware of the options you’re clicking as to avoid any unwanted bloat ware. Follow the instructions and install the FTP client.

Once you’ve installed, open your FTP client and you should see something that resembles this:

FTPclient

Step 2 – Connecting  and managing your FTP folder

You should have received from us a welcome letter introducing you to your new FTP credentials. You will now need these credentials to connect to the FTP folder. You need three things: Host address, Username and Password. Towards the top of the FileZilla windows, you should see some boxes where you can enter information. These boxes are labelled: Host, Username and Password – Place the information you have in your welcome letter into the respective fields and then click the button labelled ‘Quickconnect’ – you don’t need to worry about the ‘Port’ field. Assuming the connection was successful and you entered your details correctly, your FTP folder and its contents should appear on the right hand side. See below:

FTPclientConnected

As you can see, we only have one file stored in our FTP folder called ‘welcome.txt’. This serves as a test file which we will come onto later. Looking again at the image above, on the left you can see files on my local machine. In this particular folder I only have a singular files called ‘aFile.txt’. If I wanted to upload that file, I could either drag and drop or right-click and state upload. After a few second, the file would appear in the right had box (my remote FTP folder). So always remember, your local items are on the left and your items stored in the remote FTP folder are on the right.

If you want to create folders to separate your content, you can simply right-click in the white space of your remote FTP folder and select ‘Create directory’. A new folder will show up which you can rename as normal. We find that our customers utilise different folders for different projects or clients because it’s much easier to manage than having just a long list of files.

Step 3 – Creating the URL for delivery over the CDN.

Once you’ve uploaded a file to the FTP folder, it is immediately available for super-fast CDN delivery but you need to create the URL first. This is actually easier than it sounds and involves using your Prepend URL found in your welcome letter. The Prepend URL is linked directly to your master FTP folder. If you have a file in your master folder, this will be accessible via the Prepend URL followed by a ‘/’ and then the full filename and extension as it appears in your FTP client. Remember the welcome.txt test file we mentioned before? Well this file is found in the master folder of HTTP11 which is one of our test FTP folders. The Prepend URL for HTTP11 is: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11 – to access welcome.txt, we simply have to add a ‘/’ to the Prepend URL along with the full file name and extension. The full URL will therefore be this: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/welcome.txt. Feel free to copy this into your browser and test.

If your content resides within a folder that’s in your master folder, you simply have to add a reference to the folder in the URL… Imagine welcome.txt was actually found in a folder called ‘testFolder’. The URL would need to reference ‘testFolder’ between two ‘/’ before the file and extension. Here is an example: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/testFolder/welcome.txt – for your benefit, I created ‘testFolder’ in the HTTP11 directory, feel free to test the URL above. In my FTP client it looks like this:

FTPnewFolder

And that’s it! Once you’ve uploaded a few files and created some new directories (folders) you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

If you’re having any problems at all, please do not hesitate to contact us by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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Producing a professional live event over the internet is a complicated and stressful task. Making sure everything happens at the exact right time in a seamless fashion is paramount to the end user experience. The live feed itself has to be perfect to meet the expectations of your audience. The problem with live video today is the inevitable direct comparison to on-demand video services. Audiences’ witness the likes of Netflix, YouTube and other HD video streaming services and base their experiences as the benchmark in which to scrutinise all other forms of internet based video. Okay, this may be a bit harsh because the odd skip would probably be forgiven seeing that it’s live. However, a dead stream is a dead stream and your users aren’t going to just sit there and watch a frozen frame or a black screen.

Taking every precaution possible is obviously the best way to lower the chances of a broken stream. There’s not much you can do in terms of a backup stream for a live event because obviously the footage is sent out in real time. At least an on-demand file can reference a backup version if the primary source is compromised. In terms of backup with live services through a CDN, Mydeo has a system in place with Limelight that can seriously lower the chances of a broken stream.

The system Mydeo offers has is the ability to stream to a primary and a backup ingest server which introduces a number of key benefits. Firstly, by streaming to two separate ingest servers, you get double security from network errors. In the very unlikely case that one of the ingest servers were to experience a problem; the other server would take over with delivering your stream. The end user would be none the wiser and the video feed would continue delivering seamlessly. Again, it’s very unlikely that an ingest server would fail but at least you know there’s a fall back in the worst case scenario.

The second key benefit is the ability to utilise dual internet connections. If you’re able to tap into a secondary internet connection, you can set the primary ingest URL onto the main (fastest) internet connection and the backup URL can be set to the alternative internet connection. Again, if something were to happen to either of the internet connections, the stream would switch over automatically and the end user experience wouldn’t be compromised. Some customers of Mydeo have started utilising mobile internet solutions as a backup source. Couple this with backup power generators and you are on the way to complete resilience from internet connection failures.

Mydeo can offer backup (fall back) solutions with both normal Flash live and Stream Anywhere products. If you would like more information on our CDN services, please feel to contact by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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Limelight Networks have renewed their partnership with Mydeo to provide European small business customers with a more flexible, low-cost way of delivering content via its global Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Mydeo offers a number of benefits to businesses requiring the high performance and reliable delivery of the Limelight Network’s CDN, but on more flexible commercial terms. These include lower minimum throughput plans, instant online account set up, no minimum contract terms, no setup costs and free premium reporting.  Mydeo supports all major file formats for delivery over the robust Limelight CDN. Mydeo also offers a number of streaming solutions for both live and on-demand. The newest addition to the Mydeo product line-up is Stream Anywhere which enables users to live stream to multiple end devices, including: iPhones, iPads, Androids devices, Windows Phone and more. Mydeo also offers traditional Flash streaming services for reaching older devices that are incompatible with the HTML5 platform.

“The service is aimed at small businesses with the same needs as the large corporates i.e. requiring high quality media delivery to increase their website performance, run rich media campaigns, build brands and boost sales, but with lower data throughput requirements” commented Mydeo’s Founder and CEO, Cary Marsh. “It helps them overcome some of the technical difficulties associated with delivering large media files on their websites such as poor delivery and reduced site performance, at affordable rates. Using Limelight’s CDN, video and other rich media files are delivered effortlessly, allowing the consumer to remain fully engaged with the site.”

Mydeo launched in 2005 with the help of an R&D grant for Technical Innovation from the DTI. By the end of 2005 Mydeo were Microsoft’s European Windows Movie Maker partner, providing high quality Windows Media Hosting services for XP users worldwide. In October 2007, Mydeo and Best Buy Co. Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services, entered into a business partnership; Mydeo now powers the company’s video sharing service.

Mydeo continues to provide industry leading CDN solutions at a fraction of the cost of buying direct. Mydeo’s expert, London based team are dedicated to delivering unrivalled customer service and are at hand to help companies handle their online digital presence.

For more information about Mydeo, please visit our website: www.mydeo.com. You can also contact our friendly London based team by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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As technology evolves, internet users are becoming more and more aware of website performance. Broadband has had a major effect on this because the average internet user has access to increasingly faster ISP solutions. When dial up was in the mainstream, companies didn’t have to worry so much about bottlenecks because the demand on webservers was tiny compared to what they are today. The fact is, if your website is slow to load, you will lose customers because it’s an unfortunate truth that internet consumers are very impatient. In 2011, a UK survey of more than 1500 web users found that:

  • 71% of respondents say they are regularly inconvenienced by slow websites.
  • Half believe that websites either have not improved in speed or have become slower over the past five years.
  • 42% of Men and 35% of women have decided not to use a company again as a result of experiencing a slow website.

It’s commonly known that online shoppers demand a page load time of 3-seconds or lower and it’s something we’ve known here at Mydeo for some time. If you pay for a fast broadband connection, you expect fast website load times. 3 seconds may sound low but when have you ever gone to a website just to look at the home page? Typically, you’ll need to navigate through searching options or menus to get to where you need. If each page takes 3 second or more to load, there’s a good chance you’ll get tired of the experience and try elsewhere.

In the same report, the top 20 online retailers were compared for page load times and the results showed that Shop Direct, Tesco and Staples had page load times of 1.69, 1.72 and 1.80 seconds respectively. At the bottom of the list was Comet.co.uk who had a page load time of 11.29 seconds – I wonder how Comet are doing?  This article is not trying to suggest that if your website is slow, you will go out of business but these report findings do suggest that a slow website will have a negative impact on your company image.

The next part of this article is about how Mydeo can help to prevent slow websites but before we can find a solution, we need to understand the problem. A webpage is made up of many different assets all working together to produce the final product. Whether we’re talking about pictures or css files, each resource does one particular job on that page and each of these assets has to be requested from wherever it’s being stored. All of these requests added together will give you your overall page load time. A webserver is the most common method for delivering resources over the internet and is great for certain jobs but not others. For instance, if you were to put everything on your webserver including pictures, css files, java script files, videos etc. That little webserver has a hell of a lot of work to do when that webpage is requested. Basically, you would be bottlenecking its connection so when multiple users request the page at once, the overall experience is a very slow one at best. Usually, webservers that come under extreme load will crash and your website will subsequently go down. Mydeo receives many requests from companies seeking help with their websites due to experiencing webserver crashes. Your online presence is crucial so I don’t have to tell you how bad it is for your site to go offline…

To prevent the above from happening, it’s a good idea to take some of that load off your webserver and you can do this by integrating a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a purpose built global network of super-fast distribution servers which are geared towards handling large amounts of content all at once. By allowing a CDN to deliver your major page assets, your webserver is relieved from that heavy load preventing downtime and slow load times. The other great thing about using a CDN is that the network caches copies of your assets wherever it goes in the world so when foreign users request your website, most of assets are delivered locally which results in a better website experience globally. Content stored on webservers would have to make the long trip each time your site is requested which again is bad news for page load times…

Integrating a CDN doesn’t have to be expensive, Mydeo offer fantastic entry level pricing and buy bulk from one of the largest CDNs in the world, Limelight Networks. By doing this, Mydeo can pass the savings directly onto the consumer but at the same time, they get to utilise some the best CDN solutions in the industry which the likes of Netflix, Coca-Cola and Disney all use.

There’s no need to be the victim of website crashes and slow page load times, contact Mydeo and we will get you started on a 15 day trial which will prove to you the worth of incorporating a global CDN into your company.

Contact us on: +44 208 530 2300 or by email: help@mydeo.com.

Information source: http://www.radware.com/workArea/showcontent.aspx?id=1631344

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So you already know that you require a CDN to deliver your web assets but now you need to know how to get your content ready for delivery. Here at Mydeo, we offer two methods for uploading your content to the CDN for superfast global distribution.

 

FTP 

 

If your plan is to offload your content library onto Mydeo, then FTP is definitely the best way moving forward. The process is very simple and only requires the user to have an FTP client installed on their local machine. There are many decent FTP clients out there and the majority of the best ones are completely free. If you need a free, easy to use FTP client, then Mydeo suggests FileZilla. You can download FileZilla FTP Client here: https://filezilla-project.org/download.php. Do make sure you download the client version and not the server edition…

Once you have your FTP client installed, you will need three things to connect to the network and these are: Host address, Username and Password. If you’re using FileZilla, these fields are located near the top of the window. If you’re using another FTP client, the process is usually the same and very straight forward.

Once you’ve logged into your FTP folder, if it’s a new set up, there probably won’t be much going on but the best way to think about it is simply your new empty folder that’s located on the CDN. From here you’re able to upload directly to your route directory (main folder) or you can create a folder structure very similar to that of your local ‘My Documents’ folder found on every PC. At Mydeo, we find that our customers enjoy having the ability to completely define their directory layout within the FTP folder as it makes it very easy for them to manage.

As soon as content has been uploaded, it is immediately available for delivery over the CDN using a predefined URL called a publishing URL. The publishing URL is directly linked to your route FTP folder with a predefined path such as ‘http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder’. From there, you only need to add the file name plus extension and you’re ready to go (http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder/file.ext). If your file is within a directory you created, you also need to reference the folder name within the URL (http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder/directory/file.ext). We supply you with a publishing URL when you sign up.

To add a personal touch to your publishing URL, you can request a CNAME to be set up in its place. As long as you own the domain, we can set up your content so it delivers from a sub-domain created on your DNS. This is very quick and simple to configure and the majority of our clients go for this option.

 

Customer Origin (Origin Pull)

 

Mydeo also offers Customer Origin which is mainly for those who already have a large established library of content sitting on their existing servers. Customer Origin is great because technically, you never have to upload a single file. To configure Customer Origin, you will need to provide us with a source address to your servers. This can either be a top-level domain, sub-domain or even an IP address. Once configured, your server in essence becomes part of the CDN and your content can be pulled straight from your own origin. To deliver your content over the CDN, you’re given a unique publishing URL (again this can be a CNAME). When the published URL is requested, that file is pulled from your servers, delivered to the user and then cached on the network. The next time that file is requested; it then delivers straight from the CDN cache rather than your servers.

Customer origin gives you all the benefits of CDN caching and delivery but you retain complete control over your content as it’s stored on your own servers. It can also prove much more cost effective because you won’t be paying for CDN storage fees.

So there you have it, two very functional ways of having the CDN deliver your content. Both options have their plus points but really it’s down to your circumstances as to which method you choose to go with.

For more information on FTP, Customer Origin or any of our other services, you can contact us by email: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300. We’re always happy to help.

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Even with the introduction of HTML5, Flash streaming is still one of the most widely used formats for delivering video over the internet – especially for live events. Here at Mydeo, we still receive many requests for Flash live and on-demand services.  The following article by Limelight Networks explains some of the options available to you when using FMS to deliver your video content:

Flash Media Server 3.5

Customers of Flash streaming services now have more options for broadcast-quality video delivery on the Internet. With support for Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5, Limelight Stream enables dynamic streaming, DVR functionality within a live stream, and enhanced H.264 video and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio. 

Dynamic Streaming

For an optimum viewing experience, the quality of the video file you deliver needs to match your end user’s available bandwidth. The trouble is, their bandwidth may suddenly drop, perhaps because other users in the house or community start consuming more bandwidth on a shared pipe. Your viewer is left watching (or trying to watch) a high-bit-rate video on a connection that’s too slow to handle the stream, resulting in stutters, stops, and a less-than-positive experience.

Dynamic streaming addresses this common scenario by switching seamlessly to a higher- or lower-quality stream based on available bandwidth — without ever disrupting the flow of video or audio. (Of course, this means you need to have encoded and uploaded the same content as multiple independent files at different bit-rates.)

Although Flash Media Server 3.5 provides the ability to switch files, it’s the Flash client that actually requests the change. The user’s Flash player (version 10 required) monitors current bandwidth and CPU load. If the video buffer is filling up too rapidly or the CPU is nearing pre-defined utilization levels, the Flash client can simply ask the server to switch to a different file.

Dynamic streaming is available for live and on-demand Flash content and supports both .flv and H.264 files types.

Live DVR

Give your viewers the freedom to walk away from a live event without worrying about missing out on the action. Flash Media Server 3.5 supports live DVR, enabling end users to return to portions of live streaming events, even if their Internet connection choked and missed a crucial moment. With Live DVR, you can create streaming video solutions that include instant-replay, catch-up, or seek functionality.

Even with all these interactive features, there’s no transfer of your content to the user’s system. As with all streaming services, Flash Media Server 3.5 caches the live DVR at your discretion.

At Mydeo we offer a whole host of Flash delivery solutions including those mentioned above – We also offer instant set up with no installation fees. If you’re interested in Mydeo’s Flash services or any of our other many CDN solutions, please do not hesitate to get in contact – Email: danny@mydeo.com, Phone: +44 208 540 2300.

You can also find us at: www.mydeo.com

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Customer Origin is the best way to have complete control over your content but at the same time, utilise the power of a global CDN like Limelight Networks.

What is a CDN?

As you probably already know, a CDN is a collection of servers strategically placed across the globe. When a file that’s being handled by a CDN is requested, a copy of that file is cached to the closest POP to the end user. This means that when another user requests the same file from a similar location, the file is now being served locally. This can do wonders for performance as well as taking critical load off of your own servers. Mydeo utilise the Limelight Networks CDN to provide our customer with global content delivery and site acceleration solutions.

What is Customer Origin?

Customer Origin is an alternative to storing your files straight on the CDN. Basically, Limelight Networks will pull your content directly from your servers eliminating the hassle of uploading and maintaining your content in a second location. This will save you time and money because you won’t be charged for storage space.

When would you use it?

Customer Origin is a great solution when you have tons of content already stored on your own server. Manually moving all your content over onto another storage solution will take valuable man hours which can be costly.  Control over HTTP headers is essential to those who want to specify caching policies and how their content behaves. If a file is uploaded to the CDN, there’s no way to control HTTP headers which makes practices such as browser caching impossible. Customer Origin means that, because your content is stored with you, you can determine its behaviour on the network.

How to get set up

To set up Customer Origin, all we would need from you is the address or IP of where your content is being stored. If your content is usually being served in this manner: http://myServer.com/folder/myFile.txt, the CDN will be able to use http://myServer.com/ as the source address. Our network will accept: top level domains, sub domains and specific directories such as: http://myServer.com/folder/. As long as the files you want to deliver over the CDN are accessible from the source you provide, the CDN will be able to handle and cache your content.

Once the source address has been configured and set up on the network. You will be given a Publishing URL. In most cases you can specify what this is so most of our customers follow this format: http://cdn.myCompany.com/. To use the network for content delivery you use the Publishing URL which maps directly to the source address. Going back to my source address example: http://myServer.com/, you would be able to call the same example file using this format: http://cdn.myCompany.com/folder/myFile.txt.

Content Freshness

The final point that needs to be raised is regarding content freshness. If the file is changed on the origin, will the cached ‘older’ copies of the file (that have been stored on the edge) continue to be delivered?

By setting the Time-To-Live (TTL) header on your content, you’re telling the network how often it needs to check back with the origin to see if the file has been removed or modified. In most cases this is set somewhere between 24 – 72 hours because making too many freshness checks could have an effect on performance. If there’s a particular case where a file or a whole range of files needs to be removed from the network quickly, we can make a purge request. Purging will remove all traces of that file or collection of files from the edge and force all new requests to be called from the origin, resetting the caching process.

I hope this has given you a better understanding of how we set up Customer Origin and how the network handles your content. If you ever have any questions regarding Customer Origin or other CDN solutions, you can get hold of us by email: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: 0208 540 2300, we are always happy to help. Pricing can also be found here on our website.

Many thanks

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