Typically, delivery of live-video multicast streams between datacenters and the cloud requires investment in specialized third-party hardware and software or resources to develop a custom solution. These solutions can be costly, complex, and difficult to support, and monitoring requires extensive knowledge and investment in vendor-specific tools. Now, with MediaConnect Gateway, customers have the ability to view, monitor, and control live video stream transport in on-premises datacenters directly from the AWS Management Console or by using the MediaConnect API.
Customers will use MediaConnect Gateway primarily for contribution and distribution of live video. For video contribution workflows, let’s take a content provider that originates live linear channels on premises. The provider sends these feeds to partners around the globe, using MediaConnect Gateway as a bridge between their multicast, on-premises network infrastructure and the cloud. Each MediaConnect Gateway instance can subscribe to one or more multicast groups, where a group represents either a single channel or multiple channels multiplexed together in a multi-program transport stream (MPTS). Once subscribed, MediaConnect Gateway converts the network traffic to unicast, adds encryption, and sends the video to a MediaConnect flow in the cloud. Then a live streaming application is created using the feed, processing and delivering the video to end viewers using AWS Elemental MediaLive, AWS Elemental MediaPackage, and Amazon CloudFront, for example, or another software application.
For video distribution, customers can use MediaConnect Gateway to build sophisticated networks that span hundreds or even thousands of end points on premises. For example, let’s take a broadcaster that sends 24/7 live linear content to hundreds of affiliates. The broadcaster uses MediaConnect Gateway to seamlessly bridge their on-premises multicast network at both the source and destination locations. The result is a cloud-managed solution with improved operational agility and decreased cost compared to a satellite-based workflow.
MediaConnect Gateway runs inside Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) Anywhere, a service that allows customers to manage ECS containers on their servers. To get started, customers install the open-source ECS Agent on their VM or bare metal server. Once ECS Anywhere has been installed, customers can download MediaConnect Gateway as a software container. After that, all management of video feeds is handled in the AWS Management Console or using the MediaConnect API. When an on-premises multicast video feed is selected, the video signal is transported as unicast to the cloud using AWS Elemental MediaConnect, a service that combines the dependability of satellite and fiber-optic transport with the user-friendliness of IP-based networks.
Once in MediaConnect, the video can be sent to other AWS Regions, processed using AWS Media Services or other applications, shared with partners and affiliates, and delivered to other on-premises MediaConnect Gateway locations. And with the integration of MediaConnect Gateway into Amazon CloudWatch, customers can monitor the health of feeds without the need to invest in separate tools.