Jet-Stream Origin Shield

Origins and CDNs
The most common setup for broadcasters and content publishers is to let CDNs cache vod and live streams from their own origin servers. Origin servers are a critical component. If origin servers fail, or underperform, all your content is affected. The primary task of an origin server is to prepare your streams in realtime. It is not their primary task to scale. In order to protect the critical role of your origins, you need to think about security, scalability and performance.

CDNs can overload your origins
Some CDNs have a tiered caching infrastructure to protect your origins. They will only request content from a limited number of locations. Other CDNs let all their caches directly request content from your origins. In a MultiCDN setup, you may need to handle thousands hits per second on your origin servers. These requests can eat up so many CPU and memory resources from your origins that they cannot perform their repackaging, encryption or personalisation tasks. 

Thundering Herd
One specific issue with live streaming is the 'thundering herd'. When end users request content that is not already in a CDN cache, the cache gets a cache miss, and will try to pull the content from your origins. When streaming a popular live event or channel, many users will request the same content at exactly the same time from all the CDN caches. These caches then pass through all requests to your origins. The result is a stampede of user requests overrunning CDN caches and origins, resulting in buffer issues, and even full outages of all your content at worst. 

Scaling solutions
There are multiple ways to prevent buffering problems and outages. But some are more expensive than others. Origin Servers are complex and require licensing. Other solutions are more complex: for instance CDNs charge for origin shielding services but in a MultiCDN environment each CDN has different setups, costs and effects.

Jet-Stream Origin Shield 
To prevent your origins to be overloaded by CDN requests, we offer optimised Origin Shield Servers. These are highly tuned NGINX services. These servers include unique intelligence to recognize thundering herd effects and will only pass through a single request for new content to your origins, even though thousands CDN caches are requesting the same object. 

How does it work?
End users are requesting content from one or multiple CDNs. If content has been cached, edge servers do not request content but serve it out directly. If new content is requested, CDN edge servers request new content from the Jet-Stream Origin Shield servers. If content has been cached here, cache shield servers do not request content from your origin servers but serve content out directly to the CDNs, which on their turn serve content to the users. Only if new content is requested, Jet-Stream Origin Shield servers request new content from your origins. Origin Shields are fully transparent, so all your origin functionality remains.

Costs saved
Your origin servers don't need to run on expensive physical machines but can run on virtual / cloud based machines. You don't need to invest in a large cluster of origin servers. You need less origin licenses. You save on operational expenses. There is much less traffic load to your origins, so your uplink costs go down. You don't have to pay CDNs for additional origin shielding services.

Efficiency gained
Origin Shields are easy and instantly to deploy thanks to deployment packages. Configuration is simple: configure the IP addresses, the origin URLs and point the CDNs to the Origin Shield URLs. You only need to grant the Origin Shields access to your origins, instead of managing CDN access. Origin Shields are easy to operate: no complex origin workflows, no complex software. They just run, either on common hardware or on virtual/cloud infrastructures. If you use Jet-Stream Origin Shields as part of the Jet-Stream CDN platform, origin and CDN configuration is fully automated.

Origin Shield licensing

  • Standalone Jet-Stream Origin Shields are licensed at competitive rates.
  • Licensees of the Jet-Stream CDN platform get unlimited number of Origin Shield instances, without any capacity limitation. There are no third party licenses involved.

Origin Shield SaaS

  • Customers of the StreamZilla CDN and MultiCDN services get the StreamZilla Origin Shield service for free. 
  • Jet-Stream offers fully managed (24/7) Origin Shielding services at competitive rates. Our fiber network guarantees high performance connections from your origins, origin shields and has great connections to global CDNs. 
  • SaaS licensing for Origin Shielding is included for free, without any limitations, for Jet-Stream CDN platform SaaS customers.

Contact us for advise and a quotation!