High Availability, mission critical streaming and content delivery calls for redundancy and a scalable infrastructure. How is this accomplished? Put simply, with Load Balancing. Multiple edge servers are deployed as a cluster based system capable of fault tolerance, redundancy and rapid scaling for large and unpredictable audiences.
StreamGuys offers two methods for load balancing streaming and distribution systems: DNS based load balancing for a wide variety of services and intelligent playlist load balancing for Windows Media(.asx) and IceCast/SHOUTcast (.m3u) formats.
DNS Load Balancing is a simple and elegant solution. It has the advantage of working at the DNS layer, allowing it to be used with almost any service type. It can be setup with little or no impact to existing services, published URL's, or production methods.
Playlist Load Balancing is a dynamic and finely tuned technique. An intelligently generated playlist allows greater granularity for the heartbeat and service checks to send content to the server with the lowest load. Beyond monitoring the load of an entire server, it can also be set to monitor individual services. This allows for greater redundancy at the playlist level because we can list multiple hosts records within a single playlist. Should a service fail after being added to the playlist, the user will transparently fail over to the next listed service. Playlist load balancing provides the most accurate load balancing solution for Windows Media and Windows OS based systems.