Reckon you can build the next Netflix? AWS has a cloud for you

Amazon's chomps at edges of broadcasters' pies

re:Invent Media distribution is the next market in AWS's sights at its re:Invent conference, with the announcement of a media "ingestion and distribution" service, another step in monetising the company's global network for on-cloud customer traffic.

AWS Elemental MediaConnect is the company's shot at tackling the problem of broadcasters trying to consolidate incoming feeds and redistribute them at broadcast quality and reliability.

The service was launched in eight AWS regions: US East (North Virginia), US West (California and Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo), and two in the EU (Frankfurt and Ireland).

Broadcast networking operations are very expensive and critical, and the internet isn't a good medium if you need high reliability, low jitter and minimal buffering. Commercial broadcasters handle this by building large private networks, which is fine for the likes of Fox, but difficult for small or new operations.

AWS pitched the MediaConnect service at those problems, with performance optimisations for reliability, jitter and buffering; and support for the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP, defined in RFC 3550), RTP with forward error correction, and the Zixi platform.

Once a broadcaster has ingested feeds into AWS, the company blurb said, it traverses the AWS network for distribution and replication between regions.

Other MediaConnect features include:

  • AES-256 encryption with keys managed using the AWS Secrets Manager;
  • Replication to multiple internal and external targets, for content syndication;
  • Integrated QoS alarms and real-time telemetry, and integration with Cloud Watch and Elemental Media Services so customers can create custom dashboards.

In the demonstration included in the blog post, author Shaun Ray, a senior bod at Developer Relations, included other snippets about the operation of MediaConnect. He used Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR, RFC 4632) to create a whitelisted block of IP addresses, as a way to restrict access to the ingestion point; and he demonstrated MediaConnect's integration with MediaLive, which provided the encoding service.

AWS didn't announce pricing for MediaConnect, but said it will use a per-flow hourly price, plus a data transfer fee. ®

Other re:Invent news today included Ground Station, a service to process satellite data; Amazon Comprehend Medical, which will use natural language processing to mine and process the text of healthcare records; log analysis with Cloudwatch Logs Insights; and Kinesis Data Analytics for Java.

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