Document ID: 0005
Topic: Multimedia, Streaming
Created: 2006-12-20
Last Updated: 2007-01-24
Author: Stefan Parvu
References: Darwin Streaming Server
OS: Solaris Express. Applicable to Solaris 8, 9, 10

Solaris Streaming Server

Solaris can be used as a server platform to stream audio and video content to different clients: mobile devices, like GSM phones, or PC clients. Basically a streaming server is required in order to make accessible the video or audio files to the clients. Using Darwin Streaming Server from Apple as the main streaming server Solaris can be easily used to broadcast content in Internet.

This section will describe how to install all needed software for a streaming solution under Solaris Operating environment. For this example Solaris Express, aka Nevada, was used. Same instructions can be used on Solaris 9, 10 with minor exceptions: ZFS and Zones.

Note: Solaris Streaming Server has nothing to do with the EOLed product from Sun Microsystems called Sun Streaming Server aka SSS. This document is not written by Sun Microsystems Inc. and it is entirely used for training and education!

Table of Contents



Tuning and performance

Solaris Installation

To experiment with Darwin Streaming Server from Apple, we needed to choose a operating system which can run DSS. Basically Apple is offering their streaming server for: MacOSX, Windows and Fedora RedHat. We have tried to install and configure DSS on Solaris 64 bit running under AMD X2 Dual core: a cheap hardware solution. For this we have choosed Solaris Nevada, also known as Solaris Express, Community Release.

Storage: the ZFS pool

Note: For using ZFS/Zones Solaris 10U2 is required ! Each Solaris Zone will have its own rootpath on ZFS which at this moment is not a supported configuration since the Solaris Upgrade module will fail. For this exercise we are not interesting in using Solaris Upgrade

Before starting to install all needed software for the streaming solution we should setup how and where we will install the software. What layout and how we will use the disks ? More we would like to have within Solaris several zones used for different purposes: one zone for testing and another one for production usage and all these zones should be able to use the new filesystem, ZFS. Basically we would like to have a number of Solaris Zones which should be able to have its own rootpath on ZFS and we would like that each zone to be installed on a filesystem which is created as a mirror between two physical disks, in order to protect our data.

In short: we will need to create a ZFS pool as a mirror of two disks, then create several filesystems within this pool for each zone. If needed apply certain restrictions for each filesystem: quota or compression as you might need. Below is a simple representation of the mentioned setup layout:


Next, we will try to create a ZFS pool from two disks: c1d0 and c3d0 as a mirror, RAID 1. Then define several filesystems used to host some zones for testing or production. After these we will list all pools and all filesystems and check their status.

Solaris Zones

To be flexible and consolidate several loads on one server we will try to introduce and use Solaris Zones. Each Solaris zone will sit in its own filesystem and will run its own set of processes, the streaming server. In one zone we can put all software together and test it, by keeping a minimal load on the system. We can simulate as well under the testing zone a real work situation: simultaneus clients accessing the streaming server. When we are happy with the testing results we can simple push the things into the production zone.

Note: It would be better to have different hardware servers for test and production. However for this exercise and for small firms same hardware can be utilized in order to minimize the costs and take advadtadge of your hardware.

Below we will describe the process of creating all needed zones: 2 zones for production usage and one zone for testing. For this exercise we will simple install all software only under the testing zone !

Darwin Streaming Server

Darwin Streaming Server, DSS, is available in source code format from Apple main site. There are binaries packgaes for Linux, MacOS and Windows but not for Solaris. We will use the latest version, at this time DSS 5.5.4

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This document is Copyright (c) 2007 Stefan Parvu
Document License: PDL