Media Streaming

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This benchmark uses the Nginx web server as a streaming server for hosted videos of various lengths and qualities. The client, based on httperf’s wsesslog session generator, generates a request mix for different videos, to stress the server.

Using the benchmark

The benchmark has two tiers: the server and the clients. The server runs Nginx, and the clients send requests to stream videos from the server. Each tier has its own image which is identified by its tag.


Supported tags and their respective Dockerfile links:

These images are automatically built using the mentioned Dockerfiles available on the parsa-epfl/cloudsuite GitHub repo.


The streaming server requires a video dataset to serve. We generate a synthetic dataset, comprising several videos of different lengths and qualities. We provide a separate docker image that handles the dataset generation, which is then used to launch a dataset container that exposes a volume containing the video dataset.

To set up the dataset you have to first pull the dataset image and then run it. To pull the dataset image use the following command:

$ docker pull cloudsuite/media-streaming:dataset

The following command will create a dataset container that exposes the video dataset volume, which will be used by the streaming server:

$ docker create --name streaming_dataset cloudsuite/media-streaming:dataset

Creating a network between the server and the client(s)

To facilitate the communication between the client(s) and the server, we build a docker network:

$ docker network create streaming_network

We will attach the launched containers to this newly created docker network.

Starting the Server

To start the server you have to first pull the server image and then run it. To pull the server image use the following command:

$ docker pull cloudsuite/media-streaming:server

The following command will start the server, mount the dataset volume, and attach it to the streaming_network network:

$ docker run -d --name streaming_server --volumes-from streaming_dataset --net streaming_network cloudsuite/media-streaming:server

Starting the Client

To start the client you have to first pull the client image and then run it. To pull the client image use the following command:

$ docker pull cloudsuite/media-streaming:client

To start the client container and connect it to the streaming_network network use the following command:

$ docker run -t --name=streaming_client -v /path/to/output:/output --volumes-from streaming_dataset --net streaming_network cloudsuite/media-streaming:client streaming_server

The client will issue a mix of requests for different videos of various qualities and performs a binary search of experiments to find the peak request rate the client can sustain while keeping the failure rate acceptable. At the end of client’s execution, the resulting log files can be found under /output directory of the container, which you can map to a directory on the host using -v /path/to/output:/output.