Welcome!

Article

Secure Media Streaming using CloudFront & Progressive Download Method

Secure Media Streaming using CloudFront & Progressive Download Method

One of the biggest challenges faced by the digital content providers today, is to protect and secure the media content while streaming them. Streaming media servers like Adobe Flash Media Server, Wowza…etc addresses this issue in a big way. But it is a bit expensive proposition to host these media servers on our own and especially when it comes to serving a large customer base it becomes more complex. Amazon CloudFront recently announced its Media Streaming support using Adobe Flash Media Servers. As i posted in my previous article, Amazon CloudFront Media support is a good service to serve media publicly but lacks mechanism to protect the digital content and serve privately. As a stop gap, till the time Amazon addresses this in the right way, lets take a look at the below technique to stream media privately and to protect the content from bot downloads...etc

Proposed Method for Serving Private Media Content

Some of you might be aware that the Amazon CloudFront supports private objects. And one of the very old techniques and still widely used to serve streaming media is progressive download method. With the help of CloudFront private objects & progressive download, you will be able to serve private media content to the closed user base.

The major problem

There are two major drawbacks using the progressive download method

1. Content being copied to the local system and played.

2. Disallowing other media players (bots) to copy the content.

Of course, the other advanced features like optimal bandwidth usage, customizing the stream during runtime...etc is not considered here. Because all these issues are addressed in you streaming media server and you definitely need them for a comprehensive solution.

Disclaimer: This solution is still at the conceptualization layer; if you are interested, try this at your own risk.

Solution

1. Upload all your media files to a specific S3 bucket (http://m1.mycloudbuddy.com/usermanual.html#UploadFile%28s%29)

2. Enable CloudFront for that bucket (http://m1.mycloudbuddy.com/plugin/cloudfront.html)

3. Enable private content support for the bucket (refer section "Enabling Private Content" in this URL .)

4. Develop/customize any available open source media player to play content from CloudFront, S3 supports partial content download and you can develop a sophisticated player to download content in a multi threaded fashion as well.

5. You can implement a mechanism like SWF verification by Adobe (http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405456.html) to protect your content being copied by other players as well.

6. Upon verifying the SWF files, the SWF player can initiate a request to the server to generate a URL which is valid only for a short time (for example 10 or 15 seconds) and starts the downloading. This method ensures that once download begins, the next call to that resource is denied.

In a nutshell,

A customized media player, S3, CloudFront private object support and a Web services application, preferably running in EC2 will help you to protect and serve digital content in a cost effective way. If you think running an application in EC2 is little expensive, you can also choose other alternative PaaS platforms like Google App or Azure to host your SWF verification/URL generation web/web services application.

In addition to this you can use encoding services like Encoding.com to encode your content to various formats. Combining this along with the above solution helps you to support multimode access such as mobile (iPhone/Android), desktop, web...etc

References

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/learning_guide/video/part02.html#progressive

Protecting video content - http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405456.html

 

More Stories By Ezhil Arasan Babaraj

At present building a start-up called Qruize Technologies. Qruize is an Information & Communication Technology Start-up based out of Chennai, India. The company comprises of two strategic business units, Qruize Labs- boutique technology research & consulting services and Qruize Apps- social media products and services. We are currently establishing our own operations in the USA and entering into strategic partnerships in the EMEA region.
Website : http://qruize.com, http://qruizemedia.com
blog : http://qruizetech.wordpress.com
Specialties Technology Strategy Consulting, Cloud Computing, Grid Computing, Enterprise Portal Architecture, Software Architecture, Application Framework Design and Development

Latest Stories
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...