Akamai’s Live Streaming customers publish their content in one of two ways - either to their own origin servers or directly to the Akamai Intelligent Platform™.
In the case of customer origin streaming, the network retrieves data for the Live Stream in much the same way as described in the Akamai Delivery Overview document, though with some Customized Caching Rules that are suitable for these sorts of real-time objects.
Customers who publish to Akamai’s platform ingest their content to server deployments in hundreds of locations around the world which have excellent connectivity to end user networks. This minimizes the impact of last mile network issues when publishing Live Streams by allowing the network to choose the location that is closest to the customer’s encoder to serve as the entry point.
These entry points in turn make the Live Stream available to a large network of servers which will be used as the origin for delivery of the Live Stream to users around the world.
This architecture improves performance and fault tolerance in delivery of the Live Stream.
The HD Network
The Live portion of our HD Network consists of mid-tier servers that can deliver content in Akamai HD Flash, Adobe HDS, Apple HLS, and Microsoft Silverlight formats, and can transform content published in RTMP to HD Flash, HDS, and HLS. This allows customers to have a single encoder publishing a single copy of a stream yet deliver it to any device.
Our entry point servers send your content to these mid-tier servers which take care of the archiving of streams and improve availability of your streams by providing redundancy.
The HD Network then makes use of our Freeflow network for delivery from our mid-tier infrastructure to the user.
Using Freeflow to deliver HD content
Delivery of objects on the Akamai HD Network is the same as described in the Akamai Delivery Overview document.
The Akamai HD Network leverages our world-class network of over 135,000 servers to optimize the delivery from origin to user while allowing the HD mid-tier network to produce these multiple, redundant origins from the initial single entry point where the Live Stream enters our network.