FAQ: Touchstream CDN Monitoring via AWS Marketplace

Getting Started

If you have contracted your account through the AWS marketplace, your account will be activated within one business day of submitting your business details through your unique Touchstream submission form. You will be redirected to this form upon contracting through your Amazon Web Services account.

To access your instance of Touchstream and monitor or connect your streams, you will need separate login credentials which you create. Keep in mind, however, that your subscription is managed through your Amazon Web Services account.

Your Touchstream login is used to access your Touchstream instance in order to monitor, add, or change streams, identify underperforming components and more.

A good rule of thumb is how many manifests you have: each stream type counts as a separate stream. Consider the number of channels you wish to monitor x the number of formats that you have x the number of CDNs. 

 

For example,  20 channels x 2 formats x 2 CDNs = 80 licenses

  • Up to 5 PoP locations in round-robin usage
  • Up to 9 video bitrates
  • Up to 50 audio bitrates and 50 subtitle tracks

Trials or proofs of concept are not available through Touchstream’s Amazon Marketplace offer.

Product Questions

If you have more than 80 streams, Touchstream offers many native integrations and monitoring of your end-to-end OTT workflow including origins, encoders, player analytics and more. Touchstream also offers open API access to integrate any components for which we do not offer a native integration. If you need to monitor more than CDNs with Touchstream, contact us or your Amazon Sales Representative to inquire about a private offer.

  • For the top-level manifest: availability check and sanity check;
  • For every bitrate: every bitrate availability, sanity and performance check;
  • Predictive buffering analysis (avg.speed percentage)
  • Detailed header capture including Akamai debug pragma headers

Native integrations include:

 

  • Encoders: AWS Elemental, Harmonic, Ateme, Bitmovin
  • Packagers: MediaPackage, Bitmovin, Brightcove
  • Ad insertion: Google DAI, Yospace, MediaTailor
  • Audience Analytics: Conviva, Mux, NPAW.
  • Other integrations: Via API

Touchstream works with any CDN (internal or commercial), and has data-sharing partnerships with Akamai, Cloudfront, Fastly, Lumen, and Limelight.

Touchstream offers nearly 100 geographic points to monitor your streams from. If you require other locations, please inquire. In most cases, Touchstream can add your PoP location within 24 hours.

Alerts can be received via email (you can of course send email to SMS gateways), PagerDuty, Slack or via our API to your internal alerting tools.

Touchstream does not detect ad insertion, but our open API can integrate with any ad insertion monitoring software you use, if you are a customer of Touchstream’s VirtualNOC product.

Touchstream’s app is responsive and web based, enabling you to monitor your streams from a mobile device.

Yes, you may reassign licenses to different streams at any time through your Touchstream account. 

At this time we do not offer a sandbox license; to test streams you will need to use a live, paid license, which can be reassigned to any other channel at any time through your account. 

Yes, the same approach as for CDN monitoring; simply provide the manifest from your origin.

Yes; existing auth types include: Akamai Edge Auth, Akamai Player Verification (HDS only), Cisco CDS Auth, Cloudfront Auth, Customer Auth, Header Auth, Edgecast Token Auth, Lumen Auth, Limelight Auth, Livestream Auth, Internap Auth, OoyalaPlayer Auth, Ooyala Telstra Signature Auth, Uplynk Auth.

 

For other methods, Touchstream can do this with any CDN and other third-party tools by implementing their algorithms into our tool and then making the configuration available to you to use. Once set up, all you just need to do is select the type, add your secret key, and any other configuration parameters. Once saved, the main part of the secret is hashed out, so it remains secure. 

Yes, Touchstream doesn’t inspect inside videos, therefore, you can monitor any DRM stream.

Billing & Invoices

Touchstream allows any increment in subscription licenses at any time; when changes are made mid-term, pricing is pro-rated to the next renewal date and additional streams are immediately added. Touchstream allows any decrement in subscription numbers, at any time, with changes reflected at the next renewal date, usually the following month according to your Amazon invoicing scheme. 

You can change or cancel your subscription in the AWS Marketplace.

All subscription management is done in the AWS Marketplace interface and is according to your AWS invoicing scheme.

All Touchstream subscriptions in AWS Marketplace are monthly, in advance.

In the AWS Marketplace interface; it is part of your AWS invoice.

Best Practices

Touchstream has experience in monitoring large, streaming live events. We recommend you use our Dynamic API where the streams only need to be monitored for a set period of time. The API endpoint allows the monitoring start and end time to be configured on a per stream basis, so the monitoring is only scheduled to run when the streams are expected to be active.

The best way is to monitor your 24/7 streams not only from the CDN endpoint but also from your origin endpoint. This way, you’ll be able to discover if the connection between your origin and CDN is working well, and to identify the root-cause of an issue. If the problem starts at the origin, logically, it will affect your CDNs.

If most of your streams are live 24/7, we strongly recommend you use all your licenses to monitor them. In case you have a combination of 24/7, event-based streams (eg.: sporting events), and VOD, we suggest you to monitor what make sense to you at any given period of time by using our flexible API and swapping streams whenever you need.  We also recommend you use different contexts inside your Touchstream account to organize your streams.

You can most easily see the value in Touchstream monitoring with your 24/7 live streams.

Account Questions

Login to your Touchstream instance, and you’ll locate several options to contact support.

Your Touchstream instance can accommodate up to 100 users.

Every manifest for Touchstream equates to 1 stream license.

Yes, you can change each license’s assignment whenever you want through your Touchstream account.

You need to know the maximum number of live streams active at any given time. For example, if you have 400 sports events scheduled in 2022, but only 50 of them are running concurrently (at the same time), you will need 50 stream licenses. You can re-use these licenses for other events throughout the year, or add licenses on a monthly basis as needed.

Touchstream doesn’t put a limitation on the number of streams that you can monitor; in case you import more streams than you purchased, Touchstream will inform the AWS team who will get in touch with you to see if you need more licenses. You have a 5 day grace period from being notified of your overage in order to reduce your usage or purchase more stream licenses.