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Video Streaming on Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets

Published on May 31, 2024

    Manager, Developer Relations

    Video Streaming on Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets

    Introduction

    DigitalOcean recently launched Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets, virtual machines that deliver reliable performance and high network throughput, making them ideal for CPU and network-intensive workloads.

    Key features of the Premium-CPU Optimized Droplets include:

    • Premium Intel CPUs: Latest 1st and 2nd generations of Intel® Xeon® CPUs (58% better single core performance)
    • Dedicated Hyper-Threading for better parallel processing
    • NVMe SSD storage for faster disk I/O (290% faster writes to Droplet storage)
    • Higher network throughput with up to 10 Gbps of bandwidth(5x the Non-premium Droplets)

    More details»

    Workloads optimum for Premium Droplets

    For businesses with data-intensive workloads, utilizing Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets can maximize app performance reliability while leveraging higher outbound data speeds for a faster and smoother user experience. These Droplets also make it easy to scale operations, particularly for ML and AI development and training. Some of the ideal workloads include,

    • Media streaming
    • Analytics, data warehousing & machine learning
    • Network & CPU intensive workloads: IoT, web crawling, real-time communication, ad-serving

    In this article, we will pick one of the use cases, “media streaming,” and analyze how a real-world video conferencing platform performs on the newly launched Droplets. We will also run a similar setup on the “Non-premium Droplets” to compare the performance.

    Benchmarking a Video Streaming Application

    The setup

    The benchmark setup consists of

    • Jitsi server, a popular open-source video conferencing application that allows users to create and customize their video conferencing server to their specific needs.

    • Premium CPU-Optimized Droplet

      spec: 96 GB Memory / 48 Intel vCPUs / AMS3 - Ubuntu 22.04 (LTS) x64
      
    • Non-Premium CPU-Optimized Droplet

      spec: 96 GB Memory / 48 Intel vCPUs / FRA1 - Ubuntu 22.04 (LTS) x64
      
    • webrtcperf, a benchmarking tool to test webrtc-based applications. This tool is also used to simulate over 100 users per video session.

    The tests were run on both the Premium and the Non-premium Droplets throughout a twenty-minute video conference call

    image

    Installation & configuration

    • DigitalOcean offers a 1-click installation of Jitsi Server through our Marketplace, making it easy for users to set up and get started with video conferencing.

    • Before accessing the Droplet, add a domain to the project. For example, chat.heartbyte.io is required because most browsers require HTTPS to use the camera and microphone on a website, and it is impossible to enable HTTPS just with an IP. Follow this guide to configure the A record for the public IP of the Droplet.

    • Configure the Jitsi server

      # Access the Droplet
      ssh root@Droplet-ip
      # Run the setup script and follow the instructions on the console
      ./complete-jitsi-setup.sh
      

    Upon successful configuration, one should be able to access and start the Jitsi Meet session as shown below,

    image

    Benchmarking

    Jitsi is a WebRTC-based video conferencing platform, and webrtcperf is a WebRTC performance and quality evaluation tool.

    • It validates audio/video quality and the client CPU/memory usage when multiple connections join the same WebRTC service.
    • It can be executed from sources using the pre-built Docker image or with the executables generated for each platform.
    • It allows for throttling the networking configuration, limiting the ingress/egress available bandwidth, the RTT, or the packet loss %.
    # Using containerized webrtcperf tool to simulate over 100 clients 
    docker pull ghcr.io/vpalmisano/webrtcperf
    # Edit the `--url` flag with the jitsi meet URL
    docker run -it --rm \
        -v /dev/shm:/dev/shm \
        ghcr.io/vpalmisano/webrtcperf \
        --url="https://chat.heartbyte.io/benchmark#config.prejoinPageEnabled=false" \
        --show-page-log=false \
        --sessions=1 \
        --tabs-per-session=100
    

    Over a hundred clients are connected to the session for over 20 minutes on the Jitsi server running on a Premium CPU-Optimized Droplet in the Amsterdam data center.

    Same tests were also run on the Jitsi server on the Non-premium Droplet in the Frankfurt data center.

    image

    Benchmarking in action

    • webrtcperf has the instrumentation to measure the application’s performance running on the Droplet
    • We are streaming over 100 Linus Torvalds’ TED talks to the configured Jitsi server for simulation purposes

    image

    Results

    Several key metrics are used to measure the performance and quality of video streaming applications. These metrics include:

    • Bitrate(Audio/Video): Bitrate refers to the amount of data transmitted per second and is measured in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). Higher bitrates generally result in higher-quality video but also require more bandwidth and may be more prone to buffering and other performance issues
    • Packet loss(Audio/Video) is a metric measuring the percentage of data packets lost in transit between two devices. A higher packet loss rate can indicate network congestion or connectivity issues, which can affect a machine’s performance
    • Jitter is a metric that measures the variation in the time it takes for data packets to reach their destination. Jitter can be caused by network congestion, packet buffering, and other factors that can cause delays in packet transmission. Higher jitter values can lead to increased latency and reduced network performance
    • System CPU and memory performance

    Observations

    As expected, the Premium CPU-optimized Droplets outperformed the Non-Premium Droplets,

    • 34.1% better CPU performance
    • 26.75% less System memory usage
    • Bitrate
      • Video: 130.5% improvement in video outbound bitrate
      • Audio: 1.26% improvement in audio outbound bitrate
    • Packet loss
      • Video: 0% packet loss on the Premium Droplets while Non-premium experienced a 0.95% packet loss
      • Audio: 0% packet loss on the Premium Droplets, while Non-premium experienced a 2.25% packet loss
    • Jitter
      • Video: 86.95% less jitter
      • Audio: 60% less jitter

    Note: The benchmarking results might vary depending on hardware configuration, software settings, testing methodologies, and the specific workloads. Therefore, it is crucial to interpret benchmarking results cautiously and consider the context and variables involved in each test.

    ![image](https://doimages.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/dev-center-tutorials/premium-droplet-benchmarking/stats.png" "benchmark stats)

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, this tutorial comprehensively evaluates the performance and scalability of Jitsi, an open-source video conferencing software on DigitalOcean’s Premium and Non-premium Droplets. The results show that the Premium CPU-optimized Droplets better fit the video streaming use case. Therefore, this benchmark analysis can help you leverage the capabilities of Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets for your video-streaming applications. Check out the benchmarking-jitsi guide to get your hands dirty.

    Happy benchmarking!

    References

    Stats for nerds

    -- Premium Droplets -------------------------------------------------------------------
                              name    count      sum     mean   stddev       5p      95p      min      max
                        System CPU        1             52.36     0.00    52.36    52.36    52.36    52.36 %
                        System GPU        1              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                     System Memory        1             17.03     0.00    17.03    17.03    17.03    17.03 %
                          CPU/page        1    71.04    71.04     0.00    71.04    71.04    71.04    71.04 %
                       Memory/page        1   495.56   495.56     0.00   495.56   495.56   495.56   495.56 MB
                             Pages        3       10        3        0        2        4        2        4
                            Errors        1      795      795        0      795      795      795      795
                          Warnings        1     1301     1301        0     1301     1301     1301     1301
                  Peer Connections        3        6        2        1        0        4        0        4
    -- Inbound audio -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              rate      176  2523.38    14.34    16.85     0.00    40.01     0.00    40.33 Kbps
                              lost       80              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                            jitter      176              0.01     0.00     0.00     0.01     0.00     0.02 s
              avgJitterBufferDelay       80            206.82   285.72    60.27  1059.06    52.52  1130.43 ms
    -- Inbound video -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          received      122   384.99     3.16     1.29     0.01     5.01     0.00     5.10 MB
                              rate      117  9574.92    81.84    73.30     0.00   203.37     0.00   204.31 Kbps
                              lost       72              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                            jitter      122              0.01     0.01     0.00     0.02     0.00     0.03 s
              avgJitterBufferDelay       72             98.33    60.17    34.98   271.75    30.06   313.34 ms
                             width      119               320        0      320      320      320      320 px
                            height      119               180        0      180      180      180      180 px
                               fps       42                25        0       25       26       24       27 fps
    -- Outbound audio ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              rate        4   165.04    41.26     0.24    40.89    41.50    40.89    41.50 Kbps
                              lost        4              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                     roundTripTime        4             0.003    0.001    0.002    0.004    0.002    0.004 s
    -- Outbound video ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              sent        4    98.14    24.53    21.26     0.56    48.20     0.56    48.20 MB
                              rate        4  4168.47  1042.12   964.97     4.18  2104.68     4.18  2104.68 Kbps
                              lost        4              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                     roundTripTime        4             0.003    0.001    0.002    0.004    0.002    0.004 s
     qualityLimitResolutionChanges        4      162       40       25        0       63        0       63
              qualityLimitationCpu        4       92       23       23        0       54        0       54 %
        qualityLimitationBandwidth        4        0        0        0        0        0        0        0 %
                    sentMaxBitrate        4  7200.00  1800.00  1600.00   200.00  3400.00   200.00  3400.00 Kbps
                             width        4               800      480      320     1280      320     1280 px
                            height        4               450      270      180      720      180      720 px
                               fps        4                22        5       13       25       13       25 fps
                  pliCountReceived        4               101       57       11      166       11      166
    

    -- Non-Premium Droplets -------------------------------------------------------------------
                              name    count      sum     mean   stddev       5p      95p      min      max
                        System CPU        1             79.48     0.00    79.48    79.48    79.48    79.48 %
                        System GPU        1              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                     System Memory        1             23.25     0.00    23.25    23.25    23.25    23.25 %
                          CPU/page        1    77.49    77.49     0.00    77.49    77.49    77.49    77.49 %
                       Memory/page        1   516.25   516.25     0.00   516.25   516.25   516.25   516.25 MB
                             Pages        2       10        5        4        1        9        1        9
                            Errors        1      684      684        0      684      684      684      684
                          Warnings        1     1576     1576        0     1576     1576     1576     1576
                  Peer Connections        2        1        0        0        0        1        0        1
    -- Inbound audio -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              rate        4   172.38    43.10     1.73    41.54    46.03    41.54    46.03 Kbps
                              lost        4              0.81     0.83     0.27     2.25     0.27     2.25 %
                            jitter        6              0.03     0.01     0.02     0.05     0.02     0.05 s
              avgJitterBufferDelay        4            496.07    13.69   474.57   512.30   474.57   512.30 ms
    -- Inbound video -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          received        5     3.24     0.65     0.33     0.00     0.86     0.00     0.86 MB
                              rate        2   204.19   102.10     2.56    99.54   104.65    99.54   104.65 Kbps
                              lost        2              0.72     0.23     0.50     0.95     0.50     0.95 %
                            jitter        5              0.13     0.06     0.03     0.23     0.03     0.23 s
              avgJitterBufferDelay        2             50.43    11.21    39.22    61.64    39.22    61.64 ms
                             width        4               300       34      240      320      240      320 px
                            height        4               168       19      135      180      135      180 px
    -- Outbound audio ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              rate        1    40.98    40.98     0.00    40.98    40.98    40.98    40.98 Kbps
                              lost        1              0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00 %
                     roundTripTime        1             0.040    0.000    0.040    0.040    0.040    0.040 s
    -- Outbound video ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              sent        1     7.07     7.07     0.00     7.07     7.07     7.07     7.07 MB
                              rate        1   912.75   912.75     0.00   912.75   912.75   912.75   912.75 Kbps
                              lost        1              0.11     0.00     0.11     0.11     0.11     0.11 %
                     roundTripTime        1             0.036    0.000    0.036    0.036    0.036    0.036 s
     qualityLimitResolutionChanges        1       63       63        0       63       63       63       63
              qualityLimitationCpu        1        0        0        0        0        0        0        0 %
        qualityLimitationBandwidth        1        5        5        0        5        5        5        5 %
                    sentMaxBitrate        1  3400.00  3400.00     0.00  3400.00  3400.00  3400.00  3400.00 Kbps
                             width        1              1280        0     1280     1280     1280     1280 px
                            height        1               720        0      720      720      720      720 px
                               fps        1                 8        0        8        8        8        8 fps
                  pliCountReceived        1               242        0      242      242      242      242
    

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    Manager, Developer Relations

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