Article

Staggered push - a linearly scalable architecture for push-based parallel video servers

Dept. of Inf. Eng., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Shatin, China
IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (Impact Factor: 1.75). 01/2003; DOI: 10.1109/TMM.2002.806533
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT With the rapid performance improvements in low-cost PCs, it becomes increasingly practical and cost-effective to implement large-scale video-on-demand (VoD) systems around parallel PC servers. This paper proposes a novel parallel video server architecture where video data are striped across an array of autonomous servers connected by an interconnection network. To coordinate data transmissions from multiple autonomous servers to a client station, a staggered push scheduling algorithm is proposed. A system model is constructed to quantify the performance of the architecture. Unlike most studies, this work does not assume the existence of a global clock among the servers and tackles two problems arising from server asynchrony: inconsistent schedule assignment and traffic overlapping. The former problem is solved by using an admission scheduler and the latter problem is solved by an over-rate transmission scheme. Analytical results prove a remarkable property of the staggered push architecture: as long as the network has sufficient capacity, the system can be scaled up linearly to an arbitrary number of servers. Design examples and numerical results are used to evaluate the proposed architecture under realistic assumptions and to compare it against other architecture.

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