Better Streaming with Slicer Monitoring
We recently released our Slicer Monitoring tool for our Broadcast/OTT Solution customers. Slicer Monitoring provides customers with vital insights into the health of their slicers. For our customers with live workflows, where reliability and quality are most critical, the Slicer is one of the most important components to monitor. Our solution monitors all slicers in real-time to build confidence in your stream’s reliability.
The primary purpose is to support customers with a live or linear workflow who want to actively monitor the health of their slicers. This allows customers to quickly identify if there are slicers that are underperforming and what the root cause may be. The product helps give assurance to customers that want validation that the slicing system is functioning at a satisfactory level.
The benefits of Slicer Monitoring include:
- Easy to Start: Simply navigate to the monitoring tab within CMS to see your live slicers. The tool identifies any active live slicers and displays them within the UI, immediately reporting their status. An up-to-date slicer version is recommended to make sure you’re receiving the latest metrics.
- Complete Control: Create custom alerts on any or all available metrics based on what’s important to you. This control gives you flexibility in creating a monitoring system and workflow that accommodates your needs.
- Designed for the Slicer: Unlike general purpose monitoring tools, Slicer Monitoring was built from the ground up with the unique capabilities and requirements of slicers in mind. This means you can watch and alarm from the metrics that matter — the same ones our internal teams use.
- Real-Time Reporting: With live and linear streaming workflows, any disruption to the ingest process can disrupt your audience’s experience. Slicer Monitoring reports stats from the slicer in real time so you can immediately know of problems and work quickly to address them.
- No Extra Charge: As with all other extra features and benefits in VLS, Slicer Monitoring is included as part of our service at no additional cost.
The Dashboard is the central view of all slicers, enabling customer to view many slicers at one time. Each slicer is represented within a tile, which contains important data about that slicer. This data includes the current state of the slicer and the health status, as well as how long the slicer has been in those states. Additionally, there is a thumbnail that displays video output captured by the slicer. The dashboard was created to enable customers to view many different slicers at one time. Filtering within the dashboard is available to customers who want to refine the dashboard to focus on a specific set of slicers.
Each slicer tile is clickable, displaying a slicer-specific view, allowing you to drill into a slicer to diagnose a warning or critical alert. This view displays important metadata for the slicer, as well as the current value of each metric being captured. Clicking on a metric will display a historical chart of that metric. This is helpful in studying the historical behavior of that metric, and identifying trends and possible issues.
A slicer’s health status is determined based on the thresholds and metrics that are enabled within the settings area. Green indicates a healthy slicer. Our customers also have control to set thresholds for warning alerts (for less severe signals) and critical alerts (for those violations that need immediate action). Each metric is enabled for alerting by default, but can be disabled if that metric is not relevant to your workflow. This gives customers full control in customizing the alerting tools to fit their specific monitoring needs.
The Slicer Monitoring tool focuses on 8 critical metrics. Observing these metrics will help pinpoint any issue that you may have with the slicing process. Our metrics are updated every 4 seconds, with a couple exceptions. The metrics we capture are:
- Signal Status
- Average Video Luminosity
- Average Volume
- Closed Captioning
- Dropped Frames
- Processing Backlog
- Upload Queue
- Last Update Time
Within Settings, a brief description follows each metric. A “more” link will expose a longer description, which explains what each metric is, how to use it and possible root causes if the metric shows unhealthy characteristics.
Verizon Digital Media Services is committed to putting our customers first, and focusing on quality and reliability. Monitoring is a critical piece in exhibiting this reliability. Slicer Monitoring is the first of many tools to be created for our customers monitoring needs when live streaming with our Broadcast/OTT Solution.
Tony Ferrari, Product Manager, Video Monitoring