As you may know, Rambla is planning a major overhaul of its web services, control panel and some of the backend processes. Currently, we are still testing and putting some last pieces in place. More details will follow later, but here is already a short description of what the upgrade will entail.
To make the whole upgrade process more manageable, we have chosen to do it gradually. The first step will include upgrading the backend processes and putting the new control panel online. Initially, this new control panel will not be very different from the old one, except for the possibility for customers to manage their own accounts and those of their users (see below).
The next step will involve the upgrade of all Rambla Web Services to version 3.0. After this upgrade, some of the new RAWS functionality will already be available. Other features will be deployed afterwards, through minor version upgrades. Along with these upgrades, the control panel will also be extended in order to integrate some of the new features.
So without further ado, here are some of the features you may expect. Remember, not all of them will be immediately available after the upgrade.
Better account management in the control panel
The new Rambla Control Panel (= RACP) will allow customers to create and manage separate user accounts. Each user account will have its own credentials and permissions, determined by the customer. It will be possible, for instance, to create a user account that is only allowed to do transcoding or live-streaming. Users will also be able to manage FTP access to their CDN (sub-)directories or RATS upload directories, by adding/deleting third party credentials.
All billing information will be made available through the customer's own account in a transparent fashion. These new features, combined with our RAWS functionality, opens up the possibility for customers to resell (part of) the services that they are obtaining from Rambla.
Partial responses to RAWS requests
Most of the resources in RAWS v3 will support partial data retrieval (by returning an atom:link element with a "next" relation). This allows clients to split up a single, huge response into multiple smaller ones or to request only specific parts of data.
For the control panel this will result in better performance overall, and more specifically in a vast improvement for the "View Traffic" and "Browse Media" pages. Instead of loading all data at once, these pages will immediately show the most essential info and only load additional data when requested by the user.
Active CDN syncing through RASS
For certain real-time workflows or websites with user-generated content, the so called "CDN sync-delay" (= few minutes that it may take before the uploaded file is stored on all CDN nodes) can be a problem. Therefore, the upcoming version of RASS will actively synchronize uploaded files to all CDN nodes. This will make the uploaded file (= via RASS) immediately available for download from all CDN servers.
The control panel will also include the possibility to upload files to the CDN. Since the Control Panel will be using RASS internally, there will also be no "CDN sync-delay" for files uploaded this way.
Get more traffic statistics through RAMS
The current version of RAMS already allows users to monitor hits and bandwidth volume for files or directories on the CDN. The next version will allow the retrieval of further traffic details, like the number of RTMP events (= e.g. generated when the end-user pushes a control on the flash player), the percentage of a video file that was watched by users, the last time it was watched... There will also be support for live-stream specific data, like the duration of the stream watched by users or the number of concurrent users during different parts of the stream. Finally, RAMS will be able to deliver new statistics which provide an overview of how and where the files inside your CDN directory are being accessed, like the number of unique users and their geographical origin (top 100 by host, city, country). And of course, most of these features will also be integrated in the "Monitor your media" section of the control panel.
Tagging and searching files and their traffic data
RAWS v3 will make it possible for users to attach tags to files and directories on the Rambla CDN. This has a lot of potential: from generating traffic reports based on tags to automated video syndication. This feature may also be extended to support other kinds of metadata. We are currently researching the possibilities in this area (funded by the Flemish government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology), so you can expect more news about this to come.
For more details about the upgrade, see the RAWS roadmap. Take into account that additional features may still be added to the roadmap (version 3.1 or higher). So if you have a feature request, or you would like to know more about one of these features, be sure to let us know.