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Windows Media Services Plug-ins

Updated: August 14, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Media Services supports customizable server operation and configuration through the use of plug-ins, which are grouped into categories to identify their function. You can use plug-ins to perform a wide range of tasks, including protocol handling, data parsing, authentication, authorization, and archiving. The available plug-ins differ, depending upon which version of Windows Server 2008 that you are running. For more information, see Decide which version of Windows Server is right for you.

Aspects

The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Broadcast Archiving

When you use a broadcast publishing point to stream content, you can configure Archiving plug-ins in Windows Media Services to archive the content to a file as it streams. Archiving is useful when you are streaming content that is not already recorded—for example, a stream from an encoder. The archive file enables you to make the content available for on-demand requests or rebroadcast. You can either wait until the broadcast is over to make the archived content available or you can use the Play While Archiving feature in Windows Media Services to allow clients to stream the archived content, even as the server continues to archive streaming content to the file. For more information, see Archiving content.

Cache/Proxy Database Availability

When a client requests on-demand content, a cache/proxy server can stream the requested content to the client on behalf of the origin server. Offsetting the load on the origin server from which the content is published conserves bandwidth and decreases network-imposed latency, reducing costs and providing a better viewing experience for clients. The WMS Cache/Proxy plug-in in Windows Media Services 2008 is used to configure a Windows Media server as a cache/proxy server. This plug-in downloads content requested by clients from an origin server to cache storage on the cache/proxy server (the cache directory) for subsequent delivery to clients. A record of each downloaded file is maintained in a cache index file (the cache database) so that the plug-in can be used to manage the cache directory.

Cache/Proxy Directory Availability

When a client requests on-demand content, a cache/proxy server can stream the requested content to the client on behalf of the origin server. Offsetting the load on the origin server from which the content is published conserves bandwidth and decreases network-imposed latency, reducing costs and providing a better viewing experience for clients. The WMS Cache/Proxy plug-in in Windows Media Services 2008 is used to configure a Windows Media server as a cache/proxy server. This plug-in downloads content requested by clients from an origin server to cache storage on the cache/proxy server (the cache directory) for subsequent delivery to clients.

Data Transfer Protocols

In Windows Media Services, data transfer protocols are used to stream Windows Media-based content to clients. You can configure Control Protocol plug-ins in Windows Media Services to manage these protocols that control communication between the Windows Media server and clients. You can use these plug-ins to configure Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), protocols that handle the high-level exchange of data. You can also use these plug-ins to configure User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), protocols that manage more fundamental tasks such as network connectivity and packet error correction. For more information, see About data transfer protocols.

Event Notification

You can configure Event Notification plug-ins in Windows Media Services to receive notices of client and server internal events and then respond to changes in the state of the Windows Media server. For example, you can use a script to customize the way that the Windows Media server authorizes and responds to internal events or you can receive notification of internal Windows Media server events through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and route them to an external application. To view all the possible internal events that the Windows Media server can report, see Windows Media Services SDK: Internal Events.

Multicast Streaming

You can configure Multicast Streaming plug-ins in Windows Media Services to enable the multicast distribution of content. Multicast streaming is a one-to-many relationship between a Windows Media server and the clients receiving the stream. With a multicast stream, the server streams to a multicast IP address on the network, and all clients receive the same stream by subscribing to the IP address. Because there is only one stream from the server regardless of the number of clients receiving the stream, a multicast stream requires the same amount of bandwidth as a single unicast stream containing the same content. For more information, see Delivering content as a multicast stream.

Unicast Logging

You can configure Logging plug-ins in Windows Media Services to keep a record, a log file, of client and server activity during a streaming session. Log information can also help:

  • Track server usage so that you can decide when you might need to add more resources to your system.
  • Assist you in planning your security implementation. For example, if your system is subjected to a denial-of-service attack, log files can help you determine which clients are being used in the attack.
  • Identify user-reported issues with your streaming system by providing event codes that correspond to common issues.
  • Provide historical data for use in trend analysis and business cases.

For more information, see Logging Model for Windows Media Services.

Unicast Streaming

You can configure Unicast Streaming plug-ins in Windows Media Services to enable the distribution of content using unicast streaming, the default method by which a Windows Media server delivers content. A unicast stream is a one-to-one connection between the server and a client, which means that each client receives a distinct stream and only those clients that request the stream receive it. It offers the benefits of interactivity between a player and server, easier setup, and multiple-bit-rate (MBR) streaming capability. However, the number of users that are able to receive unicast streams is limited by content bit rate and the speed of the server network. For more information, see Delivering content as a unicast stream.

Windows Media Services Plug-in Configuration

Plug-ins and properties are used at the server and publishing point levels to control the operation and configuration of Windows Media Services. They are grouped into categories to identify their functions on the server. The available plug-ins and properties differ, depending on which version of Windows Server 2008 that you are running. (For more information, see Decide which version of Windows Server is right for you.) For more information about using the plug-ins and properties in Windows Media Services, see Working with plug-ins and properties.

Windows Media Services Plug-in Error Reporting

You can select options to display diagnostic events in a Troubleshooting pane in Windows Media Services and view the messages that are generated by the events that have occurred since the Windows Media Services service started or since the troubleshooting list was cleared. The data in this list can help you view the status of plug-ins on the Windows Media server and diagnose problems with plug-in configuration. For more information, see Troubleshooting server events.

Related Management Information

Streaming Media Services

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