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Nerd news: Dalai Lama video streaming tech specs

Dalai Lama at Matt Knight Arena

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke to 11,000 guests at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday, May 10th, but thanks to a live video stream of his talk, his message reached at least twice that number.

Total views of the Dalai Lama video stream peaked at around 15,000, reaching a maximum of 4,339 simultaneous viewers. A total of 4.48TB of video and audio were delivered through the event.

While most viewed the event with a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer, 16.1 percent used a mobile device to watch the speech. (See views by device, below.)

The video and audio stream was carried via UOnet and the university’s new Vyvx service to the Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider, Level(3). There, the stream was transcoded sent back to campus. To handle the potential loads, Information Services used Puppet, a configuration managment system, to clone the two web servers that usually handle web traffic to www.uoregon.edu, adding 20 additional virtual machines to that pool of web servers.

Staff estimate that 75 percent of the video stream viewers were off-campus. Breakdown of the types of video streams corroborates the popularity of broadband connections, with 82 percent of customers viewing the video at 1.5Mbps or higher. (See video by bandwidth, below.)

The University of Oregon caps its 10Gbps inbound bandwidth at 1Gbps. The broadcast of the Dalai Lama pushed bandwidth usage beyond that limit, and Information Services staff temporarily removed the cap to allow for seamless streaming on campus. (See Network Traffic, below.)

The video and audio streams of the Dalai Lama’s visit were produced through a collaborative project led by UO Libraries’ CMET group and supported by UO Information Services, UO Strategic Communications, UO General Counsel’s office, UO Purchasing & Contracting, Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO), UO Marketing and Brand Management, Graystone Media, Level(3) Communications, and LabGency.

See statistics at IT connections.