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Definition


UMassOnline licenses the Helix Universal Media Server (Current Version 14.0.1.571) for streaming media from Real Networks. With streaming digital media servers from Helix, you can stream video content once and simultaneously deliver it to PCs, mobile devices, tablets and IPTV. The Helix Universal Media Server is multi-format, multi-platform and multi-screen, simplifying the process of delivering digital media files and lowering the total cost of ownership by reducing number of hardware platforms and power consumption.

Stakeholders


BO: Kevin O'Brien
PO: Tim Lambert
TO: Tim Lambert
SM: Stefanie Henderson

Others:

Background


Hardware Configuration

Compaq Proliant DL 380 (Additional details)*
Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU family: 1400MHz X2
1 GB Memory
Mirrored disk system,

  • 36GB drive: root filesystem and operating system
  • 450GB drive: content storage

* In Spring of 2011, UITS has recommended updating the hardware hosting the Helix environment.

Capacity

64,000 maximum client connections

Utilization

Total Utilization (3/14/2011 - 4/15/2011)

Lowell

Boston

Amherst

UMPO

UMOL

QCC

TOTAL

Storage space used of total 398 (Gb)

15

55

106

0.6

1.2

3.3

181.1

Total .rm hits in logs

216

18531

13546

7

31

6087

38418

Total .rm hits March 14 2011 to April 14 2011

70

3621

1669

3

0

684

6047

Total .rm files hosted

123

2106

1375

25

19

99

3747

Total Utilization (March 2013)

Lowell

Boston

Amherst

UMPO

UMOL

QCC

TOTAL

Storage space used of total 398 (Gb)

17Gb

72Gb

133Gb

736Mb

6Gb

4.9 Gb

233Gb

Total hits March 2013

1002

8803

669

1

3

1914

12392

Total .rm hits March 2013

1001

7289

213

1

1

792

9297

Total .rm files hosted

123

2363

1388

25

26

129

4054

Authentication/Authorization

For access to the SFTP host, campuses would identify an individual or individuals who manage the media files. These individuals are then have an account manually created on the host system. These accounts are independent local local accounts on the host system and are not authenticated against an external source. Users are then provided their username and password which they can then use to upload their files. The home directory for the users is set to their campus directory located within the Helix application content mount point.

Community


Technical Community

Helix Users Distribution List

User Community

Campus subscribers (access w/logins)

  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Salem State University*
  • UMass Amherst
  • UMass Boston
  • UMass Lowell
  • UMass Office of the President
  • UMassOnline
  • Worcester State University*

* Former campus subscribers

Based on discussions with the Massachusetts CIO Council the following campuses expressed interest in hosting with UMassOnline:

  • Berkshire Community College (Rick Wixsom)
  • Bridgewater State University (Patrick Cronin)
  • Bristol Community College (Jo-Ann Pelletier)
  • Cape Cod Community College (Gregory Banwarth)
  • Fitchburg State (Steve Swartz)
  • Framingham State (Patrick Laughran)
  • MassArt (Eric Bird)
  • MCLA (Mark Berman)
  • Mount Wachusett Community College (Susan McHugh)
  • Northern Essex Community College (Cherie Hagen)
  • Westfield (Chris Hirtle)

Licensing


Real Networks, Helix Server Unlimited (12.0.1) License
RHEL Licensing
RHEL Maintenance

Performance and Availability


Helix Streaming Server is monitored for Performance and Availability through AlertSite. Monthly information can be found here.

Current Costs


 

FY11

FY12

FY13

Helix License and Maintenance:

$4,160.00

$3,328.00

$5,728.00

Red Hat Enterprise License:

$612.50

N/A

 

Red Hat Enterprise Maintenance:

$120.00

N/A

 

UITS Co-location

$3,000.00

$6,000.00

 

UITS Hardware Maintenance

$2,500.00*

$2,500.00*

 

UITS Bandwidth

$2,880.00

$5,760.00

 

UITS Staffing (.02 FTE)

$7,800.00

$7,800.00

 

2011/2012 Total

$21,072.50

$25,388.00**

 

* Reflects annual maintenance including a three-year replacement cycle

**This FY12 cost reflects for the Annual Cost; the FY11 costs were for 6 months.

Pricing


UMassOnline, as of April 2011, hosts five institutions (four UMass campuses, the UMass Office of the President and QCC). Using a basic subscription model, each institution is paying approximately $4,000. Should more campuses choose to participate in UMassOnline Helix hosting services, the price for subscriptions would decrease as the number of institutions increased. When/if, based on growth, our storage or bandwidth utilization exceeded current capacity, we would need to adjust pricing to cover the additional costs. However, UMassOnline is happy to provide this service "at cost." A simple pricing model is provided below based on the current implementation/capacity...

The below pricing scenario is based on the annual cost of $26,388.00 divided by the number of institutions that will participate in Helix hosting services:

Number of Institutions

Cost Per Institution

Five institutions

$5,277.60

Six institutions

$4,398.00

Seven institutions

$3,769.71

Eight institutions

$3,298.50

Nine institutions

$2,932.00

Ten institutions

$2,638.80

Eleven institutions

$2,398.91

Twelve institutions

$2,199.00

Thirteen institutions

$2,029.85

Fourteen institutions

$1,884.86

Fifteen institutions

$1,759.20

Sixteen institutions

$1,649.25

Seventeen institutions

$1,552.24

Eighteen institutions

$1,466.00

Nineteen institutions

$1,388.84

Twenty institutions

$1,319.40

There are some other metrics UMassOnline could consider to determine pricing for participating campuses, such as storage use, number of connections, bandwidth consumption, etc. While some reporting exists on use (for these metrics), UMassOnline would need to build up monitoring in order to assess costs on any of these metrics.

Resources

Support

Training

Technical and user documentation can be found here.

Vendor Management

Name

Title

Phone

Focus

Charles Johnson

Account Manager

800-444-8011 x.6192

Sales

Todd Anderson

Account Manager

800-444-8011 x.6704

Sales

Associated Services and Systems


Interested Campus Utilization

Current Status


 
 

 

1 Comment

  1. Aung, Han

    Regarding our pricing model (just thinking here). Perhaps we might want to look at how our costs are inured to determine how we should charge the campuses.

    Looking at the software, our licensing is not based on (or limited to) any type of "per user" counts. Rather the software allows up to 64,000 client connections. So one person can can open 64,000 connections or 64,000 people can open one. Also, 1,000,000 can use the system, as long as that group does not open 64,000 connections. So as there are no per user restrictions, perhaps we divide the licensing costs by the number of campuses that have access to the software (an access model).

    For the hosting, as hosting consumes resources that we must scale to (we have to build an environment that can handle the users), we could charge based on utilization (a consumption model). So perhaps, if possible, if we can determine how many people from each campus are using the service, we can charge proportionally?

    What do you think?