Fastly's On-the-Fly Packaging service

  Last updated January 14, 2019

Fastly offers an "on-the-fly," dynamic, video-on-demand content packaging service. Rather than requiring you to pre-package all protocols of a viewer-requested video, Fastly allows you to dynamically package video content in different HTTP streaming formats in real time, using source files. That video content then becomes immediately available to viewers.

Supported on-the-fly packaging features

Fastly's OTFP service supports the following specific features:

Supported HTTP streaming formats and codecs

Accessibility and user experience

Content protection

Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) readiness

Live-to-VOD transition

Fastly also provides the following features as part of standard content delivery network services:

How the on-the-fly packaging service works

Fastly's OTFP service gets configured between our caching network and your origin storage (e.g., Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Rackspace Cloud Files).

OTFP requests flow from user to Fastly's OTFP service to origin storage and back again

When users request manifests or video segments, those requests initially come to Fastly caches instead of going to your origin storage. Fastly's edge caches deliver those objects if they are available and valid. If the objects don't already exist in the edge caches, the requests will be passed on to a designated shield cache to be delivered instead as long as the objects are available and valid. If neither the edge caches nor the shield cache can deliver the objects, the requests for those objects will go directly to and be fulfilled by the OTFP service which acts as an origin for Fastly's cache nodes.

The OTFP service will make the necessary request to your origin storage to fulfill the original request from the user. The OTFP service also maintains a small, local, in-memory cache for video metadata indexes. These indexes are created using mp4 moov atom (or movie atom) that provide information about the video file such as its timescale, duration, audio and video codec information, and video resolution (among other characteristics).

For adaptive bitrate playback, the OTFP service will cache indexes of each quality level requested. If a user requests a manifest, OTFP will look for the corresponding indexes and, if it is available and valid, OTFP will generate the manifest and deliver it to the user. Otherwise, OTFP will fetch the moov atom from origin storage to generate the corresponding index. If a user requests video segments, OTFP will look for the corresponding audio and video sample entries in the cached index, download those samples from origin storage, and package them in the format requested.

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