Time Striping in Visual Studio .NET

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9.3.1 Time Striping
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A video stream can be viewed as a series of video frames. Therefore, we can stripe a video stream in units of frames across multiple servers time striping. Figure 9.4 depicts one example of how video units are striped using time striping. Assume that a stripe unit contains L frames, and the video plays at a constant frame rate of F frames per second. Then in each round of Ns L/F seconds, L frames will be retrieved from each server and delivered to a client. In general, the striping size L neither need to be an integer, nor equal to or larger than 1. In particular, if L < 1, then it is called sub-frame striping [9]. Conversely, we simply call it frame striping for L 1.
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Stripe
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Stripe unit
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vi is stripe unit i, containing frames ki to k(i+1) 1
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Figure 9.4 Striping a video stream over ve servers using time striping
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Existing studies using the time striping approach include those works by Biersack et al. [8, 9], and Buddhikot and Parulkar [11]. The study by Bernhardt and Biersack [9] adopted time striping with a granularity of one frame and also one segment of a frame sub-frame striping. For sub-frame striping, a frame is sub-divided into k equal-size units and then distributed across the servers in a round-robin fashion. The key advantage of sub-frame striping is that load balance is guaranteed for both CBR and VBR video streams as each frame is striped equally across all servers. Conversely, the study by Buddhikot and Parulkar [11] used a stripe unit of k (k 1) frames. They suggested solving the load balance problem by grouping more frames into a stripe unit to obtain a more uniform stripe unit size (see Section 9.3.4).
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9.3.2 Space Striping
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Time striping divides a video stream into xed-length (in time) stripe units. Another approach is to divide a video stream into xed-size (in bytes) stripe units space striping. Space striping simpli es storage and buffer management in the servers because all stripe units are of the same size. Moreover, the amount of data sent by each server in a service round is also the same. Unlike time striping, we do not need to know the frame structure in order to perform striping, thus decoupling the striping algorithm from the encoding format. This space striping approach has been employed in many studies [10, 12 18]. Depending on the system design, the stripe unit size can range from tens of kilobytes to hundreds of kilobytes. In most of the studies, a stripe unit is assumed to play back in a constant length of time. However, in most video compression algorithms such as MPEG, a xed-size stripe unit will likely contain a variable number of frames and/or partial frames. Moreover, if the video is compressed using constant-quality compression algorithms (cf. Section 2.4), then the video bit-rate will become variable as well. Consequently, the decoding time for a stripe unit at the
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client will be variable and this may cause playback starvation unless suf cient buffering is done at the client before playback begins.
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9.3.3 Placement Policies
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In the previous discussions, we have assumed a round-robin placement of the stripe units across the servers in the system. If we denote the stripe units of a video stream using v0 , v1 , . . . , etc., then stripe unit vi will be stored in server (i mod N S ). However, a minor problem with this policy is that server i will likely store more stripe units than server j, for i < j. This is because the length of a video is not always an integral multiple of the size of a stripe. Therefore, the last stripe will likely contain less than N S stripe units, lling from server zero. To balance the storage, we can modify the round-robin policy to start striping a new video stream from different servers. Apart from round-robin placement, Tewari et al. [17] also investigated a random-placement policy where the order within a stripe is permuted pseudo-randomly. They pointed out that the round-robin placement policy can introduce a convoy effect when one server becomes overloaded. That is, the overloading condition will shift from one server to the next due to the round-robin placement. By permuting the order of the stripe units in each stripe, this convoy effect can be avoided.
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