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Debugging nagging buffering issues with current setup


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Here's the lowdown: My streaming setup consists of 2 VPS'. One running CentOS and the other Windows. Private connection between the two. Windows machine is running SAM and Icecast KH 2.3.2-kh31. CentOS machine is running Icecast KH 2.3.2-kh31. SAM sourcing Icecast on the same box and the secondary Icecast instance running as a slave relay to the first. Bandwidth tests from both show ample bandwidth. Never seen lower than 10mbit upload speeds and around 20-25 average, download speeds averaging 25-30 and no lower than 15.

 

Now SAM is currently set up with a small playlist of music for testing and has been going for a number of days now. Encoders are a) 128kbps mp3, b) 32kbps AAC+, c) 48kbps OGG. Now I have been having a recurring and repeatable buffering issue and has been identical each time it happens. No matter the encoder i will listen for a few minutes and it'll be fine up to that point then starts to buffer repeatedly. If I stop and restart or move to another encoder, it is fine again for a few minutes til it starts up again. Same whether I connect to the master or slave Icecast server. SAM never complains, never an error message about not sending data fast enough (I hope not being local!) and encoders have days of uptime.

 

Any possible ideas where to begin? I'd say try Shoutcast but unfortunately they have made it nearly impossible to find the original 1.9.2 version and v2 is just annoying to deal with.

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What do you mean, it's a private connectin between the two? Is it on the same router? Is it on the same LAN? Is it on a WAN?

 

You need to run diagnostics to see what the issue is. We recommend WinMTR. Run it for 100 iterations and post the results here and we will analyze them for you. You can download WinMTR here:

 

http://www.shoutcaststreaming.us/whmcs/whmcs/dl.php?type=d&id=17

 

It might be your NIC if you are on a LAN.

SCS - Dedicated Bandwidth Servers

Shoutcast / Icecast / Windows Media

Transcoding - Auto DJ - Mobile Radio - FLASH Players - Auto DJ

Broadcasting World's Stream Host of the Month

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First is a random test to google

|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|                                      WinMTR statistics                                   |


|                       Host              -   %  | Sent | Recv | Best | Avrg | Wrst | Last |


|------------------------------------------------|------|------|------|------|------|------|


|                           205.185.112.1 -    0 |  141 |  141 |    0 |    0 |   11 |    0 |


|                           173.245.86.17 -    0 |  141 |  141 |    0 |    4 |   18 |    7 |


|          google.com.any2ix.coresite.com -    1 |  137 |  136 |    8 |    9 |   42 |    8 |


|                           64.233.174.31 -    0 |  141 |  141 |    8 |   14 |  108 |   10 |


|                             72.14.238.0 -    0 |  141 |  141 |    8 |   24 |   45 |    8 |


|                           72.14.239.153 -    0 |  141 |  141 |   30 |   31 |   63 |   30 |


|                          216.239.48.167 -    1 |  140 |  139 |   30 |   32 |   73 |   30 |


|                            72.14.232.70 -   41 |   52 |   31 |   30 |   35 |   42 |   41 |


|                    pw-in-f106.1e100.net -    1 |  137 |  136 |   30 |   30 |   45 |   31 |


|________________________________________________|______|______|______|______|______|______|


  WinMTR v0.92 GPL V2 by Appnor MSP - Fully Managed Hosting & Cloud Provider

 

Second is direct via private connection to the other VPS

|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|


|                                      WinMTR statistics                                   |


|                       Host              -   %  | Sent | Recv | Best | Avrg | Wrst | Last |


|------------------------------------------------|------|------|------|------|------|------|


|                              172.16.7.1 -    0 |  142 |  142 |    0 |    4 |   58 |    1 |


|                          172.16.251.249 -    0 |  142 |  142 |    0 |    5 |   49 |    2 |


|________________________________________________|______|______|______|______|______|______|


  WinMTR v0.92 GPL V2 by Appnor MSP - Fully Managed Hosting & Cloud Provider

 

Basically both a in the same datacenter, different host machines, but same LAN. Both also have a public facing NIC obviously. Doesn't matter though since it ultimately goes over a public facing NIC to a client. The private LAN is simply being used for master-slave relaying which is minimal bandwidth at best (128kbps + 32kbps + 48kbps = 208kbps and add a little overhead).

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Sorry for the delay in response. I have tried the test when the buffering happens and it still shows clean with 0 loss down the list. I guess I should have left out the mention of the LAN link though so I will clarify: The LAN link is used solely for the server relay and not actual listening tests. Since my listening is from my home connection and Icecast is running remotely, it is always connecting over the Public NIC on the server. That's the primary reason for pinging Google.

 

I have tried streaming to a shoutcast server installed on the same machine (v1, not v2) and get the same effect. I have yet to try sourcing from a Winamp instance locally instead of on the server, but that will be my next go here.

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I am close to nailing this down to lack of CPU on the VPS for SAM to run reliably. Or something with the OS configuration therein creating issues. I am, at this point, sourcing both Icecast and Shoutcast from my home connection (over the internet to the VPS, 1mbit upload) on a machine with WAY more than ample CPU (quad core hyperthreaded i7 sitting mostly idle) and well within streaming duration with 0 buffering. So I am going to have to investigate the CPU/configuration side of it and see what's up.
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CPU as far as I recall is a Xeon L5420 (possibly dual in the host server since the host offers 4 cores on higher packages), 2 cores available to me shared. 512MB ram (of which I am only using half according to the commit charge even with SAM and MySQL running). Windows 2003 R2 SP2 fully updated. Even stranger is I have done some benchmarks and can get the CPU usage hitting 50%+ easy, but just sitting around running SAM at worst it hits 10% tops but usually hovers down between 0% and 3%.
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