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Thomas Hitchcock
2005-12-08, 02:03
I am a surgeon at a large medical clinic and am looking to create a central music system for our operating rooms. I am soliciting advice on what would be the optimum operating platform for a server to route music files to 10 to 20 rooms or more simultaneously. I have used FLAC files on my two wireless SB2 units at home with great success! I would assume that wired SB3 units would be optimal and cheaper for this type of project. Could a single Linux box serve FLAC files to 10 to 20 rooms simultaneously, or would another music file format be preferable for this application to lower bandwidth requirements? I would prefer to stick with FLAC files if possible for quality reasons, but I was not sure if a single computer could handle that many simultaneous FLAC requests. What specs would the server/network need to handle that many lines simultaneously? Can Slimserver make use of multiple processors in servers? Could there be any possibility of future expansion to add more rooms if necessary?

Also wondering if Slimserver has any features to allow logins from individual rooms that would control access to portions of the music database. My thinking was that we would ideally only allow each room to access the portions of the music that someone working in the room actually owns. My assumption is that we would be technically breaking copyright rules to allow everyone unlimited access to the entire collective database. My plan was to allow surgeons or staff in the rooms to bring in CDs they own to be added to the server in different directories, and then allow customized playlists for individual surgeons or staff members that would access only their own music. One other problem is that surgeons and staff do not always work in the same room every day, so we would need a way of controlling access to their own music in various rooms with different SB3 units every day. Can this be done with the basic Slimserver setup or any available Plugins? I saw in the WIKI the reference to running multiple Slim Server instances, and this sounds like what I was thinking of. If this can only be done with Linux then that may determine the platform needs for the server. Is this type of capability ever going to be included in future versions of Slimserver?

Have any others used Slimserver for bigger projects like this? Wondering what others' experiences have been and if anyone has any other suggestions for planning this project?

ChrisB
2005-12-08, 03:19
A few thoughts:

I would have thought that mp3 would be of sufficient quality for an
environment that I imagine would be far from an ideal listening
environment - plus I'd hope that you'd have other things to concentrate
on ;-)

Bearing in mind that the throughput on the wired connection is 100Mbps
with full-duplex (so 100Mbs up AND downstream simultaneously), the
bottle-neck will be at the server, rather than the SB3. Considering
that FLAC transcoded to WAV was possible on the old SB1's 802.11b
connection, that implies that 5Mbs is sufficient for this kind of
signal, so 100Mbs for 20 wired SB3s might be pushing it. Someone with
more knowledge of the bandwidth requirements for FLAC might have a
better estimate there. Of course, you can always install a second NIC
on a different subnet, and double your bandwidth.

I think the Slimserver software will easily cope with 20 players,
provided it has enough horsepower.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Thomas
Hitchcock
Sent: 08 December 2005 09:04
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Question on Server requirements


I am a surgeon at a large medical clinic and am looking to create a
central music system for our operating rooms. I am soliciting advice
on what would be the optimum operating platform for a server to route
music files to 10 to 20 rooms or more simultaneously. I have used FLAC
files on my two wireless SB2 units at home with great success! I would
assume that wired SB3 units would be optimal and cheaper for this type
of project. Could a single Linux box serve FLAC files to 10 to 20
rooms simultaneously, or would another music file format be preferable
for this application to lower bandwidth requirements? I would prefer
to stick with FLAC files if possible for quality reasons, but I was not
sure if a single computer could handle that many simultaneous FLAC
requests. What specs would the server/network need to handle that many
lines simultaneously? Can Slimserver make use of multiple processors in
servers? Could there be any possibility of future expansion to add more
rooms if necessary?

Also wondering if Slimserver has any features to allow logins from
individual rooms that would control access to portions of the music
database. My thinking was that we would ideally only allow each room
to access the portions of the music that someone working in the room
actually owns. My assumption is that we would be technically breaking
copyright rules to allow everyone unlimited access to the entire
collective database. My plan was to allow surgeons or staff in the
rooms to bring in CDs they own to be added to the server in different
directories, and then allow customized playlists for individual
surgeons or staff members that would access only their own music. One
other problem is that surgeons and staff do not always work in the same
room every day, so we would need a way of controlling access to their
own music in various rooms with different SB3 units every day. Can
this be done with the basic Slimserver setup or any available Plugins?
I saw in the WIKI the reference to running multiple Slim Server
instances, and this sounds like what I was thinking of. If this can
only be done with Linux then that may determine the platform needs for
the server. Is this type of capability ever going to be included in
future versions of Slimserver?

Have any others used Slimserver for bigger projects like this?
Wondering what others' experiences have been and if anyone has any
other suggestions for planning this project?


--
Thomas Hitchcock
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Hitchcock's Profile:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=1759
View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18903

_NK_
2005-12-08, 04:15
You could always use a linux server with a 1000Mb Nic (copper over CAT6 cable feeding a cheap Layer2 switch with just 1 copper 1000MB uplink (to the linux) and 24 or 48 or whatever 10/100 downlinks to the SBs and so on. That's the basic scenario

Cheers

Nikos

bglad
2005-12-08, 05:24
thomas, in the UK you wouldn't need this complexity - simply get a licence from the Performing Right Society to play CDs in a "health practice" - 61.40 a year for 9 seats http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/redirect.asp?targetitem=3151&subjectId=837 - seems pretty reasonable

rgds
ben


> My thinking was that we would ideally
> only allow each room to access the portions of the music that
> someone working in the room actually owns. My assumption is
> that we would be technically breaking copyright rules to
> allow everyone unlimited access to the entire collective
> database. My plan was to allow surgeons or staff in the
> rooms to bring in CDs they own to be added to the server in
> different directories, and then allow customized playlists
> for individual surgeons or staff members that would access
> only their own music.

radish
2005-12-08, 08:28
CD quality WAV is 1.4Mbit/s, in my experience FLAC is around 1Mbit/s, but will vary with compression levels. Therefore a standard 100Mbit ethernet will be just fine for streaming to 20 players - I wouldn't even try wireless unless you're happy to invest in multiple high quality (expensive) access points and repeaters.

To answer your other questions - Slimserver can't currently take much advantage of multiple processors. There would be a small improvement, but if I were spec'ing a big Slimserver install right now I'd be looking at a cluster of lower powered units. Grab a couple of dirt cheap ($300) athlon based boxes, throw in some big disks and more memory and spread the load. There's not currently any concept of "users" or selectable libraries in Slimserver, but many people have asked for it. Maybe one day :)

JJZolx
2005-12-08, 09:22
I am soliciting advice on what would be the optimum operating platform for a server to route music files to 10 to 20 rooms or more simultaneously. I have used FLAC files on my two wireless SB2 units at home with great success! I would assume that wired SB3 units would be optimal and cheaper for this type of project. Could a single Linux box serve FLAC files to 10 to 20 rooms simultaneously, or would another music file format be preferable for this application to lower bandwidth requirements?
Bandwidth likely wouldn't be your bottleneck - more likely, if you see any problems, they would be in response times to remote commands. You might stream mp3 to reduce network bandwidth, but only if the files are also stored in mp3. Transcoding from FLAC or some other format to mp3 will only increase CPU usage, which you don't want when you're serving 20 streams.


I would prefer to stick with FLAC files if possible for quality reasons, but I was not sure if a single computer could handle that many simultaneous FLAC requests.
In that scenario there's no transcoding, just file-serving. I think the a single SlimServer of adequate power would have little trouble keeping the streams filled.


What specs would the server/network need to handle that many lines simultaneously? Can Slimserver make use of multiple processors in servers? Could there be any possibility of future expansion to add more rooms if necessary?
If it became necessary, by using MySQL as the database, you could configure more than one SlimServer to access the same database. It wouldn't be an ideal load-balancing system, but it would probably suffice.


Also wondering if Slimserver has any features to allow logins from individual rooms that would control access to portions of the music database.
No. This has been discussed many times, but it seems little if any actual software development is being done to address the issue.


My thinking was that we would ideally only allow each room to access the portions of the music that someone working in the room actually owns. My assumption is that we would be technically breaking copyright rules to allow everyone unlimited access to the entire collective database.
That assumption would probably be correct, although you can probably get a license to allow you to play anything you like.


My plan was to allow surgeons or staff in the rooms to bring in CDs they own to be added to the server in different directories, and then allow customized playlists for individual surgeons or staff members that would access only their own music. One other problem is that surgeons and staff do not always work in the same room every day, so we would need a way of controlling access to their own music in various rooms with different SB3 units every day. Can this be done with the basic Slimserver setup or any available Plugins? I saw in the WIKI the reference to running multiple Slim Server instances, and this sounds like what I was thinking of.
That's currently your only option, but the process of taking a Squeezebox and disconnecting from one server and then connecting to another isn't very convenient.


If this can only be done with Linux then that may determine the platform needs for the server.
The operating system platform shouldn't matter. Linux may give you more headroom on the same hardware, which would give you more power in the same box, but other than that, SlimServer won't really care.

Michaelwagner
2005-12-08, 21:15
My thinking was that we would ideally only allow each room to access the portions of the music that someone working in the room actually owns. My assumption is that we would be technically breaking copyright rules to allow everyone unlimited access to the entire collective database.
Where are you? What country? (i.e. what performance laws apply)

Actually, I believe the issue is performance right, not copyright.

Thomas Hitchcock
2005-12-08, 23:20
Thanks for all the advice! Sounds like a standard linux server would be able to handle 10-20 streams of music simultaneously without serious issues. I'm glad to hear that Slimserver can be configured to handle larger loads like this. I will have to talk with our computer networking department to decide whether a single server would be best for our application.

Our clinic is in Wisconsin so we can't use the "health practice" license from the UK. Are there any similar license fees that can be paid in the U.S. to grant performance rights for music files produced from CDs? Does anyone know for sure whether there would be copyright or performance right issues involved in playing files from employee CD collections in multiple rooms in a workplace setting? It is certainly different than using the original CDs which can only be played in one place at a time. Perhaps I would need to run this past our clinic legal department to ask their advice on the issue. Sounds like Slimserver is not presently able to configure multiple user libraries, so it would be difficult to limit file usage in any easy fashion. Our clinic tends to be very conservative on any issues like this, so I hope it is not something that torpedoes the whole idea.

bglad
2005-12-09, 02:21
thomas, for US licenses try http://www.ascap.com/
it should be straightforward - but let us know what the answer is...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of
> Thomas Hitchcock
> Sent: 09 December 2005 06:20
> To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> Subject: [slim] Re: Question on Server requirements
>
>
> Thanks for all the advice! Sounds like a standard linux
> server would be able to handle 10-20 streams of music
> simultaneously without serious issues. I'm glad to hear that
> Slimserver can be configured to handle larger loads like
> this. I will have to talk with our computer networking
> department to decide whether a single server would be best
> for our application.
>
> Our clinic is in Wisconsin so we can't use the "health practice"
> license from the UK. Are there any similar license fees that
> can be paid in the U.S. to grant performance rights for music
> files produced from CDs? Does anyone know for sure whether
> there would be copyright or performance right issues involved
> in playing files from employee CD collections in multiple
> rooms in a workplace setting? It is certainly different than
> using the original CDs which can only be played in one place
> at a time. Perhaps I would need to run this past our clinic
> legal department to ask their advice on the issue. Sounds
> like Slimserver is not presently able to configure multiple
> user libraries, so it would be difficult to limit file usage
> in any easy fashion. Our clinic tends to be very
> conservative on any issues like this, so I hope it is not
> something that torpedoes the whole idea.
>
>
> --
> Thomas Hitchcock
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> Thomas Hitchcock's Profile:
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=1759
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18903
>
>

Michaelwagner
2005-12-09, 04:56
In particular, http://www.ascap.com/licensing/

But certain specific groups have different arrangements, so you might want to talk to your legal department. For instance, dance studios, DJs, etc. Maybe health practices have their own special arrangements ...?