Written by Mateus Alexandre, DevOps Engineer

Cloud-based workflows are revolutionizing creative industries by enabling seamless collaboration and offering unparalleled flexibility. However, for professionals relying on cloud-based tools such as video editing platforms, minimizing latency and optimizing costs is often a critical consideration when establishing or migrating to cloud base workflow. 

AWS Global Accelerator addresses this need by offering a solution to enhance performance while keeping expenses in check. Below is an exploration of how AWS Global Accelerator improves Studio in the Cloud latency in a cost-effective manner.

About AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator is a service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed to improve the availability and performance of global applications. It utilizes the AWS global network infrastructure to direct traffic to optimal endpoints, thereby reducing latency and improving overall user experience. By efficiently routing traffic and minimizing the impact of internet congestion, Global Accelerator enables businesses to deliver low-latency, high-performance experiences to customers worldwide.

Evaluating Latency Improvement

An initial test was conducted to evaluate the impact of AWS Global Accelerator on latency across different regions during video editing tasks and idle periods. The goal was to determine how effectively the accelerator reduces latency to ensure real-time collaboration and user responsiveness in cloud studio environments. 

Two scenarios were considered for the latency measurements: 

  1. With Video: Watching a video in the highest resolution on YouTube
  2. Ide: Doing nothing or minor tasks (such as accessing the file explorer)
LocationConnectionActivityAverage Latency (ms)Average Latency with Global Accelerator (ms)Standard Deviation (ms)
Rio de Janeiro, BrazilWiFiWith Video22919816
Rio de Janeiro, BrazilWiFiIdle25121031
Montpellier, FranceWired connectionWith Video1721460.8
Montpellier, FranceWired connectionIdle1721461
Eugene, Oregon, USAWiFiWith Video252820
Eugene, Oregon, USAWiFiIdle323218
Anaheim, California, USAWired connectionWith Video34.2831.181.05
Anaheim, California, USAWired connectionIdle35.0232.021.38

The spreadsheet containing the results of this test can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_HZ_KMBFfs5tmtVO6l9cxelcaqI0IMKvG6vLCUn1tN8/edit?usp=sharing

Summary of Findings

Variability and Comparative Latency

The test reveals that AWS Global Accelerator has a significant impact on reducing latency variability. This is particularly evident in regions such as Brazil and the USA. Despite the latency already being low in the USA, the accelerator minimized variations, enhancing user experience and ensuring smoother cloud studio operations. 

The comparative latency data also underscores the importance of geographical proximity to AWS servers and the effectiveness of the accelerator in optimizing performance across different network environments.

The Impact of Wired vs. WiFi Connectivity

It has been observed that the choice between wired and WiFi connections also significantly influenced latency performance in cloud studio environments. Wired connections, as demonstrated in locations such as Montpellier and Anaheim, offered more stable and consistent latency compared to WiFi connections. This stability can be a critical factor for real-time collaboration where users may be looking for smoother video editing experiences, particularly in high-demand scenarios.

Evaluating Global Accelerator Costs

For the calculations below, the following assumption has been made using the HP Anyware Load Balancing documentation as a reference:

“A 4K/UHD video editorial user or VFX artist may require upward of 50 Mbps on average”.

Note for readers: 50 Mbps is typically not required all the time, but has been chosen as an extreme example.

Scenario

We consider a company that has 5 editors in Europe who need virtual machines for video editing. The bandwidth for accessing these machines averages at 50 Mbps. Below is a calculation of the monthly costs for AWS Global Accelerator if the editors work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

  • AWS Global Accelerator Pricing:
    • Fixed Fee: $0.025 for every full or partial hour when an accelerator runs in the AWS account.
    • Data Transfer-Premium Fee (DT-Premium): A fixed rate per gigabyte of data transferred over the AWS network. The pricing may vary for users depending on the source and destination regions. In this example, the source is the US and the destination is Europe resulting in a data transfer fee of $0.015/GB.
  • Bandwidth Calculation:
    • A 4K/UHD video editorial user may require an average bandwidth of 50 Mbps.
  • Monthly Cost Comparison:
    • EC2 cost for 5 editors: $1,299.20 (G5.4xlarge is the EC2 instance type used)
    • Global Accelerator cost for 5 editors: $353.67

Summary of Findings

While incorporating AWS Global Accelerator may result in a slightly higher expenditure on AWS, it presents a trade-off: it significantly reduces latency, enhancing performance in cloud-based studio operations. However, as mentioned earlier, it is important to note that the actual cost of Global Accelerator is likely to be lower since the assumed bandwidth requirement of 50 Mbps is an extreme example.

Conclusion

Embracing AWS Global Accelerator helps reduce the latency of cloud-based studio workflows. By optimizing performance and expenses, studios can enhance productivity and efficiency, empowering creative professionals to operate without constraints.

About TrackIt

TrackIt is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Tier Services Partner specializing in cloud management, consulting, and software development solutions based in Marina del Rey, CA. 

TrackIt specializes in Modern Software Development, DevOps, Infrastructure-As-Code, Serverless, CI/CD, and Containerization with specialized expertise in Media & Entertainment workflows including AWS Studio in the Cloud (SIC), Retail workflows, High-Performance Computing environments, and data storage.

In addition to providing cloud management, consulting, and modern software development services, TrackIt also provides an open-source AWS cost management tool that allows users to optimize their costs and resources on AWS.

About Mateus Alexandre

Mateus Photo

Mateus is a DevOps Engineer at TrackIt with nearly a year and a half of experience, holding a degree in Computer Engineering. His expertise spans SysAdmin, development, and IaC.

Mateus leverages his AWS services knowledge and Solution Architect Associate certification to optimize cloud infrastructure, specializing in media and entertainment solutions such as MAM and AWS Studio in the Cloud.