Wowza Media Systems has come a long way in the last decade. Before Wowza, Adobe FMS was the dominant streaming server product in the CDN infrastructure. Adobe was in a sweet spot, because they had a lock on the CDN streaming market, charging fees to CDNs for GBs transferred. The fees kind of equated to an Internet tax on RTMP streaming. CDNs could do nothing, because there were no other options. Then Wowza came along, and the video streaming server market became a much better world. Wowza Media Server has grown from a simple streaming server with the basic feature set, to a vastly improved streaming solution with a whole Ecosystem built around it. At the same time, their business model has evolved into what it is today, a solution that powers the video streaming infrastructure for thousands of companies worldwide, from CDNs to Universities to the largest carriers in the world.
If we were to rank the infrastructure pieces that have had the most profound impact on the evolution of the CDN – Wowza, Nginx, Varnish, and JW Player would likely be the top four contenders; Wowza, Nginx and Varnish on the back-end infrastructure side, and JW Player on the front-end. JW Player was a pioneer in the development of the video player, and they ultimately replaced the need for expensive custom-built video players. Today, the “Wowza Streaming Engine”, as it is known is a fully featured streaming solution that comes with add-ons such as Load Balancing, Caching, GeoIP Blocking and Transcoding. In addition, Wowza has just rolled out the “Wowza Streaming Cloud”. The Wowza Streaming Cloud is a fully encompassing streaming service that enables enterprises to bypass the CDN entirely for streaming video, or work alongside the CDN of choice. For the larger streaming events, CDNs are the best way to go, but for one-offs, Wowza Streaming Cloud is the way to go.