Flash, Silverlight & iPhone — Is Wowza the One Streaming Server to Rule Them All?

Why use one streaming server for Flash and one for Silverlight and another for delivery to the iPhone, when you can deliver to all those platforms (and more!) with a single piece of equipment? If that’s a pitch that sounds attractive to you, then maybe you’re in the market for the latest version of Wowza’s Media Server.

The new product, which the company made generally available to customers today, enables a full any-to-any video delivery platform — meaning it can feed in video from any H.264 encoding source and deliver to all the major video platforms, without the need for client-specific encoders or streaming servers. By enabling content producers, CDNs and other customers to deliver Flash, Silverlight, iPhone, Quicktime or MPG streams with a single infrastructure, Wowza enables them to lower the overall cost of delivering video to multiple clients.

Since announcing the product earlier this year, Wowza has been slow to roll it out to customers, in an effort to work out any kinks before making it generally available. It’s been testing the product with 1,200 of its customers worldwide, including 300 full deployments.

“Of the 300 customers that are fully deployed, the vast majority are using this for multiple device delivery,” Dave Stubenvoll, CEO of Wowza, said in an interview with NewTeeVee. “Without Wowza, it would be economically unfeasable to do so.” He pointed to customers like Livestream, which uses the Wowza Media Server for streaming to Flash players online, as well as the iPhone. Without a streaming server like Wowza, the video streaming startup would need separate encoders for iPhone streams, which typically draw a much smaller audience than in-browser streams.

In addition, the product can be deployed on any OS, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris and Unix — so customers can use pretty much any commodity off-the-shelf server available for streaming. The server also offers better performance than other options on the market, according to Wowza supporting up to 10Gbps throughput.

The new Wowza Media Server is available under a software subscription model for $65 a month per server instance, or as a Perpetual Edition license at $995. The upgrade is free for Wowza Pro Unlimited and Unlimited with MPEG-TS licenses that were purchased after April 8. For those purchased beforehand, there is a $249 per license upgrade fee. All subscription licensees and Amazon (s amzn) EC2 Edition licensees will receive the upgrade for free.