Proceedings of SPIE 2000
Conference paper

MediaMesh: An architecture for integrating isochronous processing algorithms into media servers


Current media servers do not provide the generality required to easily integrate arbitrary isochronous processing algorithms into streams of continuous media. Specifically, present day video server architectures primarily focus on disk and network strategies for efficiently managing available resources under stringent QoS guarantees. However, they do not fully consider the problems of integrating the wide variety of algorithms required for interactive multimedia applications. Examples of applications benefiting from a more flexible server environment include watermarking, encrypting or scrambling streams, visual VCR operations, and multiplexing or demultiplexing of live presentations. In this paper, we detail the MediaMesh architecture for integrating arbitrary isochronous processing algorithms into general purpose media servers. Our framework features a programming model through which user-written modules can be dynamically loaded and interconnected in self-managing graphs of stream processing components. Design highlights include novel techniques for distributed stream control, efficient buffer management and QoS management. To demonstrate its applicability, we have implemented the MediaMesh architecture in the context of a commercial video server. We illustrate the viability of the architecture through performance data collected from four processing modules that were implemented to facilitate new classes of applications on our video server.