Edge server resources represent PCs running the Broadsign Edge Server application. In that way, edge servers are similar to player resources in Broadsign Administrator.
Edge servers are dedicated content repositories that players can use for better control over the bandwidth consumed by a network of Broadsign Players.
Edge Server Usage
When a media file is requested and downloaded by a player using the edge server, the edge server will conserve a copy of the file locally, allowing any other playback PCs to retrieve it without going back to the Broadsign Server cluster.
The following diagram demonstrates a Broadsign network configuration without edge servers, where five different playback PCs all request the same content:
For every playback PC that needs a piece of content, a request is made to the server, and the content is transferred. Since there are five playback PCs in the example above, this results in five requests and five file transfers from the Broadsign Server cluster.
The situation changes when using an edge server. Although all five playback PCs need the content, there is only one request and one transfer made from the main Broadsign Server cluster. All subsequent requests are handled by the edge server.
Assigning an edge server to be used as a player’s content repository is achieved through player folders. In the Edge Servers tab of the Player Folder properties dialog, one or more edge server resources can be added and removed. Any players within that folder would then download their media files from those edge servers.
Edge Server Name vs Host Name
The hostname of edge server resources is their DNS name or IP address. This is the network address that all players assigned to use this edge server as their content repository will use to communicate with it. The edge server’s name is simply an identifier of convenience purposes and has no impact on network connectivity.
Edge servers normally use the standard Broadsign Content Transfer Protocol (CTP) for file transfers. This is the protocol used when a player system downloads content from Broadsign Server and would, therefore, also be used when downloading from an edge server, as well. The default port for the CTP protocol is 10805.
As with players, you need to register edge servers before you can use them as resources in your network. See Registrations.
To edit an edge server, use one of the following methods:
- From the list panel, select an edge server. Then, from the view bar, select Edit.
- From the list panel, double-click on an edge server.
The General Section
If necessary, the login information of an upstream FTP site can be entered in the Upstream tab of the Edge Server Properties dialog. This only applies to edge servers using FTP servers, which are used for Broadsign Core to integrate with and utilize third party multicast solutions (typically over satellite).
The Sources tab in the General group of the Edge Server Properties dialog allows you to chain one or more Broadsign Edge Servers together. This arrangement allows the edge server concerned to obtain its content from one of the source edge servers specified, and to rotate amongst the sources if one of them is down.
You can associate a source edge server to your edge server by clicking the Add button in the Sources tab. This will cause a resource selector to appear, which will allow you to pick the source edge servers that you would like to associate to the edge server that you are editing.
Here you can view which player folders this edge server is associated to. All players within those folders or subfolders will request their content from the edge server. You can add or remove player folders that this edge server services by clicking Add or Remove.
The Network Section
Adding a new edge server to the network requires a new registration. Since each edge server is uniquely identified by their MAC Address, each registration needs to use a different MAC Address. Duplicate entries will be rejected. For more information, see Network Setup Tutorial – Register a Player.
The Settings Section
Edge server contacts receive email notifications when their corresponding edge server system goes into the MIA (Missing In Action) state, and when it recovers from this state. Edge servers poll Broadsign Server at regular intervals. Broadsign Server considers an edge server system to be MIA if it does not poll the server when expected, either because its network connection was interrupted, because the hardware running the edge server application lost its power, or because the edge server software application running on it exited abnormally. Broadsign Server proceeds to send an email to all edge server contacts informing them of the MIA system so that they may act to resolve any issues.
Contacts assigned to an edge server can be viewed in the Contacts tab of the Edge Server Properties dialog. Additional contacts can be added or removed in this tab.
The Monitoring tab in the Edge Server Properties dialog allows you to associate incident thresholds to your edge servers, which will assist you in dealing quickly with any issues that may arise. Keep in mind that any incident thresholds set at the edge server level will override any applicable domain level incident thresholds.
You can associate an incident threshold to your edge server by clicking the Add button in the Monitoring tab. This will cause the Add Incident Threshold wizard to appear, which will allow you to select the incident type using the drop-down list and set the threshold’s escalation options. The incident threshold that can be set on this resource is MIA.
An edge server can have its settings, such as its poll rate or cache size setting, edited through Broadsign Administrator by assigning an edge server configuration profile to it. An edge server configuration profile is a template of preset service and parameter values provided by Broadsign Core.
In order to assign an edge server configuration profile to an edge server system, the profile must be linked to the edge server. This is done in the Configuration tab in the Settings group of the Edge Server Properties dialog, which can be accessed by selecting the “Edit Edge Server…” option from the edge server contextual menu. In the Configuration tab, push the Select button and choose the desired profile. When the corresponding edge server next polls Broadsign Server, it will apply the new configuration settings.