Centralized vs. Distributed Multimedia Servers

The organization of multimedia servers is important in the design of low-cost high-performance multimedia application environments. Considering video services as highly demanding applications in a multimedia environment, we analyze and compare centralized and distributed architectures for multimedia video servers. Comparisons are mede in terms of the blocking probability of a video client's request, considering as important parameters the input/output capacity of the system and the amount of storage. Through a combination of analytical results and simulations, we conclude that in general a centralized architecture is preferable. The results indicate however that, in a distributed architecture containing a large number of powerful servers, performance is similar to the centralized architecture under high load conditions. The results also indicate that under light load conditions, the blocking probabilities are quite small. Furthermore, we conclude that centralized and distributed server architectures become equivalent when large amounts of storage are added to the latter or when their input/output capacity is significantly increased.

By: Dimitrios N. Serpanos and Tasos Bouloutas (Bank of Boston)

Published in: RC20411 in 1996


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