It is very important to provide enough performance for the ingest station as well as for its network connections. The ingest station performs real-time operations. So if the performance of the station or network connections are disrupted for too long, this can cause overflow of the plug-in buffers and failure of the entire ingest process.

Network Connection to Cinegy Video Server

It is very important to establish a proper network connection from the ingest station to the Cinegy Archive servers, especially to the video server. Cinegy Ingest must be capable of writing back all the streams being ingested without overflowing the encoder plug-in buffers.

This point is especially important when the output format is uncompressed or has a very high bit rate.

Computing Power of Ingest Station

The main ingest station must be capable of handling the incoming video stream from the capture device and perform the scene recognition and timecode processing.

In case of a compressed video input (for example, DV or IMX), in addition, the main station must decompress the incoming frames in real time in order to provide the uncompressed stream for shot change detection and on-screen display.

In case of a one-machine ingest or if you want to decrease the number of computers in the ingest cluster, the main station also performs real-time compression to one or more formats.

Ingest Cluster Performance

Using the proper hardware in the ingest cluster is the foundation for a successful operation.

Cluster Network

It is very important to maintain a stable connection between the machines in the ingest cluster. Even simple external damage to one of the connecting cables can render the entire cluster inoperative.

Note
It is recommended to use network adapters with the most networking features implemented in the hardware and with large buffers in place. Otherwise, the network adapter driver can cause very high additional CPU load that steals performance from the encoder. It is recommended to use the shortest cables possible to connect the machines in the cluster.

Cluster Machines

Balancing Tasks

Tasks balancing in the ingest cluster depends on the computers in use. With machines that are powerful enough you can distribute several tasks on one PC.

When assembling your ingest cluster, start adding the tasks one by one. Watch what CPU load you get with incoming material of different complexities. This will help achieve the optimal load distribution.

A sample distribution of the ingest tasks (for fast dual-Xeon machines in this case) may be as follows:

Machine Tasks

Capture PC

Capturing, scene recognition, working with Cinegy file server + medium quality

PC 1

High quality

PC 2

1 stream of WMF + low quality

Note
To test if your cluster configuration is capable of continuing the ingest tasks, use a long sequence of very difficult video material including a lot of movement, noise, and colors.