Who are we, and what do we want to do?
This post is also available in: polski
Welcome to our “stormy” blog. The is our very first article, where we would like to introduce ourselves properly. We’ll tell you a bit about our history, what Storm Project really is, and where we are heading.
It started with video players…
Let’s start with some background – our company is located in southern Poland in the beautiful city of Bielsko-Biala. Since we are one of the leading software houses in this part of Europe, our story is closely related to web video technologies in general. Over a decade ago we were among the first ones to offer commercial web video players. We have created many video-streaming services for the medical, legal, sport, financial, and adult industry. We have also provided technology for the two biggest VOD services in Poland – “ipla.tv” and “player.pl”. About three years ago, all major browsers announced that support for Adobe Flash Player would be dropped in next 2 years. That wasn’t a huge surprise – Adobe had sentenced the infamous plugin to death a couple of years earlier. While HTML5 was an excellent alternative for to static content like video file playback, there was little it could offer as regards the live-streaming. We needed a replacement for Flash technology.
Looking for a Red5 & Wowza streaming alternative
At that time in the history we turned our heads to major server streaming applications like Wowza, RED5. These were great for RTMP, RTSP streaming, but there was no way to use these protocols in HTML5! The only way to bring live video streaming to the web was Apple’s HLS. Enthusiastic at first, we soon released that HLS is not going to cut it. All web video services we created relied heavily on low-latency streaming (below 2 sec), but all we could archive was 10 seconds without blowing our client’s server cpus. That wasn’t good enough. It may be sufficient for some cases, but all interactivity would be literally erased with such a long delay.
It is then that we’ve decided to create our own independent streaming server from scratch. We already had a lot of experience making high-efficiency, high-load server applications. We also knew a lot about codecs, video file formats. All we had to do was put the pieces together – at least that’s what we initially thought.
Hard work and here we go!
After three years of struggle, hundreds of hours of testing, and debugging, we could finally present our software to the world. We named it “Storm” because we thought it would sound cool, and it’s also the most efficient streaming server application on the market, easily reaching over 8 Gbps per instance. It is also among the fastest, offering latencies as low as 1 second for TCP-IP connections. Over the next couple of months we will be introducing several new features, like RTMP/RTSP server support, inbuilt load balancer, and origin-edge architecture. We’ll also be posting a series of dedicated tutorials on setting up our server and creating a dedicated video player with our Storm Player library.