What's New in Windows Media Services 2008
Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2
The Streaming Media Services role in the Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems includes the Windows Media Server role service, which is required to deploy your server computer as a Windows Media server. This role service includes Microsoft® Windows Media® Services 2008, an industrial-strength platform for streaming live and on-demand digital media content, which includes Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) content, over networks.
What does this feature do?
You can use Windows Media Services 2008 to manage one or more Windows Media servers that deliver digital media content to the following types of clients:
Computers or devices that play the content using a player, such as Windows Media Player.
Other Windows Media servers that proxy, cache, or redistribute the content.
Custom programs that have been developed by using Windows Media Software Development Kits.
Who will be interested in this feature?
Windows Media Services 2008 can be used by anyone who needs to deliver digital media content to customers across networks (either the Internet or on an intranet). The following types of organizations find Windows Media Services to be especially useful:
Hosting companies that deliver a fast-streaming experience to viewers in homes and offices.
Enterprises in business, education, and government that manage network resources while delivering rich communications for executive broadcasts, online learning, marketing, and sales.
Wireless companies that deliver wireless broadband entertainment services by using scalable and reliable Windows Media servers.
Internet broadcasters that deliver content for radio, television, cable, or satellite.
Film and music distributors that distribute audio and video content in a secure manner without excessive buffering or network congestion.
IPTV professionals that deliver a high-quality IPTV experience on local area networks (LANs).
Are there any special considerations?
Some features in Windows Media Services 2008 are not available on certain editions of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. If your Windows Media server deployment requires a specific feature (for example, you must deliver content to clients as a multicast stream), see Decide which version of Windows Server is right for you to determine which edition of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 you should install.
After you install the correct edition of the operating system, the Streaming Media Services role, which includes the Windows Media Services role service (Windows Media Services Administrator) and optional services (Windows Media Services Administrator for the Web and Multicast and Advertisement Logging Agent), is not available for installation in Server Manager. Before you can use Server Manager to install the Streaming Media Services role, you must download Windows Media Services 2008. For more information about how to install the Streaming Media Services role, see the Release Notes for Windows Media Services 2008.
You can add the Streaming Media Services role to the Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. For more information, see the Release Notes for Windows Media Services 2008.
What new functionality does this feature provide?
Cache/Proxy management. In Windows Media Services 2008, Windows Media Services Administrator contains a new Cache/Proxy Management plug-in that controls the ability of your Windows Media server to perform caching and proxy functions. You can use the WMS Cache Proxy plug-in to configure a Windows Media server as a cache/proxy server that conserves bandwidth, decreases network-imposed latency, and offsets the load on an origin server. These three factors reduce operating costs for you and create a better viewing experience for your customers.
Playlist attributes. The server-side playlist attributes noSkip and noRecede are now supported. Supported clients (Windows Media Player 9 Series or later versions) that connect to server-side playlists posted to on-demand publishing points on a Windows Media server can fast forward, rewind, seek, or skip throughout a media element. These clients can also skip to the previous or next media element in the playlist. (These controls are now enabled on the client.)
What functionality or settings are added or changed?
MMS Streaming. In Windows Media Services 2008, the Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol is not supported for streaming and the MMS Server Control Protocol plug-in has been removed from Windows Media Services Administrator. Note that, even though the MMS protocol is not supported, the MMS moniker (mms://) is still supported. When clients that support the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) connect to a Windows Media server by using a URL with an mms:// prefix (for example, mms://server_name/clip_name.wmv), the server will try to use protocol rollover to stream the content to the client by using RTSP to provide an optimal streaming experience. Clients that support RTSP include Windows Media Player 9 Series (or later versions of Windows Media Player) or other players that use the Windows Media Player 9 Series ActiveX control.
When earlier versions of Windows Media Player, other players that do not support the RTSP protocol, or players in non-RTSP environments connect to the server by using a URL with an mms:// prefix, the server will try to use protocol rollover to stream the content to the client using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
To ensure that your content is always available to clients that connect to your server by using a URL with an mms:// prefix, enable the WMS HTTP Server Control Protocol plug-in in Windows Media Services Administrator and open ports on your firewall for all the connection protocols that might be used during protocol rollover. For more information, see Firewall Reference for Windows Media Services 2008.
Windows Media Services HTTP Sys Configuration. If you use both Windows Media Services and a Web service such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) on this server, both services will try to bind to port 80 for HTTP streaming. You can avoid such conflicts by assigning each service to a different port. If you assign a service to a port other than 80, you must also open the corresponding port on the network firewall. For more information, see Firewall Reference for Windows Media Services 2008.
As an alternative, you can assign additional IP addresses to the server. This enables each service to have its own IP address while sharing port 80 for HTTP streaming. The simplest way to accomplish this is to install multiple network adapters on your server. However, if this solution is not possible, you can create multiple IP addresses on a single network adapter and assign separate port 80 addresses to them. You must then configure Windows Media Services and the Web service to bind to separate IP address/port 80 combinations. The Windows Media Services HTTP Sys Configuration tool that is used in Windows Media Services 9 Series for assigning additional IP addresses to your services is not available in Windows Media Services 2008. You must now configure the HTTP protocol stack (HTTP.sys) IP inclusion list by using enhanced Netsh commands. For more information, see Using HTTP for Streaming and Downloading from the Same Computer.
Firewall configuration. It is no longer necessary to add the Windows Media Services program (Wmserver.exe) as an exception in Windows Firewall to open the default incoming ports for unicast streaming. When you install the Streaming Media Services role in Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the Windows Media Services program is automatically added as an exception in Windows Firewall.
Stream Test Utility. You must use Server Manager to install the Desktop Experience feature before you can use the Stream Test Utility in Windows Media Services Administrator.
Advanced Fast Start. Advanced Fast Start minimizes startup latency in Windows Media Player 10 (or later versions) or Windows CE version 5.0 (or later versions) and is enabled by default. In Windows Media Services 9 Series, Advanced Fast Start was turned off by default.
Quality of Service (QoS). Windows Media Services has been updated to use Quality of Service (QoS) policies in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to manage outgoing network traffic, instead of using Type of Service (ToS) to deliver unicast streams. For more information, see Quality of Service.
Do I need to change any existing code?
Applications that were designed to work with Windows Media Services 9 Series do not require changes to work with Windows Media Services 2008.
How should I prepare to deploy this feature?
Windows Media Services 2008 does not require any special enhancements to your organization's network or security infrastructure. You can deploy Windows Media Services in many scenarios. After you install Windows Media Services, we recommend that you review the Windows Media Services 2008 Deployment Guide for requirements and recommendations for your streaming scenario.
Is this feature available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2?
Some features in Windows Media Services 2008 are not available in certain editions of the operating system. If your Windows Media server deployment requires a specific feature (for example, you must deliver content to clients as a multicast stream), see Decide which version of Windows Server is right for you to determine which edition of the operating system you should install.