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Windows Server

Windows Server 2008 : Configuring Windows Media Services (part 14) - Configuring Proxy Settings

12/25/2010 9:27:34 AM
Configuring Proxy Settings

A Windows Media Services server can also proxy requests from clients to reduce the load on the origin server. The Proxy tab includes settings for three modes of proxy options. They are:

  • Proxy This is the default proxy functionality in which the server presents content to clients. The server appears to the client as the same computer as the origin Windows Media Services server.

  • Proxy Redirect This option specifies that client requests should be redirected to another proxy server located on the network. It is most often used in load-balancing configurations when you want to redirect all users to a specific server that has available content.

  • Reverse Proxy A reverse proxy redirects incoming requests to a specific publishing point. The reverse proxy server verifies authentication for the user and then requests the content from the origin server.

Overall, by using proxy servers, you can increase the scalability of a Windows Media Services server content distribution point.

Configuring Cache/Proxy Settings for Publishing Points

After you have enabled and configured Cache/Proxy Management settings on the appropriate servers, you can use Windows Media Services to configure caching settings. To do this, select a publishing point, and then click the Properties tab. The Cache/Proxy category will include properties for determining how information can be cached. For broadcast-based publication points, the available setting is the Stream Splitting Expiration. This represents the amount of time the content can be accessed before it must communicate with the origin server to check for content updates. The Cache Expiration property has the same effect for on-demand publishing points. The default setting for both is 86,400 seconds (24 hours).

Monitoring Proxy/Cache Servers

The Windows Media Services console includes two objects within the Cache/Proxy Management section. These objects are used for monitoring the current performance and usage of proxy services. The Cache/Proxy On-Demand and Cache/Proxy Broadcast sections show information based on the type of publication point on the origin server. You can manage these settings independently. For example, you can deny new connections for on-demand content while still allowing new clients to access broadcast streams. The Monitor tab provides performance statistics and configuration information. (See Figure 37.)

Figure 37. Monitoring cache/proxy settings and performance


You can also configure settings for both types of cache/proxy points on the Properties tab. As with publishing points, you can configure categories such as Authorization, Authentication, and Limits.

Protecting Media by Using DRM

Organizations that provide valuable content to their users need to ensure that the information is used as it was intended. For example, if a user is able to save a copy of a video file on her computer, she should be restricted from sending it to other users or posting it on a Web site without the permission of the content provider. Digital Rights Management (DRM) enables content providers and content authors to limit the distribution of their information. You can protect content by several methods.

Using a Third-Party DRM Partner

Windows Media Services provides an extensible architecture that enables you to add plug-ins easily to provide DRM functionality. These plug-ins are available from third-party organizations that specialize in content protection. For more information about these organizations, visit the Microsoft Windows Media DRM Partners Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/drm/9series/providers.aspx.

Using Active Directory Rights Management Services

Windows Server 2008 includes a server role called Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS). This server role allows a computer running Windows Server 2008 to issue licenses for creating and protecting content such as media files and documents. To use this infrastructure, content creation applications must be compatible with RMS. Compatible applications include Microsoft Office System 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007. You can also use RMS features through Internet Explorer. For more information about AD RMS, search for Active Directory Rights Management on the Microsoft TechNet Web site at http://technet.microsoft.com.

Other Content Protection Methods

There are also other methods of protecting digital audio and video content. For example, you can implement Web-based authentication and authorization to ensure that only registered users are permitted to access the content. You can also use network security devices such as firewalls to prevent direct access to content files. Overall, the goal of DRM involves several components that must be configured to ensure that only authorized users can access and use content.

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