Kingsoft Cloud overcomes difficulties in interactive live broadcast of 10-million-level

Today, watching mobile videos and interactive behaviors create tremendous value, which can't be overstated. However, when videos are presented to each user quickly and smoothly, twists and turns behind it are not widely known.

Specifically, in the first few months of this year, colorful information and entertainment content of the Spring Festival and the two sessions (NPC &CPPCC) were well received and praised by users. People watch live broadcasts and participate in entertainment interactions, but there are a lot of challenges behind them. For cloud service providers, every major conference or event has deeply tested the evolution of technology. The traffic has soared, forming a “peak”, and the network environment is intricate. Faced with such a situation, the video service leader Kingsoft Cloud is well organized, quickly making customers invincible. Kingsoft Cloud guarantees 10-million-level interactive live broadcasts with multiple technologies. Not only during the Spring Festival, it broke "three blockades", that is, fully assisted the three major customers, including CCTV, Kuaishou and Toutiao to win hard battles, and also escorted the two sessions of CCTV.

Escort CCTV live broadcast to better tell stories of the two sessions

The two sessions are being held recently, attracting broad attention of all circles. Representatives are gathering to discuss affairs of state, while new technologies are being demonstrated, and various media are competing on this stage. According to media reports, the full coverage of 5G networks is achieved for the first time in the news centers of the two sessions. Journalists can not only see TV programs transmitted by 5G signals, but also watch VR live programs through VR glasses. Major media exert all their strength on how to promptly and stereoscopically convey the voices and stories of the two sessions.

As the core media, CCTV will tell people stories about the two sessions in various forms and angles. Netizens will experience a full-scale video feast through CCTV's mobile live broadcast, including frontline reports, authoritative interpretations in the studio, and sidelights at the venue.

Mark, in charge of Kingsoft Cloud's technical support, received this task with great care, although it was not the first time for him to do this job. He knows very well that the two sessions are major national events, so there are many people watching online in real time. Moreover, this video live broadcast has very high requirements for technical support, due to its large scale, long hours, various screens and different forms of programs.

If a live broadcast is required to be played stably and clearly on a mobile terminal, the peak bandwidth should be stronger. With this in mind, Mark and his team have pre-established sophisticated technical services and safeguards. In order to allow a large number of users to watch the live broadcast on CCTV in a synchronized and high-definition manner, Mark and his partners have previously evaluated the required bandwidth in detail. Not only that, but they also use Kingsoft Cloud's sufficient node resources and bandwidth resources to stably support the peak bandwidth. If the peak traffic exceeds the previous forecast, nodes will be increased in 1 minute in customer's traffic scheduling group to expand the total capacity and meet the bandwidth requirements.

In terms of special services, Kingsoft Cloud provides 7*24-hour project team, technical on-site service, scheduling application and network operation and maintenance as required. Thus solve problems in the first time, and achieve second-level response and emergency response. "It was annual busy time for us. My friends and I were ready to endure the hardships and prepared to live in the technical support center for half a month. Anyway, we had to win this battle. "Mark said with a confident smile.

Breaking the "three blockades" opens new entertainment customs

"Mark, remember what you said during the Spring Festival?" one team member asked jokingly. "Of course", Mark laughed and repeated it. "I still feel that it is easier to cope with the ‘three blockades’ than being pushed to get married." He explained that tests faced by the security team have come one after another, but everybody here is battle-tested. There is no difficulty that cannot be overcome. "However, recalling that providing technical support for CCTV, Toutiao and Kuaishou during this Spring Festival, which we privately call the "three blockades", is still quite challenging."

The first blockade: guarantee CCTV Spring Festival Gala. In 2019, CCTV Spring Festival Gala realized the 5G+4K global broadcast for the first time, and set a record for viewing. The total audience at home and abroad reached 1.173 billion, and the overall reputation reached 96.98%. Such huge concurrent traffic has put a major test on CCTV Spring Festival Gala’s technical support.

Kingsoft Cloud showed the QUIC-based bilateral acceleration solution and Kingsoft Smart High Definition (KSHD), which are designed to solve problems of high concurrency, easy blockage in live broadcasts of major events, and high-definition at low cost.

The QUIC-based bilateral acceleration solution makes network awareness and transmission acceleration more intelligent, making end-user’s audiovisual experience better in a weak network environment. KSHD combines multiple visual AI and coding techniques. Through deep neural network, it enhances and optimizes the image area that human eyes focus on, and relatively weakens other areas. It pursues the best human visual experience, and viewers around the world can watch the scene on the spot. At the same time, the code rate is reduced, and the operating cost is saved for the customer. Under joint efforts of CCTV and some technical teams including Kingsoft Cloud, the demand for traffic four times higher than in previous years has been met, and the perfect broadcast has been achieved.

The second blockade: guarantee Toutiao activities. According to official data, during the Spring Festival this year, hundreds of millions of users participated in the "Prosperous Chinese New Year" campaign, which was organized by Toutiao. As an important partner, Kingsoft Cloud provides multiple guarantees for Toutiao, especially in interactive scenarios such as snatching red envelopes. Kingsoft Cloud provides CDN and dynamic small file acceleration, which makes the Internet full of the Spring Festival atmosphere.

When formulating the protection strategy, Mark thought of a way, that is, users need to log in to participate. All red envelope activities start on the hour. Millions of users snatch red envelopes at the same time, which tests the QPS (Query Per Second) ability. In response to this scenario, the Kingsoft Cloud Security Team optimized the QPS from million-level to 10 million levels, and adopted two technical means. First, an intelligent dispatch system is used in the security process. When the peak time comes, if CDN edge nodes are overloaded, the system will dynamically plan an optimal coverage strategy based on node load and bandwidth data, and reduce it to the security standard. Second, there is a dedicated balanced scheduling group. The potentially high concurrent traffic of the red envelope activity can be balanced to the cluster nodes available throughout the network. This will increase the service level and avoid single points of failure. Under the protection of Kingsoft Cloud, Toutiao activities during the Spring Festival brought happiness and warmth to users, and improved their social life.

The third blockade: guarantee Kuaishou activities. In 2019, CCTV Spring Festival Gala and CCTV Lantern Festival Party delegated the short video content to Kuaishou. In addition, Kuaishou also held a "split 600 million cash red envelopes in the Spring Festival" activity, which brought a substantial increase in live traffic. In order to assist Kuaishou and make its activity a success, Kingsoft Cloud provided hundreds of cloud hosts. Some cloud hosts are used as live source stations, and some are applied to business logic, such as log collection.

"At Kingsoft Cloud, we have 1000+CDN nodes in China and 60T reserve bandwidth currently. We cooperate with internationally renowned CDN vendors, and operate all over the world. Greatly ensuring rapid and stable distribution of resources is basis for us to provide resource security for video customers," Mark said, feelingly. "I have been in the company for a long time. I have witnessed its process of growing up from small to large. I have experienced so many guarantees. Every time we get the recognition of our customers, my brothers and I have a sense of accomplishment. This gives us the greatest motivation. I want to continue to delve into technology and innovation. We hope to provide customers with more industry solutions and better video cloud services through continuous research and development."