Wowza V3 Costs for churches

In my previous post, I mentioned that Wowza’s licensing is changing for EC2-based instances. Naturally, this is going to have an effect on how much it costs. I’m going to break down the numbers for a typical church scenario.

The assumptions I’m going to make are based on usage patterns for Resurrection Online:

  • 1 full-time server
  • 2 services on Sunday, approx. 2 hours each,
  • 2 repeaters per service
  • 1000GB traffic/month
  • US-East zone

Under the current V2 scenario with DevPay, you have the following costs:

  • Full-time instance: 720 hours @ 0.15/hr : $108
  • Repeaters: 32 hours @ 0.15/hr : $4.80
  • Traffic: 1000GB @ $0.15/GB: $150.00
  • Wowza AMI Access: $5

Total: $267.80/month

Under V3, it looks like this:

  • Full-time instance: 720 hours @ $0.085/hr : $61.20
  • Monthly Wowza License: $55
  • Monthly nDVR Add-On License: $20
  • Repeaters: 32 hours @ $0.085/hr: $2.72
  • Daily Wowza License @ $5/day/repeater: $40
  • Daily nDVR License @ $2/day/repeater: $16
  • Traffic: 1000GB @ $0.12/GB: $120.00

Total: $278.92 ($314.92 with nDVR)

Pretty close… But because V3 is no longer tied to DevPay, you have the freedom of using reserved instances. I’ll assume you won’t do a reserved instance for the repeaters.

  • Full-time instance: 720 hours @ $0.03/hr : $21.60
  • Monthly Wowza License: $55
  • Monthly nDVR License: $20
  • Repeaters: 32 hours @ $0.085/hr: $2.72
  • Daily Wowza License @ $5/day/repeater: $40
  • Daily nDVR License @ $2/day/repeater: $16
  • nDVR License:
  • Traffic: 1000GB @ $0.12/GB: $120.00

Subtotal: $239.32 ($273.92 with nDVR)

  • Reserved instance fee – 1 year: $227.50 ($18.96/month) : $ 258.28
  • Reserved instance fee – 3 years : $350 ($9.72/month) : $249.04

Additional repeaters will set you back about $6/day extra ($8 with nDVR)


  • V2: 267.80/month
  • V3: 278.92/month
  • V3 (1 year reserved): 258.28/month
  • V3 (3 year reserved): 249.04/month
  • nDVR on V3 will add $36/month

As you can see, the economics of this have been turned on their ear – now, instead of multiple small servers being the most cost-effective method of doing repeaters, it now makes sense to spin up one or two considerably larger instances for a couple of hours. If each small costs you $5.16  for two hours, and gains you 150Mbps, it looks a lot better to supersize your instance for about 9 bucks for two hours and get several gigabits out of it. When the folks at Wowza get done benchmarking the EC2 instances with V3, I’ll post another entry.


4 Comments On “Wowza V3 Costs for churches”

  1. Hi Ian–
    Great information!  I didn’t realize you could reserve instances for extended periods of time.  I’m thinking about running a full time origin server (m1.xlarge with transcoder) and using Cloudwatch to automatically spin up additional repeaters when necessary.  Do you have any additional info on this process?  Are there any updates on the benchmarking for EC2 instances with Wowza 3?  Is the output based solely on Amazon’s I/O performance?


    • Reserving an instance is kind of like paying points on a mortgage – you’re buying down the hourly rate on the box. I don’t know of any new tests on the Wowza 3 in regards to capacity, but those limitations are imposed primarily by I/O capacity on the instance itself. If you were to run a web server on m1.small, you’d probably see very similar limitations. 


      • Thanks Ian.  That’s pretty much what I expected re: performance.  Do you have any additional info about using the Cloudwatch API and startup scripts to scale the repeaters when needed?


        • I haven’t used cloudwatch to auto-scale – finding a good algorithm to trigger scaling has been a challenge. I also haven’t found a good way to use cloudwatch with startup packages. 


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