Catalyst: A cloud-based media processing framework

William Katsak, Hai Nguyen, Kiran Nagaraja, Joacim Halen, Nimish Radia, Thu D. Nguyen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Massive increases in production and consumption of digital media are motivating cloud 'video encoding as a service.' In this paper, we explore efficient platforms for supporting such services. Specifically, we explore transcoding performance on a software encoder and two hardware-accelerated encoders representing widely different points in the hardware acceleration design space, as well as interference effects when heterogenous encoders are run concurrently. Using results from our exploratory study, we next propose a framework for providing video encoding as a service on a single server, and implement a prototype of the framework in a system called Catalyst. Catalyst accepts transcoding tasks and intelligently uses all available resources, including software and hardware-accelerated encoders, to maximize throughput while respecting task deadlines, and provides a foundational building block for a cluster-based cloud video encoding service. We evaluate Catalyst using a synthetic transcoding workload designed to emulate an IP-TV/Cloud-DVR workload. Evaluation results show that Catalyst can significantly increase throughput while meeting task deadlines compared to naive use of hardware-accelerated encoding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 39th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781728125190
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event39th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2019 - Richardson, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2019Jul 9 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems


Conference39th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2019
CountryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Cloud computing
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Scheduling
  • Transcoding
  • Video encoding

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