How Vimeo tuned adaptive video delivery with Google Cloud Platform and Fastly's CDN

Fifty million people create, host and sell high-quality videos on Vimeo, a video-sharing platform, including more than 750,000 who subscribe to the service’s premium tools. Over 250 million people in more than 150 countries watch videos monthly.

Vimeo was using its own servers for letting users upload videos to the service, a cloud storage service for storing videos and an alternative solution for streaming. It was looking for a solution which would do away with its own servers for uploading and chose Google Cloud Platform. Vimeo built a new adaptive video-delivery service, working in conjunction with Fastly and Google Cloud Platform, that can scale on demand to meet Vimeo's growing need to stream videos.

“We’ve chosen Google for Fastly’s Cloud Accelerator because at Google innovation happens faster, and Google Cloud Platform is driving cloud computing and cloud storage in the right direction.” — Lee Chen, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fastly

Building a high-quality video delivery service

Building a video experience begins with a fast, reliable upload service. Vimeo replaced its servers for accepting video uploads with Google Cloud Storage, fronted by Fastly’s network to help ensure regional routing and low-latency, high-throughput connections for Vimeo’s publishers. Multi-regional Google Cloud Storage offers fast resumable upload capability that helps make for better user experience.

Vimeo built its video delivery service using Fastly’s content delivery network (CDN) and GCP. The service transcodes videos and streams them to users — videos are customized depending on network congestion and the devices to which the videos are being delivered. The goal is to deliver the highest-quality, smooth playback experience across all platforms over varying network conditions and device capabilities.

Google Compute Engine packages the videos, which are stored on Cloud Storage. Compute Engine’s ability to automatically scale allows Vimeo to deliver videos on the fly, even when demand spikes and many users stream videos simultaneously across a very diverse library. Cloud Storage’s low-latency helps with fast startup times, while also providing scalable storage to host millions of videos from Vimeo’s loyal community of content creators.

“Fastly and Google Cloud Platform enabled us to build a low latency, highly scalable, on the fly adaptive video streaming packager in short period of time with a small team.” — Naren Venkataraman, Senior Director of Engineering, Vimeo

High-quality videos means more users

With Fastly and GCP, Vimeo has delivered more higher-quality videos to its users because of the platform’s low latency, high bandwidth, and ability to scale. Because of the system’s reliability, fewer users stop watching videos because of delays and glitches. Vimeo engineers do not have to spend their time managing infrastructure and have been freed to improve the video delivery service, leading to improved customer satisfaction. Costs have been reduced because Vimeo does not have to manage the infrastructure in-house.

“Our business is dependent on delivering high-quality video; that’s our competitive edge. Thanks to Fastly and Google Cloud Platform, we’re delivering more high-quality videos than ever at less cost, leading to our continuing success and growth,” says Venkataraman.

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