We get a lot of questions regarding support for peer 2 peer in our applications. This post will answer most of them!
The Stratus service
Right now the only way to add p2p capability to a Flash video chat application is to use the Adobe Stratus service which is in beta.
According to the Stratus Terms of Service you are not allowed to host an application using Stratus, the service might be terminated at any time, your use of the Stratus service can be revoked, etc… .
What does this mean?
It means that right now the Stratus service is offered to test p2p capabilities in Flash Player, not for use in commercial/production apps.
But isn’t chatroulette using Stratus/p2p?
Yes it is and it was a great way for Adobe to test their Stratus servers and technology.
When will we be able to use/buy apps using p2p in a commercial/real-life/production environment?
Most probably yes, but it will take some time after the official inclusion in FMIS, maybe 3 months to 1 year? Check out the blue 5 project for a future open source alternative to Stratus.
Will AVChat 3 and AVConference support p2p?
Certainly! When Stratus will be available in the next version of FMIS we will nail out the details. We can run everything trough p2p (text, audio & video) or just the audio and video.
What is the main advantage of Stratus/p2p ?
The fact that the huge ammount of audio and video data does not go trough a media server thus resulting in lower latncy video and huge reductions in bandwidth usage on the media server!
What is the main concern now with p2p in Flash Player?
The fact that data trough p2p goes trough UDP which is blocked by the more restrictive corporate firewalls! Computers behind a NAT might also have issues! People who could connect to a media server (FMIS,Red5,Wowza) might not be able to use p2p in its current from in Flash Player. Hopefully Adobe will provide solutions to these issues or easy fallbacks to non p2p cmmunication via FMIS!
Have we done any work with p2p/Stratus so far?
Yes, we’ve built a dummy instant messenger which you can test on http://avchat.im .