Configuring a Server Farm for Telestream Episode

OK, pretty discrete topic, but if you care, you care. This blog post originated as questions from a visitor to this website, who asked:

At this stage of my investigation, I have the following questions:

– Should I go for a few 16-core or a lot 4-core machines (like mac mini).

– Do I need the Episode Cluster license for every machine in my cluster?

I passed the question along to a colleague at Telestream, who responded (emphasis supplied):

– If you want to utilize split and stitch (SNS) you will need at least one Engine license in the cluster, then any Episode machine in the cluster can participate in the SNS encode regardless of its license level (but still be restricted by the number of parallel encodes according to its license level).

– If this is a Windows cluster I might lean toward fewer Engines on big multi-core machines and if on mac maybe more smaller machines with one Engine. The new mac pro machines are very GPU heavy, you pay a lot for them and Episode does not use them.

– I know a lot of people are setting up mini based clusters. For really fast split and stitch you need fast access to the source files from all machines so a SAN type environment is recommended.

– There is no special cluster license for Episode, clustering is built in any Episode system can be the master of a cluster.

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video ( and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less ( I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at I currently work as as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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