Kaltura - Continuity of Service

As campuses prepare continuity of instruction plans in the face of emergencies, the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) Digital Learning Environment (DLE) provides the Kaltura video platform for video recording, hosting, and streaming.

Deploying Kaltura

Kaltura is easy to adopt, because it is already integrated with Canvas and available via a stand-alone portal: MediaSpace. UWS users' accounts are automatically created the first time they access Kaltura via Canvas (log in to Canvas, then Account > My Media) or MediaSpace. Users can record new videos, upload existing video, insert videos into Canvas courses, quickly caption videos (for free), and even set up groups to manage repositories of videos as a team.

Tips for Using Kaltura

  • Instructors can use Kaltura Capture or Kaltura's Webcam Recorder to easily record lectures and post them to their Canvas courses. Instead of recording entire 1-2 hour lectures in one block, we highly recommend separating lectures into 10-20 minute chunks and recording each chunk as a separate video.
  • Students can use Kaltura Capture or Kaltura's Webcam Recorder to record video introductions, speeches, or class presentations to share with their teachers or fellow students.
  • Kaltura works best for asynchronous (pre-recorded) video. If you want to have a live video meeting for your class or administrative group, check out Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  • Internet connectivity is going to be a problem for some of your students. Kaltura automatically scales playback quality based on a user's bandwidth, which helps.
    • Make new recordings as short as possible. Break large lectures into several 10-minute videos. If you can get each video under 5 minutes, even better!
    • Use Advanced Video Embed options to make your videos downloadable for students. Some students will need to drive to a place where they have Internet access, download course materials, and watch or read them offline from home.

Continuity of Operations

See Kaltura Status for updates on product outages.

Given the cloud-based nature of Kaltura and the remote nature of much of its workforce, we expect Kaltura to be able to scale up to accommodate the surge in DLE course content brought on by and emergency.  In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Spring 2020, Kaltura shared the following response: 

Updates on the extra measures we are taking at Kaltura to ensure that we remain a reliable and trusted partner in the face of the current COVID-19 situation are shared via Kaltura’s blog (linked below),  Each day we serve over 10,000,000 video streams worldwide, an indication of our comfort level with high volume video streaming services. Tripling or quadrupling that amount of video is well within our capability.  In addition, know that we have a dedicated team actively monitoring our global platform via our Network Operations Center.   

COVID-19/Corona Virus Blog 

On 03/16/2020, Kaltura made an additional statement: 

We would like to share an update on Kaltura’s readiness with regards to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have activated our business continuity plan globally to ensure seamless operations throughout this situation, including provisions for ensuring that all data centers remain fully operational and are equipped with the necessary gear and supplies.

Kaltura has already approached all its vendors to verify their readiness as well.

While all Kaltura’s data centers are in full operation, we have also initiated a dedicated task force responsible for gradually increasing data center capacity by leveraging additional secure hosting infrastructure as needed. We will of course continue to monitor our services very closely and increase capacity accordingly.

On 03/25/2020, Kaltura publicly announced the addition of extra transcoding server capacity of accommodate the increased number of uploaded videos which need to be processed:

Due to increased demand for services, we have further increased our capacity, since our last update to you, and added additional servers to meet transcoding needs. As of today, processing capacity has been increased significantly. Our systems are still navigating the backlog of queued jobs, and we will continue to monitor and update on this status page until normal performance in transcoding jobs and uploads has been achieved.

In addition, Kaltura has made several private statements to the University of Wisconsin System about its efforts to cope with the unprecedented increases in usage. These statements are for University of Wisconsin faculty, staff, and students only, and should not be shared in any externally searchable location: