Flash Media Server is Adobe’s solution to the provision of streaming audio and video content, offering
advanced features such as support for interactive and on-demand content. There is also support for
live broadcasts and conferencing.
When should you use it? When you have a need to provide large volumes of streaming media. If you
are simply integrating a few FLV files, then Flash Media Server might not be an economically variable
option when you consider the features that are not being used.
Any alternatives? Red5 (http://osflash.org/red5) is a fully featured open source alternative.