Best hosting for media libraries
The selection criteria has always been server management, support, disaster recovery and cost. Another, less used, parameter is the availability of Content Distribution Networks (CDN); few content businesses use this, but for those that do it’s important. Additionally, some customers now require very fast transfer rates for high-resolution video. Aspera is the best third party solution for this.
We have a couple of powerful in-house servers that we use for testing; but we would never use them for a commercial operation. In-house hosting is valid to an extent, but only if you have one or two customers per day. Constant bandwith use, high number of searches, load balancing and disaster recovery means you will soon need to set up your own server network. The cost isn’t just machinery and a pipe – it’s the support cost overhead – salaries and desk space and the fact that an in-house solution is never wholly dedicated or available 24/7 365.
Three years ago we took the decision to put all of our client websites, data and client media libraries on the Cloud. Online video hosting allows much greater flexibility for adding servers, increasing storage and bandwidth limits. Moreover, our network specialists can be deployed maintaining many sites remotely.
Cloud hosting with full disaster recovery
At the time, Amazon was the only provider who had thought through the entire process. Disaster recovery from server failure is near instantaneous; to save costs all of the backups and media files are put into “Glacier storage” – a low cost storage option which means files lost via operator error (think mass deletions) can be reinstated within instated within four hours. AWS also provide CDN and Aspera fast transfer.
However, there are always new entrants worth comparing; in early 2014 we put Microsoft and Google on the review list.
Microsoft was considerably more expensive and biased, naturally, toward their own frameworks and O/S. Google was more O/S agnostic and 10% cheaper than AWS but still did not compare with AWS services and support. As always, you get what you pay for.
Today we continue to use AWS for cloud hosting and operate a completely transparent pricing system.
For storage we offer the exact same rates as AWS. For support, AWS charge from $150 plus 7% to 12% of storage cost. We charge from $250 per month plus 7% of storage cost. Our price includes support of AWS servers and the Big Easy media library software.