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Backup and Storage Considerations for Rich Media

What is Rich Media?

Rich media is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide scope of interactive digital media. This media typically exhibits dynamic motion, using elements like audio, animation, and video.

Here are common types of rich media content:

  • Video files
  • GIF
  • Podcasts
  • Instagram and Facebook stories
  • Audiobooks and podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Live video streams
  • Topical webinars

Rich media files have been proven as highly effective in improving customer engagement and user experience. You can store rich media files in various locations, including cloud storage, on-premise data centers, and digital asset management (DAM) systems.

Consideration for Rich Media Storage

Rich media files are digital assets that consume storage resources. These files are typically very heavy and the more files the organization uses the higher the storage costs. Asides from costs, there are other considerations when choosing storage repositories for rich media, involving efficiency, performance, and security.

Storage Costs

Rich media files consume a lot of storage resources, as well as bandwidth when transmitted. This is a fact. However, there are ways to optimize billing. For example, you can assess your files and determine which files need frequent access. You can store these files in high-performance storage.

Rich media files that are used infrequently can be stored in archival storage. This type of storage is significantly lower than high performance storage. There are three common types of archive storage you can use:

  • On-premise storage—usually digital, magnetic, tape-based storage in a Linear Tape-Open (LTO) library.
  • Cloud storage—the majority of cloud computing vendors offer archival storage options in the public cloud and in private cloud environments.
  • Hybrid storage—a combination of on-premise resources and cloud storage.

Performance and Accessibility

Performance and accessibility are key factors that define the user experience of the storage repository. There are several metrics that impact performance and accessibility, for example:

  • Input/output operations per second (IOPS)—a unit of measurement that determines performance based on workload types and drive speed.
  • Transaction processing workload—indicates the requests received, modification performed, and other operations.
  • Read and write speed—a read speed determines how long it takes to read (open) data from the device, and a write speed determines how long it takes to write (open) data to the device.

Storage Security

Storage repositories store various types of data. Whether the data is deemed for infrequent use and kept in archives or deemed as needed frequently and kept in high performance storage, the data needs to be securely stored.

Storage repositories should be equipped, at minimum, with encryption capabilities that scramble the data and make it meaningless if accessed by unauthorized users. You should also create a backup and recovery strategy that ensures you have copies of the data to fail to when and if disaster occurs.

Storage and Backup Solutions for Rich Media

Rich Media Services on AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular cloud vendor offering a massive amount of cloud-based services. For rich media, AWS provides storage, backup, machine learning (ML), analytics services.

You can leverage AWS services to create highly scalable, secure, and elastic content production pipelines, typically composed of systems in production, a combination of high performance and archival storage, as well as processing and distribution.

AWS provides flexible payment models, many of which are “pay-as-you-go”, and analytics capabilities that can provide data-driven insights. You can leverage these insights to improve and optimize your content investments, monetization efforts, and provide a personalized user experience.

Azure Media Services

Azure Media Services is a cloud-based media workflow platform that provides many capabilities for rich media management. For example, you can use Azure Media Services to index, secure, and package rich media.

You can also use Azure Media Services to stream video at scale. The platform is particularly effective for using high-definition video encoding for streaming on any user device. The platform also provides artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for improving content performance and discoverability, as well as content protection using digital rights management (DRM).

Cloudian

Cloudian offers cost-effective disk-based storage. The solution is highly scalable, letting you start from small capacities and reach petabytes when needed with no downtime or disruptions. This high-capacity storage is ideal for a growing active archive. It is essentially a storage cluster that only requires adding more storage nodes to scale up.

Cloud storage provides always-on data access and built-in data durability which enables you to distribute data across nodes. This means that even if nodes fail, you can still access your media. The costs of this type of storage are typically 1/2 cent per GB/month. In addition to data storage, you get capabilities for rich metadata tagging, compatibility with media software, and multi-cloud integration.

Conclusion

Rich media is a digital asset used by most (if not all) organizations. Organizations use rich media for branding and marketing purposes, but also for IT, development, and educational purposes. Since rich media files are inherently very heavy, they consume a lot of storage resources.

To ensure that your files are always available and properly protected, you need to design a storage and backup strategy that considers all of your business needs. Your strategy should account for costs, performance, accessibility, and security. These four considerations impact your normal operations and can determine user experience.

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