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Episode 4:
Enterprise Video Management and Storage Solutions

Determining the optimal solution for your video storage needs

Episode 4:
Enterprise Video Management and Storage Solutions

Charlie Kraus:
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the bit by bit webinar series.
Today, we're going to be talking in episode four about optimizing video storage.
We're going to cover the role that storage plays in delivering video and the various challenges associated with storage for video file downloads and various use cases followed by various solutions to these different challenges, how to migrate storage and finally security.

So posting content close to viewers is one of the important reasons why you use storage in conjunction with delivering content through a CDN. The whole idea is to deliver the best possible viewer experience with whatever service you're offering. And so positioning content closer to viewers means when they're asking for it, they get it as fast as possible. It also offloads storage management. If you're going to be your own origin and have the storage in your infrastructure, that means you have to manage it, grow it, et cetera. You have your origin infrastructure. That's going to get the requests from users. And when you have spikes in demand for content and can overload your infrastructure CDN storage also includes typically automatic replication of your storage. So you're protected and replicating that in the various places where you're going to deliver. And by doing all of this, you're going to realize several business benefits. So it's all about delivering the best user experience for whatever use case you have.
So getting content to users as soon as possible, handling spikes in demand, when content becomes really hot or this, a big download that you want to get, to where you have a game that has really exciting video associated with it, getting it, and also getting it protected against theft and any other type of issue like that is very, very important. So we're going to do now is I'm going to turn it over to Ernest and he's going to talk about the various ways of solving these challenges.

Ernest Russel:
Thank you, Charlie. And so first let's take a quick look and comparison at on-premise versus CDN storage. And here's the challenge when we're storing that ourselves on premise, it's very hard to scale. And especially when we're only in one location, how do you maximize performance to different locations? And that's one of the things that will show you and compare a single tenancy storage to multiple storage, having multiple regions of storage that's close to the users. And that will help us in two ways, increase performance by bringing video close to your viewers, but also it will help with delivering at scale. And part of that is storage replication. And that's one of the things that we'll touch on here is storage replication, moving content out close to your users, but also we'll talk a little bit about cache and what's the difference between storage and cache.
And so the importance of storage replication, and we want to deliver from as close to your users as possible. And so we want to deliver from POPs or Points of Presence that are close. And here at the top, we have an example of a multi-region storage, where we have storage that are close to your users, whether here in the US or in EMEA and versus one single storage location here, which may work out if all of your viewers are within the same region. So there are good business advantages to having a single region storage. Again, if your users are all located within that region, but for most of us and we're delivering at scale and we're delivering across the globe. And so it really helps to make sure that you have multi-region storage and deliver again, close to your users as possible.
So all storage is not created equal, and I'll show you a comparison of the two. Here on the left, we have an example of, again, a single location. Maybe that's a cloud storage provider where all of your video assets or your data stored, right? And so when the user requests that video, what happens is it goes into that request, goes into the CDN, and if that request or event data, that video does not already live in the CDN, then it reaches out to your storage location, whether that's on premise or your cloud storage provider, to pull that in for delivery.

Now let's look at a different example. What if we had our storage within the delivery network and what happens there is when a user requests an item that is not in storage or not in cache, it does not have to go far to retrieve that video. It's still within the delivery network.
And so here's a little bit more detail on that example. And so first let's look at our cloud storage or a single storage location as our origin, as the customer requests, the video that request goes into the CDN and then has to go reach back to the origin stories location in this case, cloud storage across the public internet. And that causes some latency, some congestion as we go through multiple hops now to get back to the original stories location. And so what is CDN origin storage and where does it create efficiencies? Let's look at that. And so in this case, when our users, our viewers request a video that request goes in and that video is available across the CDN network. And that's where the concept of edge cache comes in, right when content is requested and especially as that content becomes more popular, that content is automatically replicated and sent out to different edge caches that are close to the user. And so this cache is a temporary storage versus your origin storage that stores that data until you delete it, or until a policy says that item should be removed.

Now, let's look at an example where our storage is integrated with the CDN. So here, when the customer or viewer requests a video or file, it is tightly integrated with the content delivery network. And it's able to retrieve that with maximum performance and availability.
And so now let's talk about some best practices when we're building high availability storage, right? And so for one in the first mile, when we're getting content into the network, we want to make sure that for one, we are ingesting into redundant sites. So you want to ingest into more than one location. And also you want to have a storage policy that replicates to the regions that you need. And secondly, that's part of that middle mile here. And part of what a CDN can help you with is making sure that you have multi-region redundancy that are integrated into points of presence that are close to your users and all that means is that data is automatically move to locations, close to your viewers for maximum performance. And then finally, in the last mile, we want to have some intelligence there for the retrieval side. And this is the device, the player of the phone, the laptop that reaches out to make the request. We want some intelligence there to know where that request is coming from and what type of device is requesting. And that way we can optimize that request.

So now let's talk about storage migration, which is a huge challenge for some of us, especially as your library starts to grow, right. If you're just getting started or you just have a few files, then constant migration may not be a challenge for you, but as that library grows, it becomes expensive, time consuming and complex to manage that content. And you may find that 80% of your viewers only watch 20% of your content. So what is the best way we should migrate the content? That's more popular to your users first, or just take a shotgun approach and send all of the video, which may not be as efficient, right? So let's take a look at two different ingest methods that will help ease that storage migration challenge. And so we'll look at two methods here. One is the load on demand method where an audience demand really determines which video is pulled into storage. And then we'll also take a look at manifest upload mode. And this is where you have a manifest or a list that contains all of the video assets that you want to ingest into storage.

So first let's look at the load on demand model here, where a user requests the file, if that content, that video is already in cache, it will get served to that user. If not, what happens is that request goes back into the CDN and it creates, it pulls the file from the customer origin, and it creates an instance within the CDN. And so now you have that asset within CDN storage, but also in edge cache for so that as more viewers come to watch that content is located close to them in cache and a point of presence near them. The secondly here, the manifest upload mode, and this is a case where, you know what content specifically that you want to upload, you a list of those. And that list is sent to the CDN to ingest that content into storage.
And so now finally, we'll talk about protecting your storage, and we all want our content to be popular, but also going viral can be dangerous if we're not prepared. And so we want to protect our origin from constant calls back to your origin storage. And because that can cause your storage to go down or decreased availability, and also it can reduce the performance, especially when a lot of viewers are coming to watch the video at the same time. And so, as you can see here, we want to protect those users from going directly to your storage, for access. And here's how we do that.
We do that with what we call origin shield, right? So instead of your audience going directly back to your storage or your origin storage, we want them to go back to the CDN, right, where you have a layer of protection against attacks, and also you have the scale to deliver not only to the users with good performance, but with low latency because you're delivering from as close to them as possible. And so that final practice is very important to making sure you protect your origin storage from going viral. Now hand back to Charlie to wrap things up.

Charlie Kraus:
So now that you've seen the important role that storage has I'm going to sort of flip this from summary to more recommendations. So the recommendation is strongly on utilizing storage. That's part of a CDN and integrated with it so that you can take advantage of it's automatic replication, the security that's part of services that are delivered via CDN. It relieves you of having to worry about managing the storage and upgrading it and keeping up with the growth of it. And it has other benefits, including very good management tools in terms of how you load things into storage itself and how you manage it when it gets there. And it just generally makes it easy for you in your department. So everything's done by people that are used to managing it, relieves you up to do more important things. So this was the, again, the fourth series we're hoping that we see you again in the future.
You've gone through audience expectations and about live and on demand, video and storage. And the next step in the series is security for video delivery. So again, thank you for your attention. I hope it was useful and that you learned something.
Have a good day.