on March 09, 2015 Educational

Don’t Pay for Cloud Storage, Pay for Cloud Features

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Media companies are often concerned with video storage space—and rightfully so. Storage on the cloud can get expensive, and unlike an external drive, the cloud is virtually limitless. The more you store, the more you pay causing a universal movement by companies to opt for the cheapest solution for the highest volume. Cloud-hosted servers are forced to compete over who can charge the least amount of money per GB or who can entice potential customers with the first 100GB or so free. But picking a cloud solution based off who offers the most storage for the least amount is precisely the wrong way to go about it. 

Storage is ubiquitous amongst cloud-based software. The right solution will empower you to do more with the assets you have in the cloud, not just keep more assets up there. Does it allow for safe sharing? It is fast and convenient to upload? Does the server have good customer service? As Nasuni so eloquently put in their blog, “The most important part of cloud storage isn’t the storage. It’s how easy it is for your users to access that storage."

Dropbox is one the best file storage services in the world. There’s no denying it. Dropbox starts you off with 2 GB of free space, and if you refer your friends, you can earn up to 16 GB of additional space, free of charge. Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive give you 15GB, Box.com gives you 10GB. But that isn’t a reason to store your videos on their server. Free storage may sound sweet, until you realize that’s all you are paying for. Storage. What if you want to protect your videos? Send and collaborate on videos? What features do these programs have that will benefit your company and your videos?

Here is a list of features your video storage server needs, that Dropbox and most of the others aforementioned DO NOT provide. 

Fast Upload Speed

Dropbox has a limited upload bandwidth, so it will take 10 hours for a 1GB file to upload. That’s 9 hours and 59 minutes more than most people feel like waiting. Find a program that can upload through the browser or FTP at an accelerated speed to give you access to your videos ASAP. 

Security

Dropbox, like most other file sharing software, doesn't allow companies to view an audit log. If data is leaked, nobody will know to whom and where that information went. Leaks of pre-release content can destroy a company’s reputation and its revenue. Use a program that protects your videos at a secure location with login traceability and expiring shareable links.

Easy-to-use Access

Both technical and non-technical people need to store and retrieve videos. Therefore the program must be simple to understand and use. The application should allow the user to navigate to exactly where they need to go, while still requiring login and password information for safety. Access should be consistent across all devices able to access a secure connection.

Instant Video Playback

If you want to watch a video you just uploaded onto the cloud and you’re using Dropbox, it better be 15 minutes or less. You'll also have to deal with low resolution, and you'll need the patience to wait until it loads. You need a program that can instantaneously playback your video, no matter how long, in the quality in which you uploaded it. Videos may also need to be transcoded, which the best video sharing programs will be able to do. 

Instant Video Sharing 

Instant video playback is perfect for the person uploading the content, but what if that person wants to share his/her content with team members or customers? Instant video sharing is a necessity when choosing the right cloud storage software. You want to be able to share your videos as fast as possible, in the highest resolution, on a branded company page. You may also want to enable an expiration for the video, in which the receiver only has access for a limited time, until the video is no longer viewable.

Branding 

Dropbox and Google Drive don't let your company use a branded viewing page, or a landing page, to watch your videos (it's an enterprise feature with Box). You want your videos to look professional and presentable, especially during the review and approval process. Therefore you should look for an application that gives your company its own page to showcase your brand’s videos when sharing.

Conclusion

Stop buying storage, and start buying features. Features are what people truly care about. Anyone can store your videos, but who can shield them from hackers? Who can upload them instantaneously for video playback and efficient sharing? Who can provide great customer service? Who wants to give you creative freedom and the freedom to show off your brand? Video storage is only the first step, and what you do with those stored videos is what matters. Nasuni said it perfectly, "Without multiple effective ways to get at your data, you might as well lock it in a safe and throw the key away."

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Nick Shanman

Intern at large. Movie buff.