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Body cameras, aerial surveillance footage, and CCTV cameras at job sites and office locations are generating massive video storage and backup challenges for organizations today.

Video presents a challenge because of the big file sizes and overall storage capacity demands. For example, just a few thousand video files can equate to hundreds of terabytes, if not a few petabytes.

Doesn’t the sheer size of video files quash cloud storage as a viable option? I mean, wouldn’t video data up and down from the cloud destroy your bandwidth and soak up your IT budget in egress costs?

Not necessarily.

What is the best video storage solution?

The effectiveness of any tool or platform depends mostly on how you use it.

For most workloads, you can solve long-term retention on primary or secondary storage arrays (although this is less common now that cloud adoption is taking off). However, IT leaders are generally trying to maintain or shrink their on-premises storage infrastructure footprint. Solving long-term storage of video in primary or secondary storage on-premises is going to require a sizable investment.

Access patterns for video files are much like other data types in the enterprise: After creation, files are frequently accessed for a short period, then see little to no retrieval activity after that. Yet, there is often a need for long-term retention of the data.

Cloud storage for video is a viable solution

Assuming you have infrequently-accessed video files to store, with the right tools at your fingertips, cloud storage can be a compelling platform for the preservation, viewing, analysis, and protection of your video data.

An enterprise cloud storage solution for video data must have the following:

  • Reliable and efficient ingress network transfer to the cloud from your premises,
  • Affordable egress network transfer,
  • User-friendly interfaces for media playback and resumable bulk retrieval capabilities, and
  • Tiering and retention control to manage cloud storage costs and data lifecycle.

HubStor features that make video cloud storage work for enterprises

Table of Contents

  1. Chunking
  2. Scheduling and bandwidth throttling
  3. Drive shipping
  4. Cost-efficient egress video data transfer
  5. Tiering and retention controls
  6. Simple user experience for archive recalls
  7. Inline transcription and search services
  8. Portability for other media analytics
  9. Ensure data protection without huge costs for redundancy

Chunking

Video content results in large file sizes.

If the software performing the transfer operates at the file level, transferring large files over a network can be problematic if the connection is interrupted. Incomplete file transfers must start from the beginning.

Chunking, the process of operating on and storing files in smaller blocks, delivers a smoother experience because transfers can resume partway through a file. Any failure in the transfer process can continue from the last block that failed. HubStor transfers and manages large files with block-level operations.

Scheduling and bandwidth throttling

Using HubStor to ingest data to cloud storage includes scheduling and throttling policies to help you control network bandwidth usage.

You can schedule ingestion to occur in the off-hours. Moreover, throttling enables you to run ingestion day and night while carving out more bandwidth in the off hours when users are less active.

Drive shipping

You can optionally leverage Azure device shipping options to fast track the ingestion process and avoid using your network connection.

Azure Data Box devices are simple to use, and HubStor can help facilitate the process for you. A growing list of HubStor customers are using Azure Data Boxes to augment and fast track the ingestion of data sets.

In essence, you load the video data onto a device, return ship, and HubStor ingests the data within the cloud, avoiding load on your Internet connection. We recommend drive shipping when you have either a significant volume of data or busy/slow bandwidth or both.

Cost-efficient egress video data transfer

HubStor includes several features that help you avoid and mitigate egress bandwidth costs, as follows:

  1. Pay the cloud costs only – HubStor is a consumption subscription model on cloud infrastructure usage. However, we recently optimized our model so that activity-related cloud costs, such as egress bandwidth, are exempt from HubStor pricing. This means you still pay the cloud provider’s fees of egress, but the fluctuation to your overall usage is minimized by it not influencing your HubStor usage.
  2. Flexible recovery – HubStor includes several interfaces to help you navigate, access, view, and export your video content. You can pinpoint files by browsing the file directory structure, sorting column headers, and even searching metadata and transcribed content. When it comes to bulk retrieval, HubStor allows you to export video content within the cloud datacenter also so that no egress costs are involved.
  3. Inline media player – With HubStor, you do not need to download a full video file to view it. HubStor’s user and administrator portals include an inline media player, allowing you to watch video content in the browser. With underlying chunking, only the watched segments of the video are fetched, further mitigating retrieval activity.

HubStor inline media player

 

Tiering and retention controls

Policy controls, coupled with file analytics, give you the option to move your video content to low-cost archival storage and delete files automatically when they are no longer needed.

Tiering video files to archival storage in the cloud – ones that you know are unlikely to be viewed but must be kept for long periods – can yield a 90% reduction in the storage cost.

HubStor includes file analytics that will assist you in identifying stale content so that you can target it with an archiving rule. For example, you might archive specific project folders, or perhaps video files with a last accessed date older than a year.

Similarly, with HubStor, you can model deletion policies to understand old data, and automate retention rules that remove video files from your storage footprint. For example, a project requires data retention of 10 years, after which time the data purge automatically, helping to avoid costs.

Simple user experience for archive recalls

If you move some of your video data to archival cloud storage, it will not be accessible instantly. You can, of course, still see these videos listed in the HubStor user interfaces. However, upon clicking an archived video, the user will be notified that it is in cold storage. If the user opts to rehydrate it, they can subscribe to a notification that will provide them a link to the file when it is ready. Rehydration times are typically just a few hours.

Inline transcription and search services

HubStor includes options for video transcription wherein speech-to-text services will extract the words from your videos and include them in HubStor full-text indexing service. HubStor can also apply data classification tags using lexicons and regular expressions to the video indexer capability.

Discovery search and individual user searches are available within HubStor, so if you decide to index your video files, you will have powerful query capabilities on the file metadata and, optionally, the video content.

Portability for other media analytics

Another great thing about using HubStor for video cloud storage is that there are numerous other media services in the cloud that you can take advantage of, leveraging HubStor’s portability through flexible exports or the HubStor SDK.

HubStor gives you the flexibility to export any video content to alternate cloud storage destinations, such as AWS S3, Azure Files, Azure Blob Storage, SharePoint, and Box. For example, if you needed to extract additional metadata from videos – such as written text, faces, speakers, celebrities, emotions, topics, brands, and scenes – or perform encoding or streaming, you have portability from HubStor to achieve this.

Ensure data protection without huge costs for redundancy

Leveraging HubStor, or any cloud storage alternative, for video will require you to consider your data protection options because it is likely the master copy of your data.

The problem with most cloud storage options is that you do not have a dependable backup option available to you. Instead, you have storage redundancy options. The problem here is twofold:

  1. Synchronous storage redundancy is a replication feature for high availability; it is not a valid backup copy, and
  2. Native redundancy options in the cloud will more than double your storage costs.

With HubStor, you have data protection options beyond standard storage redundancy. HubStor offers a true cloud backup capability that achieves a segregated copy of your data at a fraction of the cost of native cloud storage redundancy. You can leverage low-cost archival storage for the backup copy, independent of the primary copy’s storage tier. And you can pick any cloud region you want to host the backup, including the same region that hosts the first copy if you do not care about regional disasters and want to avoid egress bandwidth costs.

Conclusion

A do-it-yourself approach to video cloud storage is going to be difficult if your video files are generated by devices that initially deliver their data footprint to on-premises storage. You’ll need to work through the details of how you reliably transfer the video data into the cloud, and then all of the aspects of how you will enable user access, playback, retrieval, and lifecycle management cost-efficiently.

On the other hand, a platform with hybrid cloud capabilities such as HubStor puts the advantages of the cloud at your fingertips. HubStor simplifies the complexities relating to ingress and egress, tiering, viewing, porting, and overall lifecycle management of your video data.

Contact us for pricing or a demo. A HubStor technologist is available to

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