While the cloud has been a hot topic, until recently, several obstacles have put cloud transcoding out of reach for many companies, particularly those that process high volumes of professional-quality video. The good news is that these hurdles are quickly disappearing.
First, until recently, the cost of processing video in the cloud has been prohibitive, especially for high-volume production houses. Yet as more providers such as Google, HP, Rackspace and Amazon Web Services (AWS) enter the market, competition and increasing supply are driving down the price of cloud resources. As these providers continue to grow, users will benefit from economies of scale, which will make large-scale video processing even more affordable in the cloud.
Second, the transfer of data is a tremendous challenge for organizations moving large, mezzanine-quality video files. Yet this issue is being addressed by accelerated data delivery systems. For example, Aspera and Signiant have designed highly efficient transport technologies that move data at maximum speed, regardless of file size, transfer distance or network conditions. In addition, Amazon recently introduced the Direct Connect service, which makes it nearly as fast to move data between an on-premise facility and AWS as it is to move data across a high-speed local network. Innovations such as these help mitigate data transfer bottlenecks.
Third, concerns about data center outages and system failures have prevented many media companies from moving assets off-site. However, this issue is ameliorated as the cloud matures and vendors build more enterprise-grade reliability. For example, most established cloud vendors have built redundancy measures into their services, and replicate data and resources across multiple geographic zones for enhanced durability in case of outages.
Fourth, media executives are understandably concerned about security. In many cases, their video assets fuel a multibillion-dollar business, so they’re leery about letting them be processed off-site. However, as the cloud becomes more widely adopted, media companies are becoming
increasingly comfortable with the concept of cloud-based video processing.
Large-scale data centers are capable of providing greater security than many individual media companies could afford on their own. Most established data centers support high levels of encryption and undergo industry-standard security audits. Amazon’s cloud, in particular, has received the highest possible maturity rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for securely storing, processing and delivering protected media and content.