Clouds, and the services hosted therein, including archiving, come in three flavors: private, public and hybrid. In archiving terms specifically, public, cloud-based archiving involves the use of a third-party storage service, for example. These companies will store and manage assets in remote storage centers, and provide all of the security, failover and disaster-recovery facilities as part of the service. Data transfer can be arranged in a number of ways, depending on bandwidth availability. However, although these services can be customized per user, they tend to lend themselves more to enterprise-level data storage, and broadcast-specific issues such as larger file sizes (and associated transfer times) or content security may make these services less attractive. A private cloud archive, such as the one shown in Figure 1, is created and maintained within the organization that uses it, and can range from a simple, single-server, disk-only archive servicing a single department to a network of globally linked archive centers with a central database, all sharing and managing assets within what remains essentially a single closed system.
A hybrid archive is generally offered by a service provider (often as part of a public cloud archive service), but with a selection of storage locations; rapid-access content might be stored locally on the customer’s own servers, while material that will be rarely used but still requires retention might be stored in the third-party’s storage farms.
Using these definitions, private cloud archives are currently the most common form of broadcast archive, as this covers all company-internal archives. There is no set rule on the size, schema or architecture of a private cloud archive. As with any broadcast system, the archive will be designed to facilitate the needs of each individual organization, and is likely to grow as the requirements placed upon it change. The provision of service agreement around which an archive is designed will be different for each organization, which can produce radically different designs and interpretations. However, there are a number of considerations common to all private cloud-based archives, and some of these are set out here.