As we head towards cloudification, especially of archive workflows, many organisations who jumped right in have realised you need more than one cloud to make it rain dollars from better archive reutilisation and that operational savings and efficiencies come from automated orchestration as well as the services that you are now storing to.
Before we dig into what multi-cloud is and the benefits it can bring, let’s do a quick recap on the types of cloud archive storage out there:
As a managed storage service accessible across the Internet, public cloud is accessible by multiple parties, business and consumers alike. Public cloud services are multi-tenanted and take advantage of shared services and hardware, such as networking.
A storage service that can be hosted on-premises, from a private data centre or from multi-tenanted service. The key difference between a public cloud and a private cloud is that the storage service is accessed from a closed network. If it is accessed from an open network, the service is a public cloud solution.
A hybrid cloud solution spans two cloud solutions, but unlike multi-cloud, the term is used when the two cloud solutions are being used for different tiers of storage. For instance, the term hybrid cloud is often used when there is a link-up between a fast access on-prem private cloud and a deep archive public cloud.
Not dissimilar to Hybrid Cloud, Multi Cloud is the combination of several cloud services in order to provide access to more connected services, to provide higher protection against data loss, to provide higher levels of security and to have less dependency of any one external organisation. However, whereas the term hybrid cloud is typically used to provide separate tiers of storage, multi-cloud primarily is to provide these service redundancies.
From our research and experience most companies will use multiple cloud vendors for two reasons, namely content redundancy and workflow flexibility.
The phrases ‘all your eggs in one basket’ and ‘To be sure, to be sure’ come to mind. Putting your archive content in two cloud platforms increases your chances of accessing content and generating revenue.
It is worth noting that using the biggest of public cloud providers does not mean your content will always be available. Fact. The big two recommend that you employ their redundant multi-region services to ensure that the lights stay on when regional outages occur. That of course incurs more cost as does the movement of data between those regions. Redundancy and business continuity require additional investment regardless of the archive platform, but it is clear that many small and medium organisations, those without the massive corporate deals, assume that public cloud means protected and always available. Sadly that is not the case, so deploying a multi-cloud strategy is becoming more important to ensure business access to the content you own is guaranteed.
As we all work from home more and more the requirement to self-serve access to content has become imperative for many industries. In the media industry, many business models need frequent and quick access to archive content in order to generate revenues so egress fee based models with varying performance SLAs are often prohibitive or inappropriate. But, the comfort of knowing monolithic, ‘too big to fail’, entities like Amazon or Microsoft have a copy of your archive can be alluring despite those limitations.
In this case deploying a multi-cloud approach that couples instant, self-serve access to archive content using a more appropriate platform (MatrixStore Cloud for instance) for media workflows and budgets with a ‘what if’ copy being stored in the cheapest deep archive platform possible makes a huge amount of sense.
The great thing about that model is that the creative teams get fast access to the entire archive with no financial penalties which means they should generate more content more efficiently. If, for some rare reason, the media focused cloud platform is not available then the customer can still get content from deep archive, accepting the inevitable costs of doing so.
As Brent Angle puts it ‘It’s like taking the cheapest possible car insurance, you know if you have a ding you will have a much higher excess payment to pay.’
Better still the management and access to content in both those platforms can be orchestrated and automated using applications from companies like Object Matrix.
Aka horses for courses. Cloud computing offers organisations a plethora of choice when it comes to getting their work done but there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all and let’s face it, many clouds and their business models were built with solely B2C in mind. Having the flexibility to deploy the services that suit your budget and workflow often means use of multiple cloud providers.
- A media library that needs to be analysed from time to time (AI, image recognition, metadata extraction etc) should not sit on a cloud that charges egress fees.
- If fast data access is required, point to point 10G connections should be available.
- Media workflows might benefit from automated proxy generation for browsing – but without egress and compute fees for everything being stored (private cloud or a cloud service with that functionality built in may be more appropriate).
- For the fastest possible video access, data gravity comes into play. Where the data is created, managed and processed should be at a single point – private cloud may come into play.
- For workflows that automate versioning – keeping previous versions of media to roll back to, hybrid cloud may come into play.
There are many examples of where not just better efficiency but also better workflows can be achieved by avoiding fast access, egress fee based buckets on public services.
The Best Tool for the Job
Object Matrix provides media focused local, private and hybrid cloud storage platforms to meet the budgetary and workflow requirements of any professional creative organisation. By providing solutions across all tiers of cloud, our media workflow customers benefit from a ubiquitous and easy to manage experience.
The MatrixStore solution set provides API, filesystem and application (GUI) access. It has been designed to fit into an ecosystem be that on-prem, hybrid or in the cloud, so your content can be managed from a single pane of glass. Your content and metadata will be protected in completely open formats across all platforms to ensure you have future proof access to the content you own and the solution can be set to share data and metadata with public cloud solutions as well.