I manage a fairly large colocated file server for a small business who uses the site as a geographic dump location for video content that gets encoded and delivered to users on the fly through a web interface. The content is all hi-definition material and is unencoded in Transport Stream media format. They keep the content in this format so that they can dynamically serve an array of different encodings depending on the client’s preference. They have a desktop application that their clients can use to connect to the content delivery server and specify what encoding types, aspect ratios, and resolutions that they desire. Anybody who has ever worked with transport stream media knows how large some of these files can get when working with hi-definition content… Some of the files are 100GB in size. The content is typically advertising material for clients and needs to be able to be delivered fast to users across the globe. This is a pretty hefty requirement for a small business, so as a method of management, they decided to get a souped up colocated server located in Europe that will essentially mirror the production content server here in the US. This allows them to have near-real-time availability of content to their three or so clients located in Europe, and with a bonded dual gigabit connection, delivery also occurs in near real time. The idea is really a genius, homebrewed, poor man’s proprietary CDN, and I wish that I could take credit for having thought of the idea. Continue reading »

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