Cloud solutions have both advantages and disadvantages. When determining whether to move an application to the cloud, organizations must make sure that all of the operational aspects are understood before an intelligent decision can be made. One area that is typically overlooked is bandwidth cost and utilization and the subsequent business impacts it may have. Bandwidth is an important consideration for Digital Asset Management software implementations.
For example, in an article written recently by Al Wegener at the Electronic Design website (Big Data Plumbing Problems Hinder Cloud Computing) he suggests that as the amount of digital content being produced increases (estimates suggest a doubling every two years), the bandwidth necessary to service such growth is severely lacking.
Some simple “back of the napkin” calculations can illustrate the difficulty the companies can have in moving to a DAM solution that resides in the cloud. Let’s assume that your organization has a relatively small repository containing 1TB of legacy data. Even with a fast optical fiber connection (OC-1), uploading your repository would take a minimum of 48 hours. Obviously most organizations don’t have that kind of bandwidth available. The same amount of data with an upload speed of 10 Mbps would take 10 days. That presumes that there is no other traffic on the internet connection that would slow down the transfer.
While that may make sense for your initial data load, how about on an on-going basis? If you are producing a 1GB video file and uploading it to the cloud, it would take 13 minutes of dedicated bandwidth to upload (based on a 10 Mbps speed). Now if you are making multiple versions of your assets or storing them in multiple formats, you can see how much of a drain on your bandwidth that could be.
The costs of upgrading your bandwidth can be considerable and should be included in any ROI and TCO calculations. Also note that many Cloud based DAM vendors limit the amount of data you can upload per month before charging add-on fees.
Ultimately there are advantages and disadvantages, not the least of which are operational. The question of course is whether or not the cost benefits of a cloud solution outweigh the operational implications of moving large amounts of data to and from the cloud.
Coming next: How deduplication can reduce transfer times by up to 99%.