Did you know that where you store your media assets can make or break your creative efforts?
For content creators, choosing between on-premises network servers and the cloud has a significant impact on collaboration, production time, and the company’s bottom line. And there’s no one-size-fits-all: your unique business needs will dictate which data management model you choose, and by consequence your Media Asset Management (MAM) solution.
For organizations producing large amounts of creative content—particularly video content—on-premises (MAM) solutions are attractive for several reasons. But are they the right solution for your organization?
The answer: it depends. What follows is a list of some of the pros and cons of using an on-premises MAM solution.
The most common reason companies choose an on-premises solution for managing their media is the sheer quantity of data they intend to produce. This is particularly true of video content creators. For organizations producing hundreds of gigabytes worth of video content per day, a dedicated hardware structure is typically required—even if it is just a few server racks in a closet. While cloud-based solutions might work for text documents and images, transferring raw video to the cloud and back dozens of times per day is impractical.
On-premises media storage is also preferable for those with security, compliance and regulatory concerns. Sensitive data is often subject to legal regulations which dictate things like security requirements and physical location. While cloud solutions continue to improve in this area, on-premises is the data model that affords total control over your media and digital assets.
Finally, on-premises solutions plug conveniently into archival systems such as tape backup, and interface well with hardware transcoders. For organizations that already have many on-premises components to their video production infrastructure, keeping a MAM system on-premises can ultimately be a simpler process.
The disadvantages of an on-premises solution boil down to pricing and the size of your team. For starters, there’s a steep initial capital expenditure associated with buying servers and setting up a network infrastructure. Then there’s the need to employ a full-time IT person (or team) to run and maintain said infrastructure.
Finally, keeping everything on-premises can present collaboration challenges. Clients and team members who are geographically dispersed need to access media files as though they were working in-house. This requires an efficient—usually cloud-enabled—file sharing system.
For larger organizations that already have the hardware and personnel to run it, the choice of an on-premises solution is an easy one. But for mid-sized or smaller companies, the decision is less clear. If looking to the cloud, make sure to weigh your team’s creative needs against the functionality provided by a cloud-based system, as well as the volume of data you anticipate needing to send and receive from the MAM on a daily basis. Some cloud providers offer direct pipelines to their services, which in some cases can overcome shortcomings in internet speeds. However, that added cost, in addition to the increased wait times for your team to share content, might make the investment into an on-premises solution worthwhile.
Additionally, some MAM providers offer a hybrid model of deployment that may solve a small team’s concerns about volume of data and level of IT support. Check back soon for more information on cloud and hybrid deployment models.