To some studios, the mere thought of moving their video content libraries to the cloud is a daunting, high-stakes proposition not unlike juggling a chainsaw, a chicken and a bowling ball. They imagine the hand-off as their most valuable assets disappear into the matrix, an intangible zone of hacking, hidden costs and hiccups. With misconceptions abound, the hesitancy is understandable, and matters are only exasperated when the extraordinarily rare outage tends to draw an international spotlight.
Yet, the industry’s biggest trepidations about cloud-based storage are simply myths, false information that tends to spread like a game of telephone, stoking our fears and preventing forward progress. Among the biggest roadblocks are misconceptions about safety, cost and performance, all of which are largely unfounded.
So, what are the biggest misconceptions about storing video content in the cloud and what’s the reality? From my vantage point as a PR strategist on the front lines of cloud-based media logistics, I’ve identified and dispelled three major myths:
Myth #1: The cloud isn’t a safe place to store my valuable video content libraries. It will only open us up to hacking or losing our assets altogether, won’t it?
Reality: Security in the cloud has never been stronger. In fact, Gartner suggests that, through 2020, public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) workloads will suffer at least 60 percent fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centres. And studios with legacy infrastructures now have the benefit of leveraging best-in-class security systems built and tested on the backs of giants like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud, with entire dedicated divisions hinging on their success. Their data centres and network architecture are built with the most stringent level of standards, an advantage of tapping systems that have also been employed for highly sensitive industries like health care and federal agencies.
Best Practice: In most cases, companies can leverage the foundational security elements – firmware updates, outage scheduling, system updates, service packs – to provide a more secure model, frankly, than most companies are able to do themselves. This reduces both risk and time, freeing them to focus on developing good products and services for their customers.
Myth #2: It’s too expensive to move my video content libraries to the cloud. Is it even worth it?
Reality: Today, most major cloud service providers have developed and established their tiers to a point where they’re achieving true economies of scale, and the competitive nature of that market means they are passing those savings along to their customers to make it as attractive as possible.
Best Practice: To maintain the cost efficiency of cloud storage, which is also easily consumed, it’s crucial that companies focus on capacity management fundamentals to keep costs from running away. What data truly needs storage and what is either no longer required or can be moved to a less expensive tier of storage? If you develop a concise list of protocols to keep such issues in check, you will assure that you’re optimising the investment you’re making in cloud computing.
Myth #3: The cloud is not reliable. How can I trust its performance?
Reality: Though a few high-profile outages have attracted major headlines, cloud-related performance issues are actually extremely rare. And, in the same way they’ve built a global infrastructure for security, the cloud’s major players like AWS and Azure have engineered resiliency and performance into their environments, their data centres, their networks and everything else. With multiple data centres in the same region and availability zone, they provide redundancy and performance options for their customers and partners that enable the development or build of highly available, highly performing applications.
Best Practice: If you’re responsible for legacy infrastructure and looking to migrate your video content to the cloud, the key to tapping into such high-level performance is not an all-at-once proposition, but something that actually requires careful planning and support. You have to start with a hybrid model that enables you to integrate your legacy infrastructure within the cloud by carefully layering the distinct elements.
In the end, the key to all of it is a better understanding of what’s truly at stake and, of course, the preparation to make any move to cloud-based storage smoothly. And with top Silicon Valley companies so heavily invested and dying to set their stakes in entertainment, the cloud is ‘virtually’ inevitable… all puns intended!
Jeff Pryor is a PR and brand strategist and president of Priority PR, Los Angeles