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Which type of web hosting services best meet with the mentioned requirements

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-02
Hi there Experts,

We are in the process to design and develop video lessons (educational content such as for K-12). Our  video lessons contain images, illustrated graphics, simple animations with voice over. Our video lessons  also contain digital writing clips (by using screen recording software, touch tablets and digital pen we  create these video files/clips and then insert/add in the main video lesson). We are using Adobe suite to design and develop our video lessons. Recorded lessons user only view them in the web site. Not to  
download and then view. Specific local curriculum based video lessons in local language.

Then we are planning to publish/deliver these video lessons on a web portal. Plan is to publish hundred  and thousands of such video lessons. For the first phase or baby step we are estimating that we will  require storage capacity any where from 15 GB to 20 GB, estimated number of user will be any where from 10K to 100K. And as these numbers for storage capacity and for number of users are just a ball park estimate, i do not know how to figure out the requirement of our website bandwidth. In early stages some of the content will be free and then a nominal subscription fee to view the premium specific  
content.

Like to know my hosting options. Was doing some search at Google and after reviewing top 10 best  website hosting services, i got more confused rather narrowing it down, they all look approximately same to me, or maybe i'm missing something. During this process also explored a bit about cloud hosting. And also wondering about video streaming hosting.

Now please suggest and comment based on the above cited requirements, specifically:

1) Shared hosting, VPS virtual private server, dedicated server hosting? which one is for us.
2) Is cloud hosting what will best meet our requirement?(in this case please send couple of links or identify couple of names for the best in class service providers on our planet if you can)
3) or is video streaming hosting will meet our requirement (is this one is valid for recorded videos or  more suitable for live video streaming)

let me know if any further information help to clear up our hosting requirements. Please rescue i'm  almost dead in water here! and the pressure to decide soon.
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Question by:masmatc
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 500 total points
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Video is not something you want to try and host on your own.  It uses a lot of resources and by hosting on one server, only the people in that area are going to get at least a decent opportunity to view the video without fault.  The distance from the viewer to the server matters.  

You want to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_delivery_network

With a CDN you upload your video once, then the CDN automatically takes care of serving your video using the server closest to the viewer.  As example, the Akamai network has 250,000 servers in 80 countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akamai_Technologies.  If you are in New York, you will be served by a New York Server.  If you are in France, you will be served by a server in France.  Not only does this shorten the distance between the viewer and the video, it takes the load of any one server.

The major CDN  networks are designed to handle the traffic and media.  

If you still don't believe me and are set on doing this on your own, don't even bother with shared ($5 hosting) or even VPS.  If you only had a few viewers at one time, then a small dedicated hosting plan that will run about $200 per month is what you need.  But you will see even that will quickly max out with many users at one time.

The CDN's will most likely charge you by the total storage space used (15gigs) and the total bandwidth used which will be the largest expense.

You might want to consider using youtube or vimeo since they have all of this figured out. You can also use google drive or ms skydrive or even dropbox.  

If you want full control and the ability to manage subscriptions and "vaulting" your video, one of the CDN's below is what you want to  look into.


Some CDN options
http://www.akamai.com/
http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/
http://www.level3.com/en/products-and-services/data-and-internet/cdn-content-delivery-network/
http://www.edgecast.com/services/streaming/
http://www.wowza.com/media-server/service-providers
http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/files/ (uses basic akamai)
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Thanks for the reply padas, couple things i like to clear up. first i do not want to do the hosting inhouse, like i do not want to do it own my own. what i am looking for which type of hosting best suite our need and i think you have nicely explained it. thanks!

As the first phase of our project is for Pakistan users, and as youtube access is kind of "block" here. And other related fear that i have is that what if vimeo shut down its operations then we have to go down with them, right?

Just give me a bit detail how i can able to use the google drive, like use it as a storage place or as a hosting service? man i do not know any thing about it, just give me some tip on this please.

One more thing is that if for the first phase our most of the users are located in one region such as South Asia Pakistan then is CDN still the best as compared to a dedicated server. Because my understanding is that CDN is best if the users are across the globe?

So if we decided to go with the CDN providers, does they take care of all the required jazz of web hosting such as domain name registration and also host all the wepages of our web site and related content. Like then we do not need any other hosting service provider.

thanks again and waiting for your reply, please advice.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
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>fear that i have is that what if vimeo shut down its operations
It is a good fear to have.  But you can say that for just about any company.  You never know.  Vimeo has been around for a while though.

> i can able to use the google drive
You would simply upload your videos to your google drive account.  You would need to set the sharing to everybody.  Then go to File > Embed this Video and you will get the embed code to place on your site
https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2423694?hl=en

> in one region such as South Asia Pakistan then is CDN still the best as compared to a dedicated server
Even if you are in one region, the CDN is going to be set up to deliver media and you don't have to worry about too many users.   If you knew you were only going to have a few video viewers, hosting on your own dedicated server might be ok.  But if you are selling yourself as a media provider, use a CDN.  I am not familiar with your part of the world, some of the links I provided such as akamai.com should be global.  

>CDN providers, does they take care of all the required jazz of web hosting such as domain name registration and also host all the wepages
No, you would need to (and want to) use your favorite registrar to get your domain name.  Next you will want to set up your web hosting account and create your website.  The CDN will provide you with the code required to embed videos.
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by:masmatc
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Good elaboration man. thanks.

so is it safe to say that Google drive will act as a sort of CDN. like our solution can be look like this, host the site with any of the top 10 hosting service providers and then store the videos at Google drive, add the embedded code in our webpages and we good to go,  is this also handle heavy traffic of users as well, and the total bandwidth use is at the part of Google drive.
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That sounds correct.   With the amount of storage space you need, you would start buy purchasing google apps for business which is $50(US) per year per http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html and that will give you 30 gigs total gmail and drive space. (If you have 1 gig of email space used, then you can use 29 gigs of drive space).  To purchase more drive space, it is just $4(US) per month for another 20gig https://support.google.com/a/answer/1726914
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by:masmatc
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Awesome! and detailed. Thanks again.
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