I have been working with a lot of clients who run their own membership portals and what they offer as a service is premium video content. In addition to this many of them have websites which consume a lot of disk space and bandwidth.
They most commonly faced issues are:
1. The Resource Issue.
Storage is not a problem if you host a website with few gigabytes of media files in use, but video content is something which requires a big hard drive on an infrastructure which is stable, robust and secured. Often, these clients face storage issues when they use shared hosting environments because as the name suggests, these setups are shared and resources such as the CPU, RAM and Disk space are capped among its users which could be few or even thousands on the same server.
2. The Bandwidth Issue.
Bandwidth is pretty costly, specially in the case where you are hosting video content. You can find hundreds of hosting companies claiming that they are offering “UNLIMITED” bandwidth as part of their “CHEAPEST” hosting plan, but the truth is firstly, just like the server resources are shared among the websites hosted on it, same goes for the bandwidth. Secondly, everything has a limit. As a matter of fact when you try to consume a lot of bandwidth, your website hosting provider eventually starts getting harsh on their so called unlimited policies which results in, them suggesting you to upgrade to a VPS or a Dedicated server (which is not cheap) or you getting a notice that your website is consuming too much resources and ultimate being restricted to be served on that server for the other websites to run efficiently.
A Solution to resolve resource and bandwidth issues.
As a result of resource being restricted on shared servers, one might think of moving to cloud services. Companies like DigitalOcean and AWS provides robust cloud based infrastructures (both managed and bare metal machines), in order to run websites smoothly. I have been building comprehensive and customized infrastructures for websites that need high level of resources and thus I use combination of services like Digital Ocean Droplets and AWS EC2 which allows me to access the hosting boxes at the root level, something which you do not get in managed environments which are often shared. A dedicated piece of logically separated resources give your website an extra edge in terms of loading speed, compute power and absorbing usage spikes.
In shared environments you get limited amount of space to host your files, for an instance lets take that to be 50 Gigs. You can store nearly 1024 X 50 = 51200, images of 1MB each in that amount of space which is huge and lucrative too, but what happens when you upload a video? Lets make it more complicated, a video taken from a DSLR which is 2Gigs in itself and 100 people are watching the video consuming a whopping 200GB of bandwidth? And what we are not counting here are website files, emails, database and audio files. This calls for specialized storage systems through which you can stream your digital content on the fly. These are called object storage, which are isolated units of storage, just like your external hard drives (with no compute power), which are extremely affordable and when attached with a CDN (Content Delivery Network ) provide blazing-fast delivery of Internet content through a geographically distributed group of servers which work together.
In order to run your website on the cloud, you need to have a much advance level of understanding with managing servers, because in shared hosting environments the responsibility of managing the server level software is not with you but with the host. But in cloud infrastructure there you responsible for everything you deploy on the server. However it just takes you few days to understand the basics.
If not managed wisely, these cloud services can result in huge infrastructure bills at the end of the month. With proper analysis of the resource usage reports and traffic trends you can ensure to remain in your budget and leverage the power of the cloud.
So in future if you face a similar set of problem, you know what to do next!