Streaming Media
Magazine

Autumn 2014
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Sync Your Cloud Video Storage with CloudHQ
CloudHQ lets you sync video files and other documents across Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and other services for resiliency and cross-platform compatibility

Getting video files out to multiple distribution servers used to be a chore. Ensuring that the “edges” in your distribution architecture had the latest copies involved some pretty clever scripting to ensure that the most up-to-date copy was cached at the edge, and in a place from which it could be served.

Services like Dropbox and Google Drive have appeared and allow you to build a cache on several machines, then use the cache as the root of the streaming service. Simply dropping the content into Dropbox on your local desktop “publishes” it very quickly across your streaming infrastructure. It’s not quite as tidy as a highly tuned CDN model, where the content is perhaps only delivered when the first user requests it, thus saving space at the edges and reducing the storage space needed, but for a small enterprise with only a few GB of video data, it’s a neat way to quickly hack together a reasonably robust on-demand CDN.

Better than that is to add CloudHQ and ensure that you have redundancy in your storage architecture. CloudHQ is a cool and inexpensive service that will keep your various cloud storage services in sync without needing to haul everything back to your own desktop and republish it all to the other cloud. So, for example, if you have Google Drive (which features a neat Google Video aspect) and Dropbox, you can keep both services tightly in sync but only publish to one of them. For a start, this provides you with some great vendor resilience. Additionally, some clients work better under different operating systems—and you no longer need to care.

Obviously the storage side varies with your requirements, but the CloudHQ service is around $50 a year, with some options for discounts if you promote them,  and it just works.

It's quick and dirty, but it's very reliable, very simple to install, and works a dream, be it for personal content distribution and cross-platform and pan-infrastructure management or for enterprise WAN content delivery.

It's incredible how these complex tasks have commoditised in such a short space of time.