How do the biggest video-streaming platforms in the world manage to store so much video and serve it so fast to such vast, global audiences? These questions stump even some companies that need to deliver high-performance streaming.
Usually when we talk about the Massive Storage Engine (MSE), we’re talking about its main features and use cases. After all, storage is a kind of hidden, unsexy necessity that powers, in part, many of the conveniences we take for granted: ubiquitous on-demand streaming services, for example. The instant-delivery accessibility of these content libraries is not magic even if it sometimes seems like it. And our MSE discussion normally revolves around the efficiency and speed enabled by a smart storage and caching setup designed for high-performance video distribution, CDNs, and large-cache use cases.
As consumers, we expect to access any content we want on any device with within-millisecond-availability, playing on-demand. We don’t usually think about what is required technically to make this work. One of the biggest components in this equation is storage and the process of accessing selected content from storage to serve it. With massive libraries of both in-demand and long-tail content available, the challenges of high-performance, fast, available and consistent delivery are growing.
Storage is one of those things most of us probably don’t think much about when it comes to provisioning enough for our data. With innovations in cloud storage and the universality of streaming services, most of us - from the average consumer to the small business - don’t have massive storage demands. But what happens when those needs grow? When the business in question is growing, and along with the company, the storage and retrieval needs grow, too? We as consumers rely on on-demand streaming services, for example, but where do we think that storage capacity lives? And how do we get instant access to massive libraries of video or music content? The press-a-button-and-it’s-here near-magic we now expect is nearly miraculous when you consider all the elements that must go right to deliver this content fast and consistently on-demand.
Most companies and their content libraries, however small the data set, can benefit from a streamlined, more efficient, smarter storage setup. But where it really makes a difference is in designing storage for the high-performance needs of video distribution, CDNs, and large-cache use cases. That is, the companies consumers turn to for on-the-go music of their choosing and the content that fuels the cultural phenomenon we know as “Netflix and chill”, whether or not it’s even Netflix we’re using.