Globally distribute media without regional replication.

April 18, 2023

Replicating media assets across regional data centers is costly. There are added costs for replicating the files, storing them, and for egress. Basically, it is a multiplier on storage costs whenever you want to provide access to your content in a new region. There is also additional development cost for configuring this model.

All in, this makes it very difficult for OTT and video distribution platforms to expand globally. But what if you could eliminate regional replication without hurting performance?

You can with Storj distributed cloud storage.

This article explains how the unique architecture of Storj’s globally distributed storage network delivers excellent performance to anywhere in the world—especially for large files like media assets. And it does this without making copies and storing them in regional data centers.

Globally distributed storage eliminates multi region storage

Storj has a distributed network of nodes to store and retrieve data, instead of centralized servers. This means that the data is broken up and stored across tens of thousands of devices in more than 100 countries. Parallelism is used on download and data from the fastest nodes are used to reconstitute the file requested.

Animation of actual uploads to Storj being distributed around the world

This allows for improved performance and lower latency when accessing data, as data can be retrieved from a node that is geographically closer to the user. By leveraging the power of a globally distributed network, Storj can provide fast and reliable access to video content.

This eliminates the need for multi-region storage as data is already stored globally across the network. Users can access the data from anywhere in the world with low latency, without having to rely on replicated data stored in multiple regions.

This simplifies the tech stack from having to configure for replication and significantly reduces costs that would normally have to be spent on multi-region storage and egress for data replication.

But is it as fast as having regional data centers?

Storj has extremely consistent performance that is as good as data centers and better the further you move away from the data center. How do we know? We tested it.

When compared to S3 single-region storage, Storj has more consistent throughput because it pulls from many nodes simultaneously, drastically increasing the probability of uncongested  paths. S3 performance is affected by intermittent internet slowdowns. This is especially true when the S3 origin is far away from the download location.

We also looked at real-world results from 301,859 sampled download events of customers who opted in to telemetry. The distributions of traffic across a variety of file sizes, usage patterns, end user networks and other environmental variables were quantized every 1000 km from Portland, OR. Customers see consistent performance independent of distance.

How does Storj accomplish this?

  • Uses less bandwidth - Erasure codes have a lower expansion factor than replication but have high durability. They reduce required data transmission.
  • Avoids long-tail variance - Uploading and downloading from excess nodes lets us care only about the fastest nodes in any set, turning variance into a strength.
  • Minimizes coordination - Metadata storage is in a simple federated model, instead of coordination-heavy globally shared ledgers or similar.
  • Maximizes parallelism - The internet is big and we get to use all of it by taking the fastest data from the fastest nodes to reconstitute the file requested.

The combination of these factors yields consistent performance anywhere in the world

So what’s the catch?

There isn't one. In fact, Storj is higher security and lower cost than cloud storage hyperscalers like AWS. Storj is the only cloud storage provider that offers end-to-end encryption of data and metadata by default. And Storj has never lost a file and has 11 nines of availability.

As to cost, not only are you eliminating the added costs of data replication and multi-region storage, Storj is also 80%-90% less expensive than AWS. To put it in perspective, storage on AWS S3 is $23 per TB and $80 per TB for egress. On Storj, you’ll pay $4 per TB for storage and $7 per TB for egress. For anyone distributing large media assets, that is a big cost savings.

We welcome you to test out downloads across the globe with this video file on Storj. Or, you can start a free account and try it for yourself.

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