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Should Your Company Encode Videos in the Cloud?

There's a lot of talk about cloud computing nowadays, but can it help your company create and distribute video more effectively? And more importantly, can it save your company money?

At the recent Streaming Forum conference in London, encoding expert and StreamingMedia.com contributor Jan Ozer guided the audience through the tricky subject of cloud encoding. Ozer started by sharing his own confusion over what the terms cloud computing and cloud encoding mean, and just how simple the answers are.

CloudEncoder"What is cloud computing?" asked Ozer. "Cloud computing for me was a very generic concept. It was like, yeah, you just encode something in the cloud, and it was interesting to me when I dug down a little bit and discovered that at the base of it you can actually rent a machine from Amazon. So, cloud encoding and cloud computing traces back to general computers that are existing somewhere in a data center that Amazon has. You basically rent this computer by the hour or by the minute depending upon the configuration."

Not that all cloud computing is through Amazon, even if is sometimes seems that way. So now that Ozer has established what cloud encoding is, what are the benefits?

"The high-level benefits of cloud encoding are lower capital expenditure cost and elastic scalability. And the scalability aspect will vary by the encoding vendor, as you will see," Ozer continued.

There are multiple types of cloud computing solutions. Some require users to rent a cloud instance and install their own software, while others handle all the backend operations.

"At one level, any encoder that runs on Windows or on Linux can be a cloud encoder. You buy the instance in the cloud, you install the software itself, you've got a cloud encoder," Ozer noted. "At the other extreme is the pure software-as-a-service, and that's Encoding.com, that's Zencoder, that's Amazon.com."

For companies considering a move to the cloud, Ozer also addressed when it makes sense to switch from appliance-based encoding, and how to choose a cloud encoder. Watch the full presentation below.


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Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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