On premise VS Cloud Video Hosting

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1 On premise VS Cloud Video Hosting Evaluating the cost and time saving advantages of The Cloud MEDIACORE

2 On premise VS Cloud video hosting Video has always been an amazing tool for learning, and keen to exploit its potential, universities have been working with video learning content for quite some time. In the past, the video solutions available to institutions mainly relied on locally-hosted streaming servers -- and for a while, this worked well. But times have changed. Students now have more devices than ever in their hands, and their (often excessive!) use of services like Netflix has led to consumerized expectations around video delivery. Today s students expect that their university video content will stream to their devices just as well as their Netflix content does and because of this, many institutions are finding that their legacy video streaming solutions are no longer fit for purpose in a mobile, cloud-based, 4G enabled world. In 2015, online video now plays a big part on the consumer technology world -- and this has led to rapid advances in how video is created, stored and delivered. Video is also becoming a core element of online and blended learning -- and universities are increasingly looking to leverage the power of the cloud to provide a video learning experience that meets their students needs and expectations. In By % of institutions had cloud-based video streaming solutions in place This is predicted to rise to 54% In this ebook, we ll explore the benefits of the cloud based video technologies in education, including an overview of the key technologies powering video in the cloud, security and privacy, content migration, the cost savings that cloud-based video storage can realize -- and most importantly, the improved student learning experience that the cloud can offer. 01

3 The Student video experience As competition for students increases across the higher education landscape, and as new business models such as blended and distance learning emerge, many institutions are focusing on the student learning experience more than ever before, and exploring innovative ways of reaching new student audiences. Gartner has identified students consumerized technology expections as a key driver in higher education technology transformation -- and thanks to the rapid growth of video streaming in the consumer market, this is especially noticable when it comes to university-provided video content. Institutions which have a locally-hosted media server often find that in 2015, the student experience around the video content is lacking, for the following reasons: Content isn t provided in a format that allows playback across all modern smartphones and tablets (many existing video solutions rely on obsolete file formats like Flash Video, RealMedia, or Windows Media files, which don t work on modern devices). The user interface of their existing platform doesn t provide an intuitive experience across student s diverse devices. Distance learning students don t get a great streaming experience in their geography, as content is being streamed directly from the institution s network. A lack of direct integration with the institution s LMS means that video can t easily and securely be integrated into onling courses - resulting in a clunky experience for online students. 02

4 The Professor video experience It s not only students that find their video experience is lacking on locally-hosted solutions is lacking -- it s also instructors, professors and instructional technologists. The key to success for any university video strategy is providing a seamless experience for staff who want to create and share video learning content -- and many instructors find working with legacy video systems to be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. Some common issues that instructors face when dealing with locally-hosted platforms include: Having to worry about video file types and sizes prior to uploading Laborious workflows for uploading and sharing content with students Dealing with complaints and issues from students who haven t been able to access video learning content on their devices due to streaming and encoding issues A lack of seamless integration with the LMS - making it difficult to easily and seamlessly incorporate video content into online learning materials A lack of support for the devices (such as smartphones and tablets) that they want to use to record, create and share content from 05

5 How can The Cloud improve the video experience for everybody? For many institutions, a move to the cloud has dramatically improved the video experience that they provide for their students and staff. Thanks to the scalable nature of the cloud, and the overall technology benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, these institutions have seen vast improvements in a variety of areas - including: A world-class video playback experience across any device, browser and connection. Seamless integration with cloud-based LMS platforms. HD video capture and upload from smartphones and tablets. Intuitive, responsive user interfaces that give all users a great experience. A simple, instant upload process for professors and instructors. A dramatic decrease in complexity: leveraging the power of the cloud. Infinite, effortless scalability as enrollment and demand for streaming video grows. Open APIs that allow for easy integrations with custom systems. 06

6 The bottom line: Total Cost of Ownership of Cloud VS On premise video Institutions are increasingly moving services that were previously locally-hosted to the cloud - with Gartner predicting that usage of academic cloud applications will double in the next two years. One of the key reasons for this shift to the cloud, is a realization across the education sector that cloud-based solutions can offer increased Return on Investment, and a lower Total Cost of Ownership than on-premise solutions. This is especially true for video solutions - and some reasons for cost savings and increased return on investment include: Providing high-quality video content that gives students a great learning experience across any device delivers great ROI, through improved student satisfaction. This is especially the case for online, distance and blended courses, where video plays a crucial part in the student experience. Adoption and usage is often hampered by a lack of ease-of-use: many institutions with locally-hosted video solutions are increasingly finding that their usage is declining, as professors and instructors become frustrated with the experience. It s a simple fact that if a platform isn t being widely used, it s not offering worthwile ROI. On-premise solutions have a multitude of hidden overhead costs - including: The acquisition, maintenance and upgrades of hardware and operating systems Operational overheads, including workforce time spent managing and maintaining the solution and the hardware that it runs on In the case of in-house developed solutions, the need to write custom integrations as LMS/SIS/SSO platforms evolve and change Space and colocation costs for hosting the physical server The costs of testing (and sometimes even coding) new platform upgrades, ensuring backwards compatibility, and overseeing implementation The costs of backing up video data, to ensure redundancy Bandwidth overheads, as video content is streamed directly from the institution s internet connection. 07

7 Technologies powering video in The Cloud One of the reasons for the success of services like Netflix, is the millions of dollars the company has invested in creating a global video delivery infrastructure that guarantees a great playback experience across all devices, browsers and connections alongside measures to ensure the security of content. Until now, this kind of infrastructure has been out of the reach of many educational institutions, due to its complexity and cost. But, with cloud video delivery becoming increasingly intuitive and affordable, cutting edge video technologies are now firmly within the grasp of universities and instructors. Read on for an overview of the key technologies that make this possible. 08

8 Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) An online/distance learning student may be anywhere in the world and it s important that they get a great streamingexperience whichever country they re in. Content Delivery Networks work by mirroring video content on thousands of servers across the world, so that when the student hits play, their video is delivered from a server that s geographically close to their location, ensuring a great playback experience. MediaCore makes use of the best-of-breed Akamai CDN, the same network that Facebook uses to distribute its content globally. Scalable, cloud video encoding Video encoding is the process of converting video from its original format (of which there are hundreds) to a format that s suitable for online delivery to any device. It s a tricky business, with thousands of variables, and requires lots of processing horsepower. In the past it s been one of the major barriers to universities sharing video online. MediaCore s highly tuned cloud encoding engine handles all of this automatically allowing academics to upload video in any format, safe in the knowledge that it will be converted to just work for students, on any device. Intelligent video streaming With an increasingly diverse range of devices, browsers and connection types that video learning content now needs to be streamed to, it s crucial that an institution s video platform is able to intelligently stream video content in the right format, with the right player, and in the right resolution for a student s device. This is where the cloud really excels - thanks to a combination of the above two technologies, smart device detection logic, and the ability for updates to be seamlessly rolled out as new devices and video formats are developed, cloud-based video platforms can offer a superior student and professor experience in all circumstances. 09

9 Migrating your content from on premise to The Cloud For institutions who have had past successes with a locally-hosted video solution, but are now exploring a move to the cloud, one of the key questions is how their existing content (along with its associated metadata and structure) can be migrated to a cloud-based platform. Key questions to consider: Does your existing solution offer a way to export your content and metadata in a standardized format? Does your cloud video platform provider offer easy import options? Here at MediaCore for example, we offer full automatic imports of both media and associated metadata from the majority of both locally-hosted and cloud video platforms. Many local streaming solutions store video content in formats that don t provide a great experience to modern devices (such as Flash Video, WMV or RealMedia) - can your cloud platform automatically re-encode this content to make it compatible with all modern devices? If you already have content embedded in your LMS courses, does your provider offer a method of updating these embeds with links to new, cloud-hosted URLs? It s always recommended to do a little housekeeping before importing all content to a new platform - purging old unused content, and ensuring that media is correctly categorized and tagged, can make a big diference to usability once this content is migrated to the cloud. 10

10 Thanks for reading! We hope this guide can help you better understand the benefits of considering a cloud hosted video solution. If you enjoyed the guide, please consider sharing it. And, if you d like to learn more about how you can improve your online video strategy, get in touch we d love to help! About the Author James Cross is an Apple Distinguished Educator, and an expert in the use of online media for learning. As MediaCore s Director of Education, James works with institutions around the world to help them build powerful learning experiences with online video. James is a published author on the topic of digital media based learning, and is invited to speak regularly on the subject including SXSWedu Share this book on Twitter Get in touch About MediaCore Video is transforming education, and MediaCore helps hundreds of educational institutions around the world embrace it. The MediaCore Video Platform puts powerful video learning and sharing tools into the hands of every student and professor empowering them to easily capture, manage and share video privately and securely across all platforms and mobile devices. Learn more at MediaCore.com > 11

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