My friend runs a popular Youtube-to-GIF conversion site. Right now, he has converted 250,000 Youtube videos to GIFs (each video gets 6 thumbnails for 1.5m total GIF files) and serves about 80TB of bandwidth per month.
His server is IO blocking -- I'm not a guru admin, but it seems to be the harddrive seek time for non-sequential GIFs that's clogging everything up. He has a server with 100tb.com for $300/mo, and it comes with 100TB free bandwidth. At first, I advised him to get a CDN to solve his problems, because then the GIFs get served without consuming his server resources, and his main box could just handle the encoding -- We found one CDN for $600/mo that was too slow/unreliable, and the rest wanted at least $2000/mo for 80TB of bandwidth. We're trying to keep the whole project under $900/mo, right now.
So the cheapest bandwidth we can find is with 100TB, but we're outgrowing one server. We could add another server, but I don't really know how to partition the GIF storage so that the load is distributed evenly between two boxes. Our host recommended using software like Aflexi.net, but I'm sure there must be a cheaper solution.
Can anyone help? I'm a programmer by trade, not a sysadmin, but trying to learn the ropes. Thanks!