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I am writing a web app and trying to decide the best set up for this. Here is the background.

The web app will be for independent film makers. The film makers will be uploading quite large movie files. The web app will encode them into flash so it could be viewed on the web and store the original file.

I am thinking that I should have a web server and a NAS and map a share to the NAS from the web server. The web server would hold the app and encode the movies. The web server would encode directly to the NAS box itself over that mapped drive.

My questions are is this optimal? Does anyone have any suggestions or warnings?



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closed as not constructive by Evan Anderson, Ward, Iain, Ben Pilbrow, Scott Pack Dec 10 '11 at 13:26

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Jeff, if your concern is the large amount of storage required for the uploaded movies, you're likely on the right track with NAS if you're planning for more than just a few users, but there are many more ways to attach to it than just mapping a drive. Which of these is optimal will depend on many things, including the OS and hardware underneath your web server, NAS, and network, your own expertise and comfort level supporting a given option, and the requirements of the application(s) you will be developing.

The good news is, storage is cheap, gigabit ethernet is cheap, and things like iSCSI and ATA-over-Ethernet provide much cheaper alternatives (as opposed to Fibre Channel) where performance is important -- as I would imagine it would be for encoding and streaming video.

I also feel I need to advise you that if this is going to be a professional endeavor in any capacity (which is what S.F. is about, after all), you need to at least consult with someone who knows what they're doing with respect to storage. If you're going to hold a large amount of video (or any other kind of data) for people who expect it to remain available, you need to think about things like redundancy and backup, and to not confuse the two. You're essentially proposing to provide an alternative to YouTube for independent film makers -- not a small undertaking, and in fact even if it's NOT a professional endeavor for you, if others are going to depend on your efforts to store and disseminate their work, it's your responsibility to ensure these concerns are taken seriously. I don't mean to discourage you at all, rather to encourage you to involve others' expertise directly where it's necessary. Good luck!

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nedm, thanks for the thorough answer. I plan on hiring. We're looking to provide this service on a much smaller scale, it's for a local festival, trying to stir up some creative buzz to get more exposure for indie films and welcome more of these types, it's quite innovative. Do you have someone trustworthy that you could recommend? – JeffC Dec 10 '11 at 6:32

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