AWS is the leading cloud platform for a wide range of applications across many industries. As businesses adopt AWS or begin to use more advanced AWS based services, they face decisions around the optimal mechanism for transferring data from their on-premises locations to the cloud.
Data ingest presents a particularly significant challenge for data-intensive verticals such as Media & Entertainment, Life Sciences, Geospatial Imaging, and Gas & Oil, and for use cases that include ‘big data’ analysis or large-scale data migration. The sheer volume of data can be enormous, and it often arrives from multiple locations and is needed for time-critical operations. For these situations, AWS has partnered with Signiant to provide fast, flexible and reliable solutions for accelerated data movement into and out of AWS.
Choosing the right approach to AWS data ingest
There are a number of options for moving data into AWS, including:
- Shipping physical storage devices (AWS Snowball product family)
- Private direct connectivity via AWS Direct Connect
- AWS software utilities, including the AWS command line interface (CLI) or other applications built on AWS’s SDKs
- Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration which leverages Amazon’s CloudFront edge locations, the Signiant Platform’s cloud-native Jet and Media Shuttle offerings
Choosing the optimal solution for each use case depends on the amount of data, the frequency of data movement, the number of source locations, and specific attributes of those locations.
Here are some things to consider during the process of selecting the best tool for the job:
- Physical media: If you’re planning a one-time move of several petabytes of data and don’t have a tight timeline, shipment of physical storage devices can be a good choice. Remember that you will need in-house resources at the data center to load the devices, and security concerns may prohibit physical shipments in some situations.
- Private connectivity: If most of your data is in a single location and you’re moving it to a single AWS data center, buying a dedicated network pipe such as Direct Connect can provide an efficient means of data transfer. If your data is widely dispersed, however, it’s generally impractical to procure dedicated connectivity for all locations. Utilization is also an important consideration — depending on your data flow, you may end up paying for a connection that is often under-utilized.
- Reverse CDN: If your ingest location or locations are near Amazon’s CloudFront edge locations, you may be able to take advantage of S3 Transfer Acceleration which can take advantage of optimized network paths from the CloudFront edge location to the AWS data center.
- AWS software utilities: Many routine data transfer needs can be accommodated with applications like the AWS CLI. Because these applications rely on TCP, however, they are susceptible to degraded performance in the presence of network congestion and/or when transmitting over longer distances (high latency). It’s therefore important to consider specific attributes of the source locations — including network capacity, network conditions and distance from the destination AWS data center.
Using the Signiant Platform for fast AWS transfers
The Signiant Platform is used to move petabytes of high-value content every single day throughout the global media and entertainment supply chain. This includes automated and person-initiated file transfers into and out of AWS. Setting up and managing automated transfers over AWS using Signiant Jet is easy and straight-forward. Person-initiated file transfers made by employees, freelancers, clients and partners using Signiant Media Shuttle can be made from any web browser to address nearly every use case.
Speed and Reliability
When moving media assets, speed and reliability are fundamental considerations. Standard transfer methods suffer in performance due to latency and packet loss, especially when moving large files over long distances or congested networks. Modern acceleration technology was created for precisely this reason. Using the Signiant Platform, files are delivered unaltered, with byte-for-byte accuracy, and a checkpoint restart feature ensures that any interrupted transfers automatically restart from the point of failure.
Security and Visibility
Security is a constant concern. Look for tools with a commitment to enterprise-grade security that secure every layer involved in file movement and have routine third-party reviews to ensure effective protection. A well-designed SaaS product with a well-thought-out approach to security will take care of it for you. If you do choose to store assets in AWS, make sure your Amazon S3 buckets are appropriately configured.
Visibility goes hand in hand with security. It’s essential to have the ability to view current and historical transfers, including who has accessed any file and when. Make sure the tools you choose keep all the necessary constituents informed.
Ease-of-use and Operations
AWS offers incredibly powerful tools to work with their storage, but they are targeted at developers building solutions, not end users. Creative professionals are actively involved throughout every stage of the supply chain. They require a simple, intuitive user interface to access media assets. Operations teams also need tools to add and remove users, set permissions, and control the user experience. Look for tools that offer delegated administration so that operations can easily manage teams, partners and projects without IT intervention.
Benefits of Signiant for AWS data ingest
In summary, the Signiant Platform provides unique value in situations where large volumes of data, long distances, multiple source locations, or flaky networks are involved. Unlike standard transfer mechanisms, our software enables cloud adoption by providing:
- Speed: With Signiant’s patented transfer protocol and scale-out architecture, you can take advantage of multi-Gbps transfer rates to AWS — even in the presence of latency and congestion.
- Cloud-Native Implementation: Both Jet and Media Shuttle are cloud-native solutions, so there’s no need to procure or manage any cloud infrastructure. We handle all of that, and our 24/7 DevOps team monitors the system for thousands of customers worldwide.
- Security: The Signiant Platform is designed from the ground up to be highly secure. Our software is trusted by most of the world’s top media enterprises to move their valuable content around the world.