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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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HD Cloud - The FedEx Of Web Video. How Do They Do It?

HDCloud, developed by Diversion Media, a New York-based startup that creates and operates consumer media properties, is offering automated, high-definition video encoding in the cloud for large-scale media companies. 

Whether you need 400 kpbs Flash, 1.2 Mbps MPEG-2, or 5 Mbps h.264, HD Cloud can produce high-quality outputs. Input formats range from MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 to AVI, Real Media, and 3GP. Output formats include H.261, H.263 (Spark), H.264, MPEG-2, and 3GP.

HD Cloud also provides RESTful API for integration with other systems, including VMS providers, file transfer accelerators, CDNs, security vendors, and legacy transcoding systems.

This is another success story in the “cloud”. By leveraging public and proprietary cloud technologies, HDCloud is able to scale horizontally without limits. Remember, video processing requires lots of processing power and results must be delivered in timely manner. 

Tatum Lade, co-founder and CTO of Diversion Media, was kind enough to provide some insights on the technologies used by HDCloud: first to mention is the use of EC2. They’re not using though any of the other Amazon services like S3, SimpleDB etc. The auto-scaling is proprietary, a trend I see emerging for almost al users of EC2, but they do use RightScale for  instance management and reporting. Java is used for the messaging layer and a bunch of open source and proprietary video technologies are used as well. For the front-end they’re using, of course, ruby on rails.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to try the service. They do provide a free trial, for which I signed up, but it might take a while until they’ll allow more people to try the service (we could really use this kind of service in our own tweetube experiment).

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More Stories By Alin Irimie

Alin Irimie is a software engineer - architect, designer, and developer with over 10 years experience in various languages and technologies. Currently he is Messaging Security Manager at Sunbelt Software, a security company. He is also the CTO of RADSense Software, a software consulting company. He has expertise in Microsoft technologies such as .NET Framework, ASP.NET, AJAX, SQL Server, C#, C++, Ruby On Rails, Cloud computing (Amazon and Windows Azure),and he also blogs about cloud technologies here.

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