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KnowledgeArc Containerization – Low-cost, high-availability archiving

cloud containerOur goal at KnowledgeArc has been to provide low-cost archives that are fast, reliable, scalable and easy to maintain and with the recent deployment of our new containerized archives we continue to achieve what we set out to do.

Solutions for archiving (and for many other web application hosting solutions) fall into two groups; archives are either deployed to shared equipment or are installed individually on dedicated resources. In the case of a shared hosting solution, your archive is at the mercy of other archives and the server as a whole; if one of the other archives requires a restart or corrupts the system for any reason, your archive is affected. In the case of dedicated resources, you have the luxury of isolating your archive from others but in turn this increases costs, including set up (you need a full stack of software to be installed to run your archive), performance (even paying month to month for a cloud-based solution can add up), and maintenance (these systems don’t upgrade themselves).

Additionally, in the case of cloud-based solutions, scaling requires complex installations, and many will only scale horizontally, meaning more servers are deployed automatically if performance is dropping. Also, many of these autoscaling solutions are poorly implemented, resulting in spikes in costs and manual intervention to “kill off” unnecessary resources.

 

 

What is Containerization?

Our platform takes the best of both shared and dedicated solutions and merges them together to provide a combination of dedicated archiving whilst utilizing a resource pool. This pool is very large and growing all the time so we can instantaneously provide more resources when they are required then immediately throttle back if the archive is no longer under heavy load. However, your archive runs on its own software stack so that no other archive (or web application in general) can affect the performance, security or up-time of your archive.

Containers also allow us to distribute additional services such as indexing, file extraction and monitoring. Dedicating containers to these “supporting” services speeds up performance of these processes and further decreases the load on your archive.

How are assets stored on a Containerized platform?

At KnowledgeArc we’ve been working a great deal on solving the problem of storage. In many archiving solutions, storage is local; that is, a disk has to be preconfigured with a particular amount of space and then media and other files are stored to it. This means that you need to invest in storage that you may never use.

Recent developments have seen the introduction of cloud-based storage where by you pay for what you store. There are some problems with this; firstly, you don’t have a fixed costs. This can be a road block for those who have a set budget to work with. Secondly, setting up cloud storage (such as on Amazon’s S3), especially correctly, can be a complex process. Thirdly, services such as Amazon’s S3 are not designed for archived storage; they are designed for quick retrieval of media and other files and do not provide the level of reliability that an archive is expected to have.

KnowledgeArc has solved this problem by introducing a combination of fast-access storage for immediate retrieval of your archive’s assets and deep-level storage, which effectively archives your assets, making them retrievable in special cases only, such as if the fast-access version of the asset gets corrupted in some way. Containers are also “disconnected” from your storage again freeing up resources to dedicate to your archive as well as making it easy for containers to be upgraded without affecting your stored assets if something goes wrong.

How cost-effective is KnowledgeArc’s platform over other solutions?

Check out our pricing and compare it to other solutions available. Ask other providers how their infrastructure is set up and whether your archive is one of many on a single system or whether it runs in its own space. Then ask for the price.

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