How Do DAM Platforms Use Cloud Storage?

Stephen McAreavey
July 1, 2022

Why you should choose a provider that leverages agile storage to save money and time.


Whilst the best DAM platforms are complemented by rich features and delightful user experiences, their primary purpose comes down to one factor: storage. You can’t begin to organise your digital assets without a safe repository which ensures their security, recoverability and accessibility.


But not all storage is created equally, and the systems underpinning your DAM platform dictate what it can do, and how quickly and effectively it can do it.


Many DAM platforms utilise different types of cloud storage.


By employing different types of cloud storage depending on asset type and usage frequency, platforms are able to deliver a smooth user experience at a cost-effective price. Let’s take a look at the main types of cloud storage employed across DAM systems.


Hot storage This is high-performance file storage which is used for digital media that is undergoing processing, e.g. files that have just been uploaded into the system, or have been cached for streaming playback.

Object storage This is medium-performance, highly durable object storage that is used to persist files and also playable renders for video and audio clips. Files will be transferred from object storage to hot storage for playback. Data objects can also be moved from here into the cold storage options.

Cold storage This is a type of object storage which offers lower prices but the digital files are not instantly available and must be requested before playback or download. Such requests may take up to four hours to process, but in practice takes much less time than that (usually under five minutes). Cold storage is best suited to objects that are infrequently accessed, as extra fees apply for retrieval and other related operations.


Deep archive storage Also object-based, deep archive storage is similar to cold storage but with a longer wait time for retrieval (up to 12 hours). Retrieval fees are significant, so deep archive is best used for objects that will be accessed no more than once per year on average. This type of storage is only used for material that is very rarely accessed.


How do DAM platforms use these storage options to your advantage?


Behind the scenes, DAM systems will move data between the different storage types to ensure that each file resides in the optimal storage location. A current video project which needs to be accessed multiple times a day may be kept within object storage, whilst archived document scans—which must be retained but are very infrequently accessed—would most likely be filed within cold storage.

All of the above storage types are highly-redundant, meaning that copies of the data are written in different physical locations in real-time to protect against data loss. Not all DAM platforms offer this level of redundancy, so it’s important to check that your provider has sufficient asset protection measures in place, just like Aetopia.

The digital asset lifecycle.

In an agile DAM platform, a large object such as a video could exist in all of these different storage classes during its lifecycle. Moving assets between cloud storage types can make both financial and time savings, with frequently used assets remaining easily accessible and cold storage offering a home for important but archived assets.

Here’s an example of what the lifecycle of a digital asset might look like within your multi-cloud DAM…

Choose a DAM platform that has it all.

As well as a wealth of features, Aetopia DAM takes advantage of all the mentioned forms of cloud storage. When using Aetopia DAM, you can rest assured that our intelligent platform is storing the right assets in the right place, saving you time and money.

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