What Is An Internet Media File System & When To Use An Imfs

An Internet Media File System (IMFS) is an Internet storage service that allows applications to upload, store and organize files and subsequently access them using a standard Web Services interface. An IMFS is distributed clustered file system, accessed over the Internet, and optimized for dealing with media files (audio, video, etc). The goal of an IMFS is to provide massive scalability to deal with the challenges of media storage growth, with guaranteed access and availability regardless of time and location. Finally, an IMFS gives applications the ability to access data securely, without the large fixed costs associated with acquiring and maintaining physical storage assets.

An IMFS is:

* A file system for the Internet
* Implemented as a cluster of nodes
* Accessed via Web Services
* Consumed on-demand, as a service
* Optimized for managing media (large files, streaming video/audio, processing images, etc)
* Completely secure and protected

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When to use an IMFS?

Internet Media File Systems are great solutions for developers working on applications dealing with user-generated content services, fixed content storage, community-based media sharing applications, video/music/photo management, and archival solutions. Instead of building a storage file system from scratch or buying an expensive storage solution, developers can avoid the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance windows by simply connecting to an online storage service. The richer the feature set of this service, the lower the effort on application development and the faster the time to get to market.

Software and service providers often want to focus their development and sustaining efforts on the core of their offering, and not have to learn or hire skills in Internet scale media storage, global network delivery, or multi-million user account management and security. These core competencies can be leveraged when storage services are provided by an IMFS. Another benefit of using an IMFS is in cases where there is resource contention associated with IT budgeting and staffing. An IMFS model provides a pay-as-you-go pricing model that scales with usage.

At the same time, an IMFS is not the best option for serving storage across the internet to I/O intensive applications inside of the data center. These applications require sub-millisecond response times that the Internet is not yet able to support. This characterization is limited to a small group of solutions, like transactional processing systems, access to block storage, 3D rendering or any other intense I/O application. The Nirvanix Media File Service (Nirvanix MFS) was built and optimized for managing user-generated content, ease of integration, ease of scalability, and ease of control.

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