For years now we have used Amazon Cloud Storage (S3) to store all of our website’s media files in order to lessen the load on the web servers. Though we have a great hosting solution that is not the massive 3,000 websites in one box approach that is used by major hosting companies such as GoDaddy, it is still better to have all media served within the region you’re showing your website the most. In our case our website collocation facility is in the US while our audience is in Europe. So, we rely on our host’s servers for website hosting and serving up the static content while Amazon’s S3 is configured to host all of our media files, be it video or images….mainly images. Video is now served via Vimeo.
Check out our site: http://www.bfischool.org so see what I mean.
Working with Amazon’s services is easy and cheap!
Next up, I’d like to create a script that will host our network share files for each user in our system. Yes, Dropbox is a great alternative, but the problem is that all that knowledge is not under the instituion’s control but rather the control of the owner of the Dropbox account. What happens if one our teachers leave and takes everything with them. Though we are using Rubicon Atlas for documentation of our curriculum, there is still a lot in that person’s work folder which we would no longer be able to access should they decide to leave.
It has happened in the past that someone leaves and we can easily take their left-behind work folders and give access the new teacher coming in to cover that subject. This is the reason a network space is created for teachers. The problem is that the teachers do not have access to their network space whenever they are out of school. By creating a Dropbox-like service linked to Amazon’s S3 service we can easily overcome that. Still much to be worked out, but slowly we are getting there.