Why use Gravitylab for hosting streaming video?

Why Gravitylab’s streaming video hosting is a smart purchase and an excellent value.

When we first launched our business, we started with a shared streaming video hosting environment from a big (pay) provider. Once we started to use live webcasting and our video traffic got serious, our performance was lagging and our clients weren’t shy in pointing that out. Video just seemed to bog down our site in general. We used a big, aggregrate video provider with a single datacenter in Texas, and the saying “you get what you pay for” rang true. We spun up to a pro plan, but once we needed something customized, we were lost. And when we had questions or needed additional support, we were pretty much left to fate.

We had to find a provider that could accommodate our growth without limitations. We had to provide the user experience that our clients demanded; No buffering, HTML5 video that could be protected and played back fast, not just downloaded. Adaptive bit rate. Video that can’t be downloaded easily and no extra ads for anything. We needed to take advantage of the newest playback capability of our commercial license, to keep an un-branded player. Most importantly, how to integrate it all with our site, which was wordpress and woocommerce. We couldn’t be encumbered by lack of scale; we have stringent contracts with our customers to which we must adhere. If they have to scale, we have to scale for them.

Once we turned to GravityLab, it immediately became easier for us to scale up and down. We can spin up capacity, both video storage and streaming bandwidth, without hassle. With our previous provider, we could add storage and bandwidth, but once we did we were locked into that bandwidth and storage commitment for at least a quarter – it was a contract. With Gravitylab, we can spin up our production and rapidly expand our audience, run it for a day and then and kill it. It gives us the freedom to test a lot of new streaming video and to be imaginative.

And on the service and support side, we’ve seen a dramatic difference. With our previous provider, if a broadcast stopped running on a Friday night or we experienced a software, or video encoding issue, we’d have to wait until Monday to get it fixed. With Gravitylab the right people with the right experience answer our calls and tickets immediately. We need that kind of reliable partner; a team of specialists to help us out.

For example, one of our biggest clients, The Carlyle Group, a leading communications company for private networks for the government, required the elasticity of transmuxing to Flash and HTTP Live Streaming from a single point of origin for the FAA. And while our last partner was a great framework, it can be slow. We needed the perfect platform for challenging production demands of our client. Gravitylab was able to map out and architect the workflow and video player assets based on our needs and make it scalable both for us and our client.

That proactive service really helped us know what we could and couldn’t do, and we learned the best way to set up a video workflow and didn’t need to worry about deploying the server architecture or the complexity of integrating a CDN for our website when we only needed extra capacity for video.

Performance Is Key

What it comes down to most is uptime and reliable playback. For the Carlyle Group and our customers, performance and uptime must be at a maximum. Simply put, downtime costs money. Using a streaming video platform lets us serve our customers fully – we need the reliability of dedicated servers to handle the load at any time, for example, for the Carlyle Group’s database servers and we use a number of Cloud Servers to scale up and to try new configurations. That gives is great flexibility. For example, if we’re launching a new ecommerce project, we need to know how that environment will scale.

Using Gravitylab’s streaming video hosting in concert with DanceAway VM (DAVM) has let us build a scalable and redundant environment that is always fast and doesn’t fluctuate. It is future proof, can handle all device traffic and integrates with external systems through Magento’s modular design. This has enabled us to cut our platform response times by more than half – they used to be one to three seconds and we’ve gotten them down to between 300 milliseconds and one second. That’s a 50 percent to 80 percent performance boost without reverse proxy caching (example: Varnish).

Using the cutting edge technologies from GravityLab and the open source community helps us stay on top of the latest technologies – that’s a major differentiation for us, and one of the reasons the biggest ecommerce platforms in the Netherlands trust Gracious Studios. It sets us a part from the other agencies and lets us think outside the box.

Our customers want the best experience possible, and our platform and partnership with Gravitylab helps us deliver just that.