Discussion: Reasons for offloading media to external file hosters

Continuing the discussion from Uploads in Amazon S3 or similar:

Hey everyone,

after reading this post from @fgilio

i was thinking about reasons to offload your media files to external solutions like Amazon S3. As i didn’t want to mess up the worthy discussion there about good plugins i thought i’ll start a linked discussion. (btw. @ben as there’s no category like “off topic” or something i chose to let this uncategorized)

My question is: Why would you want to offload media to something like Amazon S3? Some thoughts about this:

  • Traffic is relatively expensive (~$90/TB)
  • Space isn’t that cheap, too
  • For real performance wins you still have to use and pay for CDN features additionallly (which you could easily get without using S3).

While i’m a big fan of offloading things to external and even a bigger fan of using cloud services i don’t see a real win of putting media on S3.

I’d love to hear your opinions on this.

1 Like

Hi @Helmi!

There are some benefits from offloading media. The biggest and, personally, more interesting:

  • Ease of migration: Ever migrated a multiple GB site? It’s a pain…
  • Simplifying scalability: You don’t need to write files to the server, and no need to sync between servers

In my experience, if you need this kind of setup you probably need also a CDN. So S3 traffic costs aren’t that significative, as it’s all being served from the CDN.

Would love to read your opinions!

You’re probably right - both valid points - if you have migration in front of you or scaling is a possible issue you have to deal with than offloading media to an external service might be a good idea.

Probably always a case of dimensions. With good caching and CDN in place you could easily handle quite a load of traffic without scaling vertically too much which is always a bit of a pain. We did some 500k views a day a while ago on a WP based news site with just a well configured varnish in front.

(btw. @ben is varnish already something you have in mind for Trellis?)

Would love to hear what others think in terms of offloading media - maybe alternatives to S3?