Doug Kaye, the CTO at GigaVox Media has posted an interesting post on using Amazon's Web services as a platform for his new podcasting system. (Disclosure: I'm the Executive Producer for IT Conversations which is a GigaVox production.) The system uses S3 for storage, the SQS queue service for communication, and the elastic computing cloud (EC2) for processing.
Using Amazon for storage is a no-brainer, but more importantly, their rates for delivery and just plain cheap. One of the biggest problems with podcasts and vcasts is that popularity can eat you alive with bandwidth charges. S3 solves that one for most people.
Using EC2 is just plain brilliant and Doug needs to be congratulated. Processing audio and video involves a lot of transcoding and that takes real horsepower in bursts. EC2 is perfect for that. Doug says:
In asking around, it appears we have one of the most complex and sophisticated systems built to date using all three AWS services. It is infinitely scalable, extremely reliable and costs very little until we need it. And our system administrator doesn't have to carry a pager. All those servers are someone else's problem. No hardware or software to buy, maintain, upgrade, etc.
Doug has a block diagram on his site and I encourage you to look at it. This is an amazing system that implements a vision many have espoused but few have realized. This is glimpse of the future.[poll id=48]