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Off The Shelf Media Server Or Bespoke Solution?


Iain
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I have been asked to look into some options to allow a small number of users in a business to upload videos that have been taken "in house" to a server and allow all users to download them. There must be the facility to add keywords to the file that can be used to search for the video. The file name will not be sufficient as a search term. The videos could be up to 500MB in size.

My gut feeling is to use web pages with PHP (and possibly JavaScript) to upload files across the LAN to a server and have the file path, keywords etc. stored in a SQL database. Users would interrogate the SQL database via a web page to obtain a list of matching videos and a link to be able to download them. I have some experience with Linux/Windows/xampp but there might be a desire within the organisation to use Windows/IIS/MS SQL (I have negligible experience of IIS and MS SQL).

I have two questions:

First:

Is there an off the shelf solution, such as a media server? If so, which one? I've heard of Sharepoint but don't know if that would work or if it would be overkill.

Second:

If I go with a bespoke solution (PHP, HTML, JavaScript, mysql) and develop this using Windows/xampp but the decision is made to run this on Windows/IIS/MS SQL, how easy would it be to transfer everything to the production system?

Thanks in advance.

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Configuring IIS to work with PHP has become a lot easier in recent years

Microsoft Web Platform Installer (http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx) does pretty much all of the installation / configuration for you. IIS is fairly straight forward in terms of management.

I am not an expert in PHP, but have used it with both MSSQL and MYSQL and the change (from memory) is fairly simple (I used example code I found on the web)

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@MRGRIM: That's useful to know. I don't know if this will HAVE to be a Windows/IIS project (if an off the shelf solution isn't used) and I would hate to do all the hard development work using Linux/MySQL to find that I had to start from scratch for the Windows migration!

@alex_m: I had no idea that FreeNAS had a built-in media server. I'll check it out.

Thank you for the comments.

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What I use as a streaming server is subsonic. Easy to configure.

Though that is more along the lines of sharing your home music/movie collection either on a LAN or WAN. It's open source although so you can tweak your needs.

May not be what you were looking for but could work.

Why don't you just use active directory with shared folders?

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You could also look into the QNAP NASes, they offer a varity of services such as webserver, mysql, video and photo streaming. And there is no app nstallation required, it all comes in a single UNIT. However there's a bit of configuration required before you can get it to work.

On the other hand, since it's a NAS device, it provides you with Backup and data protection solutions, like RAID and the ability to backup to a remote site or a similar nas device.

The only downside is that they are not cheap, but they are great NAS devices to have in your business.

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I'd forgotten about all the goodies that come with a QNAP. As you say though, they're not cheap! I'll put this into the equation but suspect that the cost will rule it out.

These are great units to have at home or in your business, but the price is the big player in this game. I am planning on buying one of those, to store my terabytes of movie and music collection. But will only be able to afford the unit first then the hard drives.

The unit itself is like in the range of $500 to $2000 dollars, the hard drivers on the other hand, is $300 dollars each, depending on how many hard drives the NAS unit itself hold. It's gonna be a huge investment.

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