Server Space Requirements for Video Hosting

Lately we’ve been working on a website for a local church that hosts the audio/video of their services online for viewing. One thing that has caught my attention in this project is the amount of space video takes up on a server. In uploading the last four message series onto my dev server, I’ve noticed a huge spike in bandwidth and disk space required to build out the project. In fact, it has been substantial enough that I had to juggle around some server space so we can finish out the build. I’ve learned several lessons in all this, but the biggest thing I gained was an appreciation for sites like YouTube and Vimeo. I can’t even begin to imagine the sever requirements to successfully run a company that’s sole focus is on hosting and streaming video. Even though they limit the upload size and length of each video, they’re still hosting videos for millions of users. Wow! Just for fun, let’s look at some potential math on this.

A 5 minute video is roughly 20MB.
1,000,000 users uploading 1, 20MB video = 25,000,000MB or 24,414GB (roughly 24 Terabytes)

Now, here’s some statistics published by YouTube:

  • – 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day
  • – Over 3 billion videos are viewed a day
  • – Users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full-length films every week
  • – More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years
  • – 800M unique users visit YouTube each month

I can’t even fathom the amount of server space their company needs. Absolutely incredible!
What’s the most amount of space you’ve ever seen used on a server? Leave your answer in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Server Space Requirements for Video Hosting

    1. Thanks Dave! Not sure they’ll need anything fancy. Just a ton of disk space and available bandwidth. One of those generic “unlimited” plans should cover them for now.

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