Posted by : Randy Cooper in (CDN)
“We needed to host high quality video on our site without compromising either performance or quality,” said James Lewis, direct marketing manager at Celtic Manor. “Using the Hostway CDN seemed like an ideal choice.”
Set in 1,400 acres of parkland in the Usk Valley, Wales, The Celtic Manor Resort holds two hotels offering luxury fine dining, spas, three championship golf courses, tennis courts, health clubs and shooting facilities. Hosting The Ryder Cup in 2010, the Resort is one of the premier getaway locations in the UK. In order to build up its presence and attract visitors, the resort uses a combination of text descriptions, high-quality images on its website and has recently commissioned a promotional video featuring a tour of the premises and grounds.
The Resort hosts its own website but, as the video is over 20mb, the IT team was concerned that the video could stutter, become jerky, or actually affect the performance of the Celtic Manor website itself. Furthermore, with 30% of the hotel’s web traffic coming from overseas, the team needed a solution which would ensure that the video would always play at high quality, wherever the user was located.
“After some research, hosting our website in multiple locations on multiple continents looked like a fairly expensive option,” said Lewis.
“We needed a method that allowed viewers from around the globe to get good quality video, but which didn’t require a large amount of configuration, wasn’t cost-prohibitive, and ideally, would be separate from our own website so that there were no performance degradations at peak times.”
Celtic Manor approached Hostway, and rather than hosting multiple copies of the website around the globe, the team chose to use Hostway’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). The CDN works by caching media-heavy components of the website, including images, videos or podcasts, on servers in seven locations around the world, making it perfect for Celtic Manor’s requirements. Users requesting this content will be directed seamlessly to content stored on the closest server to their location, rather than the Celtic Manor website.
Each server requires very little configuration, and Celtic Manor’s current package can handle 50Gb of traffic each month (over 2,000 downloads or streaming users). Because the video is completely separate from Celtic Manor’s website, the video can be viewed as often as users wish without affecting the main site. The IT and marketing team have access to analytics about CDN usage, so that if viewings of the video increase, they can upgrade their package to give them more bandwidth.
Similarly, if the Celtic Manor team need to take the video down for any reason, they can turn it off at very short notice.
“Although pictures are an essential tool on our website, it’s video content that really allows us to offer an in-depth experience of our resort,” continued Lewis. “Within two weeks of approaching Hostway, the video was up and running on the CDN. The CDN is very cost-effective, doesn’t require much set up, and allows us to host high-quality video without affecting the performance of our site.”
As a result of hosting the video on the CDN, Celtic Manor has been able to conduct marketing campaigns offering the video of the resort, with the confidence that it will be accessible across the globe at a very high quality.
To see the Celtic Manor video, log onto:
http://video.celtic-manor.com/ and select the Play Resort Video icon.