The National Archives

The National Archives


The Problem

With the growing number of digital documents, in varying formats, being sent to TNA for permanent preservation, TNA was looking for a cost effective cloud service to support the playing of videos through a link to its website. They wanted secure, reliable storage for 1TB of videos and more for the future.

TNA wanted a service that complied with UK Government security standards such as Cloud Security Implementation (Cabinet Office), Cloud Security Principles - CESG, Data Protection Act data sovereignty. They also wanted responsive support for issues such as having content removed quickly. Their incumbent service provider didn’t provide this level of compliance or support.

TNA didn’t need all the bells and whistles many video hosting services offer. Secure hosting, scalable, uploading bulk video and metadata through a portal were the requirements. A simple management interface was to be accessed to allows uploading and deletion of videos. The solution was to be out of the box, low configuration, with a plug in service that would link with TNA’s 24 x 7 online catalogue service called Discovery http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk.

The content would be high in volumes but with generally low access rates, although there may be some short-term peaks if content is picked up by media outlets. How could the traffic spikes be catered for without excessive costs?

The Solution

TNA decided the quickest and most cost effective way to market was to use the G-Cloud Framework. They searched the Digital Market Place using keywords for video hosting and serving. They spoke to some suppliers to understand what the market offered. Our PretaTube product service description matched their specific requirements.

PretaTube was procured as software as a service. It is a scalable video hosting and playback service that fully complies with Government security standards. It allows TNA to upload their videos and metadata whenever they wish to our hosting service using the secure portal.

The NA videos, which are of various standard forms, are automatically transcoded into web friendly formats Mp4-H264 & WebM (HTML-5). This ensures the videos will play on all standard browsers and devices. Once uploaded links are generated and a report of bulk URLs is downloaded via the PretaTube portal, so they can embed the video player into TNA website.

All management of the content is done via a secure administration web interface.

All the videos are stored safely in our PretaGov Cloud hosted in Tier 3 data centres, with Government security and ISO 27001 accreditation and backups. High availability of 99.95% is guaranteed with redundancy.

The Outcome

TNA are now able to cost effectively deliver online delivery of archival video material to the public. This has been achieved with using PretaTube software as a service. They can easily manage the video content via a simple secure web portal and not worry about the backend infrastructure. The solution is cloud based and will scale in performance and cost based on elastic computing technology. Thus saving the public in under utilised hosting hardware.