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What size server does a video sharing site need?

video reel
To handle its millions of video views per day, YouTube has thousands of servers. But what if you want to start your own video sharing site? A Webhostingtalk.com user asked today:

Hi i would plan to make something like YouTube (video sharing site) but restricted only for my members. Basically if let’s say there are 1000 users every day streaming videos on my site, how much bandwidth do I need and how big the server has to be considering this isnt just regular site but video sharing site for members?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. Videos take up more bandwidth than CPU or memory, so you will need a server with a lot of bandwidth. How “big” of a server is needed depends on the site’s traffic and size of the videos.

For a site just starting out, I’d probably rent a basic server and upgrade later on once I had a better idea of my needs. If the site grew to a large size, however, multiple servers with tier-1 dedicated bandwidth connections would be needed. Without a powerful connection, users wouldn’t be able to stream video. This sort of infrastructure is very expensive, explaining why video sites need to display so many ads to make ends meet.

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