We’re living in the age of the content explosion—with no end in sight. According to an IDC survey, 85 percent of marketers say they’re under pressure to create more assets, with 71 percent saying they’re creating ten times as many assets today as they did just a few years ago.

Today, scalability is at the heart of what it means to create a future-proof DAM. This year, Nuxeo’s rating as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Asset Management (DAM) for Customer Experience, Q2 2018 included a subscore that looked at the relative scalability of different DAM products. What score was computed for Nuxeo’s scalability?

Based on Forrester’s objective evaluation criteria, Nuxeo was one of the providers rated a 5.0, the highest score possible, in the scalability criterion for having “superior capabilities” relative to other technologies in the evaluation. Forrester gave a score of 5 to companies that support the ability to manage at least 500,000 assets.

500,000 might sound like a lot. But here at Nuxeo, we know that today’s “a lot” can be tomorrow’s “not nearly enough.” That’s why our architecture is designed to go beyond 500,000. Way beyond — to at least one billion assets.

To give some idea of the difference, let’s think of hitting Forrester’s 500,000 asset threshold as hitting a massive home run at Yankee Stadium (say, the 477-foot moonshot hit in 2009 by Raul Ibanez that still holds the stadium record today).

Nuxeo goes two thousand times further. If that home run ball went 2,000 times further, it would travel 180 miles. That’s not just out of the park, it’s out of the state — all the way to Fenway Park in Boston.

Scalable At Speed

What’s more, those assets can be managed fast. Even with a billion assets, Nuxeo DAM puts content at your fingertips, with search times of just milliseconds.

How does it work? Consider a picture in a DAM that has complex usage rights and other complex metadata — hundreds of fields in all. The fields aren’t just disconnected pieces of data. They involve intersecting groups, defined independently and applied to a given asset: “rights for the US,” “relevant fields for video files,” “campaign details.”

These complex relationships between fields must be linked, or joined, in complicated ways. This level of joining has a massive negative impact on performance when using traditional database technology (SQL). Using MongoDB instead of SQL, the Nuxeo Platform can manage these intricate intersecting relationships without lag or other negative impacts on performance.

To go back to our previous analogy, imagine taking that same trip from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park yourself. Using traditional SQL database technology is like doing it by driving I-95 at rush hour: many independent units acting in complicated ways, creating traffic that means you get there six hours later.

We’ve seen customers who, before starting to use Nuxeo, used systems that required waiting 10 seconds or more for every search query. Waiting 10-15 seconds every time adds up, and leads to your team being frustrated, getting distracted by other tasks while they wait, or worse, giving up on the DAM altogether.

Nuxeo acts like an Elon Musk-style hyperloop, using modern technology to bypass the traffic problems. Instead of taking 10-15 seconds, searches now return results by the time a tenth of a second has gone by. That’s a time savings of 99% — like turning the six-hour, 30 mph journey from New York to Boston into a three minute trip at five times the speed of sound.

File previews are also fast and scalable using Nuxeo. The platform can ingest and transcode 1TB ProRes 4444XQ video into H.264 previews, or transform 20 GB, 38 billion-pixel PSB files into .jpg previews, without breaking a sweat.

Speed’s also a priority when it comes to file transfer: long transfer times can massively limit productivity for your team members. With Nuxeo Edge Cache, customers have reduced their download times by 95% and bandwidth consumption by 90%.

Scaling For the Future

Twenty years ago, digital assets were generally confined to documents and image files, with little rich media in the mix. Since then, it’s not just the type of content that’s changed: it’s the scale, both in terms of file size and metadata complexity.

At the start of the millennium, few enterprises even used digital video — images and somewhat-larger Flash animations were the types of digital assets that came into play. But in 2005, YouTube made its debut, and the age of on-demand digital video began.

Video content represented a huge file size increase over images and documents, and presented more difficulties for search. Metadata became more important than ever as the number of videos created for each enterprise exploded.

File sizes were already much bigger than some legacy technologies could handle, but content kept changing … and growing. HD video, which started out as a technology only a few broadcasters used, rapidly became consumer’s default expectation. Widespread broadband internet (and later, high-speed cell networks) meant that HD video could be used more than ever than before, and displayed on more devices at higher resolutions.

Today, it’s not uncommon for Nuxeo customers to have large numbers of multi-gigabyte media files, a situation that would have been unthinkable for the vast majority of companies even a decade ago.

No one knows what the “next big thing” in content will be, but it’s safe to say it won’t have small file sizes. A decade from now, businesses might be expected to use terabyte-size files to create multisensory virtual reality experiences, or have micro-detailed models of their stores to facilitate checkout-free shopping. The possibilities are endless—which is why it’s important to choose a vendor whose technology is able to keep up with a changing DAM universe.