Cloudinary Boosts Cloud Image Management

The cloud computing firm touts its ability to make image management easier for online businesses.


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The cloud as an operational model is all about lower capital expenditures and making operations more efficient. Among the cloud vendors extending the model today is startup Cloudinary, which is aiming to solve the challenge of image management and manipulation at scale.

Itai Lahan, CEO of Cloudinary, explained to Datamation that his company is aiming to make it easier to help websites and online services to store and manage images in the cloud. Lahan noted that many websites have different needs for images including tagging and moderation as well as manipulation.

In terms of direct customers, Lahan said Cloudinary already has over 20,000 registered customers in the one and half years since the company was officially launched. From a funding perspective, Lahan has not taken any venture financing and the company is completely bootstrapped. Currently he said that Cloudinary is managing over 100 million images in its cloud.

The issue that many websites have is that they have built their own solutions for image management, which isn't a cost effective or scalable approach.

"We're all about providing a comprehensive solution for images, a place where all of the image-related tasks that web developers encounter can be dealt with," Lahan said. "From upload to delivery and everything in between."

From an implementation perspective, most content management systems today already have some form of image management in place. Lahan said that the Cloudinary service includes a rich API layer that enables organizations to integrate with existing capabilities that might already be present. Lahan said that Cloudinary has direct integration for the popular open-source WordPress content management system, and can act as a replacement for the default media library. The Cloudinary model takes security very seriously with granular user permission controls throughout the image workflow.


From an infrastructure perspective, Cloudinary itself sit on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is running on Linux servers.

"The majority of our server farm is auto-scaling servers that are for the image manipulation piece," Lahan said. "That is taking an image, cropping it and doing whatever manipulation that a person wants."

For the database piece, Cloudinary is using the open-source MySQL database technology.

"We are very knowledgeable in the NoSQL area but we've had a lot of discussion about our database use and for us MySQL is the answer," Lahan said.

For the image manipulation piece, Cloudinary leverages multiple technologies, including the open-source ImageMagick project.

All of Cloudinary's client integration libraries are open-source and available on the company's Github site.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: Linux, cloud computing, AWS, image editor

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