Chorus: the powerful tech behind a creative solution
Chorus was designed to free up valuable time for marketing and creative teams - so we won't mind if you don't want to spend too long thinking about what happens behind the scenes to keep it all running, smoothly and securely. However, if you're a behind-the-scenes person too, or you'd just like to know about the standards we hold for our management of the system and see exactly how your valuable files and content are in such safe hands, we've compiled in one place all the facts and figures you, or your IT manager will need.
"Third Light has been in business for almost two decades now, and over these years we've expanded our infrastructure carefully and incrementally, honing and updating it as we go along, while paying close attention to the impact we make on the environment. We have built our hardware platforms and our software together over that time, to complement and support each other's strengths and requirements - and it shows."Dominic Benson, Technology Director
As our software evolves over a regular cycle, between three and four updates are released each year. These contain new features, performance enhancements, bug fixes, and occasional security patches - all of which are free with your annual subscription.
For as long as you use your Third Light site, you will never have to worry about patching, upgrading, or replacing software. We announce platform updates in advance, and a full revision history of all changes is always available in our Change Log.
A high-performance, fully private cloud powered SaaS platform
To ensure a fast, reliable Chorus service for your users, we provide all the necessary computing resources - which include all storage, backups, processing, and hosting. Here's what this looks like at a more detailed level:
- Internet transfer speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps - upload and download
- Storage platforms with high-performance SAS and Solid State (SSD) drives, 10 Gbps connections
- N+1 redundant hypervisor platforms, with all nodes active to provide the best possible performance
- We operate our own equipment for network, power, compute and storage
- No metering of bandwidth, CPU, I/O, or memory - we only charge for storage
- Active/Active, live replicating storage nodes based on industry-standard technologies
- Active/Standby, replicating database platforms
- Hourly encrypted database backups
- Redundant power and network at all levels
- Copies of data on three servers - the primary replication pair, and an offsite backup - plus at least two offline tape copies in distinct physical locations
- We consistently achieve 99.98% uptime, independently monitored
- All data storage in the UK
- PCI DSS and Cyber Essentials Plus certified, with external, independent penetration testing.
...alongside regional AWS-powered platforms
To deliver the best experience to customers outside Europe (and therefore far from our UK datacentres), we use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provision Chorus instances that are physically nearby and minimise network latency, with access to CloudFront CDN as standard. We currently operate platforms in Virginia, California and Sydney. These support at-rest encryption, locality and data residency requirements (backups of Virginia and California platforms to a separate AWS region in the USA, backups of Sydney in a different Availability Zone, or AZ in the same region).
Dedicated Data Centre Edition options
For customers with special requirements or particularly large volumes of media, Third Light offers Data Centre Edition (DCE) for self-hosted installations or dedicated hosted systems.
Third Light DCE servers are designed to operate in a 'primary-standby' arrangement, using a tool known as a synchronisation module. This means that should any kind of disaster strike, the secondary server is available to swap in place over the primary - but in normal use the primary server handles the whole load itself. The data and backups are transferred using SSH (secure shell); the backup is a fast, bandwidth-efficient differential copy, designed specifically to support installation at a separate disaster recovery site.
In addition to providing backups and a 'warm' standby server, the synchronisation module provides roll-back features. These allow you to restore your database to a previous state, ensuring your valuable content is beyond compromise. For maximum reliability, even during periods of expansions, DCEs also include clustering features that allow for scale-out capacity and high availability - proven capabilities that are currently in active use in our own hosted platforms.
DCE has been designed for hands-free system administration. Our simple one-click updates are available for you to apply whenever you choose, and security patching is performed automatically.
Simplify administration with Active Directory
If you're an IT manager in a large company, the prospect of administering hundreds of Chorus users might sound daunting. Chorus supports active synchronisation with Active Directory (or other compatible LDAP implementations), importing and updating users and groups from the directory on a scheduled basis. Third Light also supports SAML2 (e.g. AD FS, Azure AD, Okta or Shibboleth). These also support user details and group membership updates (subject to configuration on the identity provider side) at the point of login.
For the best of both, Chorus supports Hybrid LDAP+SAML2 (designed around AD + AD FS), providing SSO and central password handling from the SAML Authentication, with proactive synchronisation from LDAP for enhanced Authorization capability.
Chorus's API also provides support for entirely custom authentication integrations with other platforms.
Simple and universal API access via JSON
For integration projects, Chorus is accessible and discoverable using industry-standard tools. Chorus's primary integration API is REST-like, has strong compatibility commitments and offers rich documentation via SwaggerUI. It also supports gRPC, with protobuf specifications to enable generation of type-safe code in a wide variety of languages.
Chorus also has an Internal API, which exposes the full gamut of methods used in the product for both reporting on the system, and performing actions. The API is accessed using HTTPS requests with JSON-encoded data. It provides a large number of commands and is expanding all the time.
You can find API documentation here.
Access to the Developer Exchange
If you're a programmer working on a Third Light project, your questions and ideas can be shared via our Developer Exchange, and membership is free. It's a conversation platform for our community of Third Light users and developers, monitored by Third Light staff, who'll offer help wherever possible.
Hopefully we've supplied all the details you (or anyone who's managing your IT) need but for any more technical questions, technical or otherwise, just [email protected] - we're always here to help.