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Ad Server Woes

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by , 01-03-2011 at 12:19 PM (5554 Views)
OpenX has been running as iSTORYA.NET's Ad Server for the past 3 or 4 years. Lately, the server hosting our Ad Serving software has been experiencing some technical issues and would require an OS Reload. This made me realize the drawback of hosting our own Ad Server. While having full control is a wonderful thing, restoring a server and everything in it isn't as nice. So I said to myself, this cannot be the case. As the community grows, the amount of data increases. From stats to creatives... these are all important data that needs to be kept and stored and in an event of failure, restored. The amount of work involved will keep on multiplying as we go along.

There has got to be a solution. So I did a quick search on trusty old Google and Bing and found a bunch of offerings. I eventually narrowed down the choices to three. There's OpenX Hosted, TrafficSpaces, and Google DfP. OpenX looked like the best choice, after all, 3 years+ of experience has gotten me accustomed to the interface. However, there was a time wherein OpenX had a nasty security hole that tagged all sites using the software as unsafe by Google. TrafficSpaces looked like an excellent alternative. With the ability to act as an advertising payment portal, it did everything OpenX has to offer plus the feature to allow advertisers manage their own ads and take payments as well. I was very tempted to buy in ($99/month).

Then came Google's Doubleclick for Publishers (Formerly Google Ad Manager). It has some of the most important features (Geotargetting, Scheduling, etc), plus it is hosted by Google. As they say, Google loves Google. Google will never tag their own service as unsafe. It is hosted on a fully redundant network... and it can tie-in to Adwords and Doubleclick Ad Planner which in some ways, acts as an agent between us and potential advertisers. Best of all, it's free!

The idea of not having to do backups or administer the software got me excited. The time that I will be saving can be used to come up with better ideas or even spend more time interacting with the community or implementing updates in a timely manner. The choice became a no brainer towards the end. However, the interface of Google DoubleClick for Publishers takes a while to get used to specially coming from OpenX wherein my 3 years+ experience made it such a breeze to navigate. But, there's nothing to difficult to learn as long as you invest time into it.

I am now migrating all our Ad Data from OpenX to Google DfP. Once this is done, I will find a better use for the server which has, for a long time, acted primarily as an Ad Server.

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