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In my company, we store all the images we use in our emails in a separate FTP server; an FTP we know that can handle the load.

But since SFMC has the functionality of hosting images itself; that brings the question: Is it a good idea? If we host all the images in SFMC, and say that we're going to send an email campaign to 10 million customers (we have a large customer base, so 10 million is not an extreme case for us); would using the hosting in SFMC cause any issues?

Some examples I can think of are:

1- Loading images in people's inboxes, would that be slow (we have a dedicated server within SFMC, but share a stack with other clients).

2- During the send of the email, as the job running, it seems to me that the performance of using SFMC might be effected.

3- Considering the number of images we store + all the other items we have in SFMC; those combined would exceed the storage limit we have (I think there's a storage limit). But the key part here is; we'd like to store all the assets. In our FTP server we can still see all the images we've used going back multiple years.

Do you guys have any experience / best practices for that?

Thanks!

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Keep in mind, that FTP is just a way of uploading your assets to a web server. Not a specific web server type.

SFMC uses Akamai for serving images, and being a CDN, it offers an optimised way of doing so. If you use a regular web server, e.g. Apache, this will only have a single location/IP, and can indeed suffer from poor throughput - proving to be a bottle neck. I will regardless go for a CDN solution - hence SFMC being my first choice.

If you insist on saving on your data storage in SFMC, you still need to calculate the cost of storing (and serving) your images from an alternative CDN, and the reduced efficiency of not being able to use the standard image management of Content Builder.

Please also see this thread on a related topic: Is it mandatory to have Assests/Images/CSS present in SFMC?

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  • Thanks a lot for the answer. But what if we use Content Builder; how would that effect the performance issues I've mentioned above? And would we have the option to export them all if / when we choose a different Email Service Provider?
    – firko
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:42
  • You asked for best practice: it is using SFMC for images. If you want to save $$$ on storage, you can go with another CDN - I don't expect any performance improvement when using e.g. CloudFront or your own Akamai vs SFMC. Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 12:36
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@LukasLunow is correct that utilizing an 'FTP' instead of a CDN is definitely not best practice. I would change this process immediately, either inside SFMC or inside a new 3rd party CDN service.

I think if storage is a major consideration, then you would likely have more success using a 3rd party CDN to store your images. SFMC has a very performant CDN attached to it, and it is definitely recommended for all that can utilize it. But, with the significant amount of storage it sounds like you would require, it might not be the most cost effective solution.

Storing images outside of SFMC also gives you an advantage when moving platforms or collecting/archiving stored assets as there is no easy way to export images from SFMC in bulk.(see here).

If you do decide to go the SFMC storage route, I would recommend having a 'local' storage location as well to house 'backups' of all the SFMC assets. This way all your files are easily available to you as it is all stored locally.

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  • I am not sure on the reason for the downvote, if you can explain what you felt was inappropriate, I can edit my answer. I provided information and viewpoints outside of Lukas' answer. Storage was a major concern of OP and I felt it best to provide further feedback addressing this. Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 17:48
  • that was actually me accidentally downvoting instead of upvoting. Can you please do a minor edit to your answer, so I can edit the vote accordingly - as it is otherwise locked. Thanks! Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 8:22
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    @LukasLunow - edited as requested and thank you for responding to my comment and explaining the situation. Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 12:19
  • Sorted - and do accept my apologies :-) Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 12:19
  • No worries at all! Thanks again for responding Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 12:23

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