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AK Productions

Moving Precious Data at Record Speed

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83%
less time spent
managing data
12
TB transferred in
12 hours
0
disruption to
project workflows

Aiden Korotkin, Director of Photography, AK Productions

“I was spending between 30 minutes to an hour every day trying to figure out simple tasks on Google Cloud Platform. On Backblaze it literally takes me 5 minutes.”

Situation

Aiden Korotkin started taking on big clients with big projects when he transitioned from freelancing to open his own full-service video production company. Unfortunately, his existing storage solution, Google Cloud, took hours to manage—time he couldn’t afford to lose while growing his business. He also worried about the privacy of his clients’ important data on Google. With more at stake, he needed a simple, secure solution.

Solution

It was clear to Korotkin that he needed to transfer his data quickly and securely to a more user-friendly service, without disrupting his workflow. Backblaze, partnering with cloud migration company Flexify.IO, was able to move his data from Google Cloud to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage while also configuring his QNAP NAS to upload all new content directly to Backblaze B2.

Result

Backblaze and Flexify migrated Korotkin’s first 12 TB in less than a day and set him on a path to backing up a remaining 40 TB in real-time. Backblaze’s simple interface reduced the time Korotkin spends managing data backup by 83%, freeing him to focus on growing the business. He knows his files are safely stored, accessible when needed, and can confirm their status and fidelity any time.

AK Productions - woman dancing with sun in the background

All images provided by AK Productions.

Ak Productions clips

AK Productions is a full-service video production company based in Washington, D.C. They believe that powerful films begin with innovative storytelling. By combining engaging visuals, beautifully mastered sound, and intriguing stories, AK Productions crafts thought-provoking media for the D.C. and Detroit Metro areas. AK Productions has created multi-platform content for organizations such as the World Bank, the British Embassy, National Geographic Channel, and Discovery Communications.

Astonishingly Fast Data Transfer Enables Simpler Storage

Aiden Korotkin was a successful freelance videographer and photography director before he opened AK Productions in 2015. Moving from freelancing to full-service production meant bigger clients with bigger projects—documentaries, corporate video, commercials, and short films for international brands like National Geographic and the World Bank. Rather than simply shooting footage and delivering the files, he was responsible for the full project lifecycle, from pre-production through finished product.

As his business requirements evolved, he needed a better solution for backing up important client data. “At one point, I was using hard drives,” he confessed. “I wasn’t really backing them up. When I lost some project files, it was a wake-up call.”

Korotkin worked to implement a 3-2-1 backup philosophy using a QNAP NAS server that backed up to a RAID and Google Cloud Platform, where he kept the final copies of his projects. The 3-2-1 philosophy advises keeping three copies of data, storing it on two types of media, and keeping one off-site. “I knew Google had a cloud platform. It was a quick decision, and I didn’t really look into it,” he admitted.

At the time, Google offered a promotional credit. “That lasted about a year,” Korotkin said. When the credit expired, it forced him to take a closer look at the cost efficiency and security of the Google Cloud Platform. “I realized that it’s super confusing. You have a lot of options, but it seems like chaos unless you know exactly what you’re doing,” he noted.

collage of video stills from AK Productions

Searching for Safe Storage

Frustrated with navigating the Google Cloud Platform, Korotkin started looking for other solutions. This time, he did his research. With privacy in mind, he turned to DuckDuckGo, a search engine that protects users’ personal data. “Their blog led me down the rabbit hole of security and privacy,” he said. “Backblaze kept coming up on different lists as more private, simpler, and more user-friendly. I also started to have some privacy concerns with Google.” Finding a steady drumbeat of news about the way Google collects and uses customers’ data solidified his decision to switch.

Choosing to transfer his data to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage was the easy part. “The Backblaze solution engineers were very responsive in helping me figure out if they were the best option for me,” he said. But then Korotkin and the Backblaze team turned to the harder aspect of the process: transferring 12 TB of data from Google without disrupting his business.

“Backblaze kept coming up on different lists as more private, simpler, and more user-friendly. They were very responsive in helping me figure out if they were the best option for me.”

Aiden Korotkin, Director of Photography, AK Productions

Aiden Korotkin shooting a video

The Challenges of Data Migration

Transferring large amounts of data from one cloud storage service to another can be costly, time-consuming, and complex. Korotkin wasn’t even sure how much data he had stored on the Google Cloud Platform, so he struggled to determine the cost of egress fees. “Their costs conflicted, and I couldn’t contact anyone [at Google] for support,” Korotkin said.

He was also concerned about the integrity of his data through the transfer process. Korotkin had lost some older projects to corrupted drives before he fully implemented his 3-2-1 backup system, so the files on Google were his only copies, some of which, he found out later, had not fully uploaded. “Because I had so many drive failures uploading to Google,” he explained, “I couldn’t confirm that some of my older data was still intact. The data in Google included some of my only copies. The transfer had to work.”

AK Productions video still

A Partnership for a Seamless Transfer

Backblaze developed a cloud-to-cloud data migration solution by partnering with Flexify to facilitate transfer of AK Productions’ data. Flexify leverages cloud internet connections, as opposed to clients’ local internet bandwidth, to achieve significantly faster migrations.

Korotkin connected with a Flexify support tech who was with him throughout the process. Korotkin shared that the transfer failed at first because he had the wrong IDs from Google. But the Flexify tech followed up immediately to let him know the steps he needed to take to remedy the error.

By cultivating partnerships like this one, Backblaze enables more versatile, responsive storage solutions for clients. Integrations that make data easy to access via client’s go-to hardware and software mean that they don’t need to learn new tools or change workflows by switching to Backblaze.

Aiden Korotkin with a video camera

Up and Running in One Day

Flexify transferred the 12 TB of final project data AK Productions had stored on Google to Backblaze in just 12 hours. Transferring that amount of data via standard business connections can take weeks, months, or even longer.

Through Flexify, transfers happen so fast, they can be scheduled so there is zero downtime in production and no disruption to business workflows. With the ability to migrate data at 10 Gbps (up to 100 TB per day) from other cloud providers like AWS and Google, large transfers can happen overnight or over a weekend with Flexify.

“It was super, ridiculously fast,” Korotkin marveled. “I don’t know what their voodoo magic is, but it’s great.”

With the ability to migrate data at 10 GB (up to 100 TB per day) from other cloud providers like AWS and Google, large transfers can happen overnight or over a weekend with Flexify.

playing bass guitar

Stellar Support from People Who Care

At the end of the migration, some files didn’t transfer because they had not completely uploaded to Google. Flexify’s support team responded immediately. “They were more concerned than I was at that point,” Korotkin said. “Honestly, it was some of the best tech support I have ever received.”

Backblaze looks for companies with shared values for partnerships, and Flexify was a perfect match. They offer amazing technology and tech support from real people.

“It was very comforting,” Korotkin said. “Flexify cared that my data transferred correctly, which is refreshing. They had no idea that some files were the very last copies I had, but they treated them that way regardless.”

“Flexify cared that my data transferred correctly, which is refreshing. They had no idea that some files were the very last copies I had, but they treated them that way regardless.”

Aiden Korotkin, Director of Photography, AK Productions

Simple Solution Saves Time, Cures Headaches

With AK Productions’ data safely transferred from Google, Backblaze worked with Korotkin to configure his QNAP—another long-time Backblaze partner—NAS to upload directly to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage so Korotkin could back up the remaining 40TB of data stored on his NAS.

The most significant benefit Korotkin realized was the time saved by Backblaze’s simplicity. “If I had to estimate, I was spending between 30 minutes to an hour trying to figure out simple tasks on Google (i.e. setting up a new application key, or syncing to a third-party source). On Backblaze it literally takes me 5 minutes,” he estimated.

“I spent a good four hours or more trying to figure out how to make things work on Google's end to do the transfer, only to fail and be left with an actual headache, cross-eyed from staring at my screen,” he estimated. “I don't know what a Storage HMAC Key Administrator is or how it's different than an Apigee Analytics Agent, but I also don't need to know. More importantly, I don't need to know the difference in order to make Backblaze work for me and my business.”

image from AK Productions video

Fast Transfer Allows AK Productions to Enjoy Backblaze Benefits

Korotkin came to Backblaze with specific business needs. He wanted to get away from using Google, back up his on-site QNAP NAS in real-time, and archive his projects to the cloud once they’re complete. He found exactly what he needed in Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. It offered a solution that met his desire for simplicity, security, and privacy.

Even with the cost of egress fees from Google, AK Productions will break even and start realizing significant cost savings in approximately six months. A simpler, more cost-effective storage platform that integrates seamlessly with his existing tools took Korotkin’s storage concerns off the table (and completely eliminated his Ibuprofen budget).

“I’m just so glad that Backblaze exists as a company. Backblaze is not only simple to navigate, but it seems to be designed to be user-friendly for those who aren't in IT.”

Aiden Korotkin, Director of Photography, AK Productions

Aiden Korotkin of AK Productions

About Backblaze

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is purpose-built for ease, instant access to files and data, and infinite scalability. It seamlessly supports workflows via hundreds of third-party software integrations, or through direct APIs and CLIs. At only $5/TB of object storage per month (a fraction of the cost of the largest solutions), Backblaze B2 is priced so users don’t have to choose between what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to backup, archive, data organization, workflow streamlining, and more.