Fellowship Church

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It was the end of an another incredible weekend as the team counted out and labeled 16 tapes and inserted them into the aging 25-tape LTO-5 system.

Each weekend at Fellowship Church 10 to 25 Terabytes of new video, audio, and graphics were created, ingested, processed, and then archived to tape. The archiving work-flow is manual, time consuming, and has a very “analog way of working" feeling to it, given it is 2017. More troubling, the amount of digital media is increasing and the entire process was taking more and more time each week.

Once the archive jobs are kicked off, everyone can go home for the night and hope the tape backup process completes without errors by morning.
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Fellowship Church, is one of the largest and most progressive churches in the United States. Video is an integral part of their immersive experience. Dave Clark, Director of Media and Technology, and Matt Timmons, Digital Architect are responsible for not only creating the content but also wrangling terabytes of digital media each week.
Video production at Fellowship Church is non-stop as digital content from Church services as well as other sources is ingested, edited, and stored on their local SAN. Each week, producers and technicians deliver the “Weekend Experience”, a one-hour for broadcast show, along with an ever increasing variety of other programs. Their “season” is 52 weeks long each year.

They keep the final version of each program and video they produce on their SAN, along with the workproduct and related files. Previously, they would archive these projects to their LTO library using their LTO-5 system, amassing over 1 petabyte of tape storage over the last several years. As the tape library grew, the archived files were less and less accessible as it took longer and longer to locate and restore any specific file. Faced with having to upgrade their aging LTO-5 system and migrate their data, or expand their SAN to keep more active video, Fellowship Church decided to look at cloud storage.

For Dave and Matt, the primary drivers in choosing a cloud storage vendor were data accessibility and affordability. They selected Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. They began by replacing the LTO workflow with a combination of GoodSync and Backblaze B2. GoodSync is configured to identify new and changed files as they land on the SAN and archives them up automatically to Backblaze B2. Afterwards, files can be safely removed as desired to thin out the SAN. Now media files that were previously backed up to tape once a week were now stored in B2 with minimal effort.

"Replacing LTO with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage was an easy decision."
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Fellowship Church was able to replace their weekly pain of archiving their data to tape with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and GoodSync. This solution stored their data off-site, provided them immediate access to their archived media files, and was amazingly affordable. Even better, the team no longer wasted hours each week arranging files into tape-digestible groups and baby-sitting temperamental tape machines. Instead, they can focus more of their time on creating a unique and compelling Weekend Experience 52 weekends a year.