The good: their business was growing quickly. Their audio
hosting service was adding thousands of new sermons each
week and downloads of these audio files by subscribers was
increasing as well.
The problem: their storage and delivery infrastructure was
struggling to keep up and getting more and more expensive
to maintain with each passing day. Instead of developing
new features and enhancements for the subscribers, the
development staff was pressed into maintenance mode.
Ian Wagner and his team decided it was time to get ahead
of the problem and find a storage solution that could grow
along with SermonAudio.
SermonAudio is “the largest
and most trusted library of
over 1.3 million free audio
sermons from conservative
Christian churches and
ministries.” Ian Wagner is a
Senior Developer and part of
the team that decides on IT
solutions at SermonAudio.
Each day thousands of churches and ministries upload their sermons to the SermonAudio website
to be shared with the community of subscribers.
In the past, audio and video files were uploaded
and stored on local storage servers and delivered as requested to subscribers via download or
streaming services. As the amount of uploaded content grew SermonAudio would rent more
storage servers to add to their infrastructure.
Over time, the system become nearly impossible to manage and Ian and his team spent more and more of
their time chasing down maintenance and performance issues. Just when things were under control,
another storage server would arrive and the cycle would start again. In addition, the cost of each storage
server was adding up to “thousands of dollars a month” just to rent the equipment.
Ian and his team evaluated different solutions: buying an in-house SAN, hosting their equipment in a
data center, and using cloud storage. They decided on using cloud storage as it got them out of the
business of managing and maintaining their own storage servers. With that in mind, they defined key
criteria for the cloud storage service they would use.
Access – once an audio or video was uploaded, it needed to be readily available for
download or streaming by the subscribers.
Pay-as-you-go – they only wanted to pay for the storage they were using, without being
charged to delete files.
Affordable – the cost of the system had to be no more expensive than their current solution.
After evaluating all the leading the cloud storage solutions, they selected Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
Backblaze met all of the criteria and in Ian’s estimation B2 was 50% less expensive than their current
Backblaze B2 was
50% less expensive
than the current
SermonAudio used the B2 API to connect their in-house subscription system to B2 Cloud
Storage. The effort took only a couple of weeks to code and test. Now, they use B2 to store
the audio and video files, and they also use B2 as the distribution source for all subscriber
downloads and streams, currently 50 terabytes per month.
Free from having to constantly maintain their
in-house system, Ian and his team developed
a clever way to manage their download costs.
Through a combination of tools combined
with the B2 API, they were able to slice highly
requested sermons into 5 MB chunks and
cache them in B2. The chunks are delivered
on-demand to the subscribers. For example,
if someone only listened to the first few
minutes of a given sermon, only one or two
chunks are downloaded from B2 versus the
entire sermon. This saves SermonAudio on
download costs without impacting the
B2 is used by subscribers to
download and stream over 50
terabytes of data per month.
The next challenge for SermonAudio is video.
More and more churches are video taping
their services and want to share them with the
ever-growing SermonAudio community. Ian
and his team are busy implementing the B2
large file API to handle the larger video files
and are reviewing the byte-range request
option to augment their in-house caching
solution. Testing begins any day.
Like many organizations, SermonAudio was saddled with a local storage infrastructure that was
not only costly, but was beginning to impact their ability to grow. With Backblaze B2 they are
able to store and deliver their audio and video files in a timely fashion, scale the system as they
need, and still save money doing it. Their good problem now has a good solution.
Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage
Data storage: $0.005 per GB per month
Data download: $0.02 per GB
Data upload: free
Upload and store an unlimited amount of data.
Use lifecycle rules to keep only the versions you want.
Pay just for what you use, get what you need on demand.
Easily get data in and out
Web, CLI, API: Upload/download data via our website, command line, or APIs.
Verified partner integrations: CloudBerry, GoodSync, Rclone, Synology, QNAP, and many more.
Data by Mail: Use our Fireball to mail us data; get it back with Snapshots by Mail.
Keep costs down
The first 10 GB of monthly storage is free, the first 1 GB of downloads per day are free.
Lowest cost pricing: With no usage requirements, get the industry's lowest cost.
Caps & Alerts: Set usage caps and get text/email alerts when you approach them.
Secure, available, reliable
Secure: 2FA, HTTPS, and a variety of electronic and physical safeguards.
Uptime: 99.9% SLA.
Reliability: 99.999999% durability.
Experience: Backblaze currently manages over an Exabyte of customer storage.
See reports on data stored, uploaded, downloaded, and more.
Combine files into Snapshots to save for archiving or simply as needed.
Manage multiple users within a single overarching group.
Support options including email, chat, and 24x7 phone available.
No access delay: All data is online and available.
No retrieval fee.
No minimum file size.
No minimum storage duration fee: Keep files for a second or forever.