SermonAudio

Achieving Data Storage Savings While Serving Perfect Subscriber Experiences

Backblaze Download IconDownload Case Study
1.9M
Files
Served
50
TB Streamed
Monthly
50%
Cost
Saving

With Backblaze B2, SermonAudio is able to store and deliver their audio and video files in a timely fashion, scale the system as they need, and save money doing it.

Situation

Content powerhouse SermonAudio was adding thousands of files to their audio hosting service every week, and subscriber downloads were increasing, too. But their development team was so overwhelmed by maintenance needs for the storage and delivery infrastructure that they had no time to develop new features and enhancements for customers.

Solution

Ian Wagner, Senior Developer at SermonAudio, used Backblaze B2 Native APIs to connect their in-house subscription system to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. He and his team also stored SermonAudio’s audio and video files in B2 Cloud Storage and set it up as the distribution source for all subscriber downloads and streams.

Result

Backblaze B2 seamlessly handles over 50 TB of data downloaded and streamed by SermonAudio’s subscribers per month. Wagner has a system that saves on download costs without impacting SermonAudio’s subscriber experience. Now, the development team can return to innovating, rather than troubleshooting.

mic on a table
sermonaudio.com logo

True to its name, SermonAudio is the largest and most trusted library of audio sermons from Christian churches and ministries. It is also quickly growing its video library. The organization serves up more than 1.9 million free, on-demand sermons to institutions and individuals around the world.

Cloud Storage Solution for a Growing Content Archive
mixing studio

SermonAudio Had the Proverbial ‘Good’ Problem

SermonAudio had a ‘good’ problem: their business was growing too quickly. Their team was adding thousands of new sermons to their audio hosting service each week. And more and more subscribers were downloading these audio files, as well. What’s not to like?

At the time, their team uploaded and stored audio and video files on local storage servers and delivered each one as requested to subscribers via download or streaming services. As the amount of uploaded content grew, SermonAudio rented more storage servers to add to their infrastructure.

Overwhelmed Storage and Delivery Infrastructure

After evaluating all of the leading cloud storage solutions, they selected Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage because it met all of their key criteria, and Wagner estimated that it would result in 50% cost saving compared to their current in-house set up.

working on a mixing board

The problem was that their storage and delivery infrastructure was struggling to keep up. Each day, thousands of churches and ministries were uploading their sermons to the SermonAudio website to be shared with the community of subscribers. Over time, the system became nearly impossible to manage. Instead of developing new features and enhancements for the subscribers, the development staff was pressed into maintenance mode.

Just when things seemed to be under control, another storage server would arrive and the cycle would start again. In addition, the cost of each server was adding up to thousands of dollars a month just for rental. The cost structure was ballooning with each passing day. Senior Developer, Ian Wagner, and his team were overwhelmed, and knew if they couldn’t return their focus to customers, there would be trouble. They decided it was time to get ahead of the problem and find a storage solution that could grow along with SermonAudio.

Wagner and his team evaluated different solutions: buying an in-house SAN, hosting their equipment in a data center, or using cloud storage. They decided on using cloud storage to get out of the business of managing and maintaining their own storage servers. With that in mind, they defined key criteria for the service they would use.

The perfect solution for SermonAudio needed to be readily accessible, allow them to pay only for the storage they were using, and be affordable. Once an audio or video file was uploaded, it needed to be available for download or streaming by the subscribers. Also, they were looking for a pay-as-you-go plan which would let them pay only for the storage they were using without being charged to delete files. Finally, the cost of the system had to be no more expensive than their current solution. After evaluating all of the leading cloud storage solutions, they selected Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage because it met all of their key criteria, and Wagner estimated that it would result in 50% cost saving compared to their current in-house set up.

Implementing the Perfect Cloud Storage Solution

SermonAudio used Backblaze B2 Native APIs 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 Backblaze B2 to store the audio and video files, and they also use it as the distribution source for all subscriber downloads and streams. In fact, Backblaze B2 handles over 50 TB of data downloaded and streamed by SermonAudio’s subscribers each month.

Free from having to constantly maintain their in-house system, Wagner and his team developed a clever way to manage their download costs. Through a combination of tools integrated with Backblaze B2 Native APIs, they were able to slice highly requested sermons into 5 MB chunks and cache them in Backblaze B2. These chunks are then 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, versus the entire sermon. This saves SermonAudio on download costs without adversely impacting the subscriber experience.

Using Backblaze B2 Native APIs saves SermonAudio on download costs without adversely impacting the subscriber experience.

No More Maintenance; More Time to Develop New Features

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.

light reflections

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.