In just a couple of clicks John located the video file.
It had been archived over six months ago and now the digital
master was needed by an editor to update the existing video
with new content they had just received from the film crew.
Another click and the restore process started, and within a
few seconds the video file was being copied to the editor’s workstation.
John smiled, took a deep breath and thought, “this is so much easier than it was before.”
Patience, Persistence, and Luck
In the not so distant past recovering a file from the digital archive was an exercise in patience, persistence,
and sometimes luck. The story starts in 2013 when John helped the organization transition all their content
to digital media files.
Since 1991, the Himalayan Institute
has been delivering exclusive
content on yoga, meditation, and
mindful living to their subscribers.
In 2015, Yoga International was
created as a separate, for profit,
organization to be the digital
content creation and distribution
channel for the Himalayan Institute.
John Daskovsky joined the
Himalayan Institute in 2007 and
was part of the team that
transitioned to Yoga International.
He is now the chief technology
officer in charge of the company’s
website, data infrastructure, and
Back then the work-flow was: shoot the video, copy the files from the cameras to two
external hard drives, and then copy the files to local workstations for editing. As a project progressed,
work-in-process materials and eventually the final version were also copied to the pair of external hard
drives. The content on each of the drive pairs was cataloged, the external hard drives were saved as the
archive, and the drives were stored in the office.
Disk Recovery Ninja
The two-drive archive system worked fine initially, but didn’t scale well. Yoga International was filming
nearly every day and by 2018 they were generating nearly sixteen terabytes of digital content a week.
Over time they amassed hundreds of pairs of external hard drives, which created two problems. First,
finding a given hard drive from the stacks and stacks of hard drives they owned was time consuming.
Second, it was not unusual for an external drive to be unreadable, especially after sitting on a shelf in
a closet for a couple of years. Disk crashes happened often enough that John had to become a
DiskWarrior ninja to recover files from troublesome external drives. More than once, John had to use the
services of a local data recovery company to salvage the data off of a failed drive. John could see the
storm on the horizon; he needed to upgrade his digital storage capabilities before things got out of
QNAP: Smart Local Storage
The first step John took to gain control over his digital
media storage was to purchase a QNAP NAS, model:
TVS-1282T3, and fill it with 10 terabyte hard drives.
The 10Gbe network connections and on-the-fly H.264
transcoding were just what he needed to quickly ingest
the digital content from each shoot. Once stored on
the QNAP, the media files were readily available to his
editors to use in their Adobe Premier environments.
B2 Fireball: Rapid Archive Transfer
Now that the QNAP NAS was providing fast and reliable local storage, John’s next goal was to move the
files in his existing content library – the external hard drives – to the cloud. John selected Backblaze B2
Cloud Storage to store his data as he could use their B2 Fireball transfer service to move up to 70 terabytes
of data to the cloud each transfer. John received the B2 Fireball from Backblaze and was able to connect
the external drives directly to the Fireball to make the transfer process easy. Once the Fireball was full, he
shipped it back to Backblaze and they loaded the data into his B2 Cloud Storage Account. Within few
weeks the contents of his external hard drive archive were safely stored in the B2 cloud.
QNAP and B2 Cloud Storage working together
The final step for John was to set-up the Hybrid Backup Sync plugin on the QNAP device to point to his
Backblaze B2 account. Once this was done, the files on his QNAP were automatically stored in B2. This
gave him a local copy of all the current projects stored on-site on the QNAP and an archive of all his older
projects stored in B2. In either case, any file he needs is readily available and just a few clicks away.
Looking ahead, John sees no end in sight for the
growth of digital media being created by Yoga
International. With QNAP and Backblaze B2
Cloud Storage, John now has a scalable system
for storing content that is cost effective and easy
to use. Of course, his DiskWarrior skills are
rapidly fading, but that’s just fine with him.