Yoga International

Yoga Platform Finds Zen By Abandoning Stacks of Hard Drives

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100s
External Drives
Migrated to Cloud
16
TB New Content
Added Weekly
300k+
Customer-Members
Served

In just a few clicks, CTO John Daskovsky located the video file from six months ago. Another click and the restore process started. He smiled and thought, “This is so much easier than it was before.”

Situation

Yoga and meditation content platform Yoga International initially used a two-drive archive storage system. This was good early-on, but quickly led to hundreds of pairs of external hard drives. Editors found it increasingly difficult to find specific drives as needed among the shelves and stacks. Some drives also started to crash or became unreadable over time.

Solution

The company CTO recognized they needed a more scalable, reliable solution. Seeing value in a hybrid cloud approach, he purchased a QNAP NAS for more robust on-premise storage. He tied it to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage for off-premise archiving. He used a Backblaze Fireball rapid ingest tool to speed the loading of content into his Backblaze B2 account.

Result

In short order, the team set up the Hybrid Backup Sync plugin to ensure files on the platform’s NAS would automatically store to Backblaze B2. Editors could then quickly access current project content locally on their QNAP system, and quickly access older project content in Backblaze B2. Storage is no longer a stressor when every file is just a few clicks away.

Yoga International training video
Yoga International logo

Since 1991, the Himalayan Institute has been delivering exclusive content on yoga, meditation, and mindful living to subscribers around the world. The organization created Yoga International in 2015 as a separate, for-profit digital content creation and distribution company. CTO John Daskovsky joined the Himalayan Institute in 2007 and was part of the team that transitioned to and built out Yoga International. With equal parts passion for technology and healthfulness, he oversees the company’s website, data infrastructure, and related IT.

Yoga Platform Finds Zen By Abandoning Stacks of Hard Drives

In just a couple of clicks John Daskovsky 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 It had been archived over six months ago and now the digital master was needed by an editor to update the existing video with new content they had just received from the film crew.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. Daskovsky smiled, took a deep breath and thought, “This is so much easier than it was before.”

Daskovsky could see the storm on the horizon; he needed to upgrade his digital storage capabilities before things got out of control.

editing Yoga International video

Patience, Persistence, and Luck

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 16 TB of digital content a week.

In the not-so-distant past, recovering a file from the Yoga International digital archive was an exercise in patience, persistence, and sometimes luck. The story starts in 2013 when Daskovsky, the company’s CTO, helped the organization transition all their content to digital media files. 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.

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 16 TB 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 shelves and stacks of hard drives they owned was time consuming, yet necessary when editors needed to access saved content. Second, it was not unusual for an external drive to be unreadable, especially after sitting on a shelf in a closet for years.

Yoga International class

The Recovery Ninja

Disk crashes happened often enough that Daskovsky had to become a DiskWarrior Ninja to recover files from troublesome external drives. More than once, when even his own skills proved insufficient, he had to call upon a local data recovery company to salvage the bits and bytes off of a failed drive.

Daskovsky could see the storm on the horizon; he needed to upgrade his digital storage capabilities before things got out of control.

Data storage that was once a stressor is now an enabler to an organization stretching to reach new heights.

Moving to an Easy, Accessible Archive

The first step Daskovsky took to gain control over his digital media storage was to purchase a QNAP NAS, model: TVS-1282T3, and fill it with 10 TB hard drives. The 10 Gbe 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 to the QNAP system, the media files were readily available to his editors to use in their Adobe Premiere environments.

Now that the QNAP NAS was providing fast and reliable local storage, Daskovsky’s next goal was to move the files in his existing content library—those hundreds of external hard drives—to the cloud.

Daskovsky selected Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage to safely and seamlessly store his growing data library. He also appreciated that he could use the Backblaze Fireball rapid ingest tool to move up to 70 TB of data to the cloud during each transfer. Daskovsky was able to connect his external drives directly to the Fireball to make the transfer process easy. Once the Fireball was full, he shipped it back to Backblaze where the data was securely loaded into his Backblaze B2 account. This enabled him to get everything safely archived to the cloud within a few weeks—meeting the stretch goal he had set for the project—without taking up all of Yoga International’s internet bandwidth.

stretching to Yoga International class

Stretching to Reach New Heights

The final step for Daskovsky 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 system were automatically archived in Backblaze B2. This gave him, and more importantly Yoga International’s editors, quick access to a local copy of all the current projects on-site and quick access to an archive of older project content in Backblaze B2. In either case, any and every file needed is now readily available, just a few clicks away.

Looking ahead, Daskovsky sees no end in sight for the growth of digital media being created by Yoga International. With QNAP and Backblaze B2 in place, he now has a scalable system for storing content that is cost effective and easy to use.

Data storage that was once a stressor is now an enabler to an organization stretching to reach new heights.

Of course, the CTO’s DiskWarrior skills are now rapidly fading, but that’s just fine with him.

The CTO’s DiskWarrior skills are now rapidly fading, but that’s just fine with him.

sitting watching a sunset
QNAP logo

QNAP began in 2004 and offers Network-Attached Storage (NAS) and video surveillance products. These products help users to store files, photos, videos, and music. Users can also share, secure, and remotely access their files.

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