Scott Salik had been in the video business long
enough that he knows that sooner or later footage
will become corrupt and a reliable back-up is crucial.
The amount of video media storage he needed was
growing faster than he could economically scale his
current storage solution. With video being an
instrumental part of the Youngevity marketing,
Scott’s team needed to continuously create multilanguage,
multi platform content to keep up with
business growth. Instead of focusing on content, he
was spending valuable resources on his aging overmatched
infrastructure. It was time to flip the script.
Founded in 1997, Youngevity is a
leading omni-direct lifestyle
company -- offering a hybrid of
the direct selling business model
that also offers e-commerce and
the power of social selling.
Scott Salik is the Vice President
of Global Content and manages
all the video content for all
platforms in all countries
A Little History
Early on, as Youngevity was just starting to use video in their marketing, finished video projects were small
and could easily fit on a single external hard drive. Carbon Copy Cloner was used to make two copies of
the original hard drives onto external hard drives. As protec-tion the 2 copies would then be stored in 2
separate locations off-site. The drives and media cards were labeled and their contents were recorded on
a spreadsheet to keep track of all the projects and raw footage. This was the Youngevity archive.
Over time, working storage outgrew individual systems and local storage servers were introduced into the
environment, with 24TB storage RAID servers being the current favorite. As storage space filled, another RAID was
added and these drives were backed up on removable hard drives. Eventually, the server room was out of rack
space for new equipment, while 4K video and increased complexity of each new video project seemed to require
more and more storage. Making matters worse, it was difficult to delete anything as some projects required
accessing assets as far back as the founding of Youngevity 20 years ago.
Actor, Author, Health Advocate
Challenge and Change
Video production for Youngevity has changed dramatically over the last few years. It’s now not unusual to have a
half-a-dozen cameras on a shoot, with a mix of resolutions and multiple recording formats. It’s commonplace for the
video editors and production staff to be scattered across the country or even the world. A given project
creates huge amounts of video data that needs to be at the fingertips of the editing workforce so it can be sewn
together with a myriad of other media assets, old and new, to create the desired product in multiple languages.
While storage management was the obvious problem at Youngevity, Scott instinctively knew that he also needed to
improve the workflow of how video content flowed through his far-flung operation.
axle Video: Media Asset Management
After looking at several options, Youngevity decided on using axle Video as their Media Asset
Management (MAM) system.Youngevity was able to quickly install the affordable axle software and then
just point it at the media files on their local storage servers they wanted to manage. Axle automatically
created low-bandwidth proxies that could be accessed from any web browser, captured file metadata
and simplified quick tagging. From there it was easy for project stakeholders, producers, and editors to
search, comment, mark, approve and annotate their media assets regardless of where they were located.
In addition, axle was able to take media files from many different file formats and make them uniform
from the editor’s point of view. For example, media files from 4K cameras, internal B-roll, YouTube
videos, Vimeo and more could easily be worked on interchangeably.
Extending Live Storage to the Cloud
Prior to starting this entire project, Youngevity compared the cost of adding more onsite storage to the cost of
storing data in the cloud. One critical requirement was the ability to be able to quickly access and download files
stored in the cloud from anywhere. By default, they did their initial calculations using Amazon S3 as their cloud
storage vendor, but the high cost of S3, made the entire project a losing proposition. Undaunted, Youngevity
continued to look for an affordable cloud storage solution – they found Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
B2 met all the performance metrics Youngevity required, but was nearly 75% less expensive versus S3 and the other
leading cloud storage providers. In addition, B2 was integrated with many of the leading MAM providers, including
Youngevity could ingest daily content into axle Video, tag it, and then move unneeded footage over the B2.
Throughout the project, work-in-progress versions, as well as other extraneous files could be copied to B2 as well. At
any time, whether they were working locally or remotely, editors could easily use axle Video to quickly retrieve any
file they needed regardless if where it was stored: locally or in the B2 cloud. By using B2 in their workflow, they were
able to store more data without having to purchase, install, and manage additional local storage.
Cloud Storage as an Archive
The final phase of the project was to upgrade their current archive of external hard drives to something
more durable and easier to access – B2 was the answer. First, they had to economically get the data from
the “archive” to B2. For that, Youngevity used the Backblaze B2 Fireball data transfer service to easily
move over 70 terabytes of archived media files to B2. It worked like this:
Backblaze shipped a B2 Fireball to Youngevity.
Youngevity copied the files from the external hard drives (the archive) to a local workstation
then uploaded up to 40 terabytes of files to the B2 Fireball.
Youngevity shipped the B2 Fireball back to Backblaze where the data was downloaded into
Youngevity’s B2 account.
Once the data is in the B2 bucket it is was ready to be accessed and downloaded as needed. Axle's built in archive
function seamlessly integrates with B2, making reliable 1 click archiving possible and placing years of video media at
the fingertips of the Youngevity editors. In addition, Youngevity now has the ability to handle outside requests for the
“archived” media files. Each file stored in B2 has a unique friendly URL that allows the URL user to download the
specified file. With B2 and axle Video, Youngevity’s old closet dwelling media archive was now a readily available
editorial resource and also a secure cloud-based archive.
As Youngevity becomes familiar with their new found capabilities, one idea they are considering is using the B2
Fireball service to collect data at various recording events. Video would be stored on the B2 Fireball on site and
then sent to Backblaze to be downloaded to the Youngevity account. Once downloaded, files can be indexed by
axle Video and be available to the project editors regardless of where they are working.
Today, Scott and his team have a flexible, manageable workflow for their video assets. Scott believes that cloud
storage, specifically Backblaze B2, will be a key technology for Youngevity for years to come. For Youngevity, B2
not only protects 20+ years worth of media assets, it is the data backbone of their media asset management system.
The most important consequence of using B2 is that Scott is spending less budget on his infrastructure and less time
worrying about losing assets. That leaves Scott and his team more time to spend creating and delivering innovative
and engaging video content that will help drive Youngevity’s global growth.