Backblaze B2 met all the performance metrics Youngevity required, and it would save them nearly 75% in cost versus Amazon S3 and the other leading cloud storage providers.
Youngevity’s content production team saved all of their projects to external hard drives, then copied those onto external drives stored off-site. As their video files grew and their content production staff expanded globally, the lack of a functional content archive made it difficult to find media files, which negatively impacted their workflows.
Scott Salik, Vice President of Global Content, chose axle.ai as their media asset management (MAM) system. He chose Backblaze B2 as economical cloud storage that fully integrates with axle.ai. Salik and his team quickly and easily moved the media files saved on their external drives to B2 Cloud Storage using a Backblaze Fireball ingest tool.
With axle.ai, content production staff can search, comment, mark, approve, and annotate their media assets regardless of where they are located. All of Youngevity’s 20+ years of content is archived and readily accessible for production staff from anywhere in the world on Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
All images provided by Youngevity.
Founded in 1997, Youngevity is a direct selling company focused on the health & wellness space. Beyond its extensive product portfolio, the company is proudly different in espousing a mission-based business model that enables individuals to sell Youngevity products directly in order to improve their own financial lives while helping others in their communities.
Scott Salik, Vice President of Global Content at Youngevity, had been in the video business long enough to know that sooner or later footage will be corrupted, making a reliable backup crucial for any growing business’ content marketing plan. But the amount of storage he needed was growing faster than he could economically scale his legacy solution.
With video being an instrumental part of Youngevity marketing, Salik’s team needed to continuously create multi-language, multi-platform content to keep up with business growth. And yet, instead of focusing on content, he was spending valuable resources on his aging, overmatched infrastructure. It was time to develop a new gameplan.
Unproductive Storage Management
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. Youngevity used Carbon Copy Cloner to make two copies of the original hard drive data onto two external hard drives. As protection, the two copies would then be stored in two 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 producers’ systems, so local storage servers were introduced into the environment with 24 TB RAID servers being the solution of choice. As storage space filled, they added another RAID and backed it up on removable hard drives. Eventually though, the server room ran out of rack space for new equipment, right when 4K video and increasing production complexity were driving huge increases in file sizes. 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 earlier.
Video production for Youngevity is changing dramatically throughout the last few years. It is now not unusual to have a half of a dozen cameras on a shoot with a mix of resolutions and multiple recording formats. It is 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, Salik instinctively knew that he also needed to improve the workflow of how video content moved through his far flung operation.
New and Improved Workflow
After looking at several options, Youngevity decided on using axle.ai as their MAM system. Youngevity was able to quickly install the affordable axle.ai software and then just point it at the media files on their local storage servers that they wanted to manage. axle.ai 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.ai 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 on-site storage to the cost of storing data in the cloud. One critical requirement was the ability to quickly access and download files stored in the cloud from anywhere. They did their initial calculations using Amazon S3, but the high cost made the entire project a losing proposition. Undaunted, Youngevity continued to look for an affordable cloud storage solution, and they found Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
Backblaze B2 met all the performance metrics Youngevity required, and it would save them nearly 75% in cost versus Amazon S3 and the other leading cloud storage providers. In addition, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage was integrated with many of the leading MAM providers, including axle.ai.
Youngevity could ingest daily content into axle.ai, tag it, and then move unneeded footage over to Backblaze B2. Throughout the project, work-in-progress versions, as well as other extraneous files, also could be copied to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. At any time, whether they were working locally or remotely, editors could easily use axle.ai to quickly retrieve any file they needed regardless of where it was stored: locally or in Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. By using Backblaze 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—Backblaze B2 was the answer. First, they had to economically get the data from their existing storage format to B2 Cloud Storage. For that, Youngevity used the Backblaze Fireball rapid ingest tool to easily move 70 TB of archived media files to Backblaze B2.
It worked like this: Backblaze shipped a Fireball to Youngevity. Youngevity copied the files from the external hard drives to a local workstation, then uploaded an initial 40 TB of files to the Fireball. Youngevity shipped the Fireball back to Backblaze where the data was downloaded into Youngevity’s Backblaze B2 account. They then repeated the process with their remaining 30 TB.
Once the data was in the B2 Cloud Storage bucket, it was ready to be accessed and downloaded as needed. axle.ai's built-in archive function seamlessly integrated with Backblaze B2, making reliable one-click archiving possible and placing years of video media at the fingertips of the Youngevity editors. In addition, Youngevity now had the ability to handle outside requests for the archived media files. Each file stored in B2 Cloud Storage had a unique, friendly URL that allowed the URL user to download the specified file. With B2 Cloud Storage and axle.ai, Youngevity’s old, closet-dwelling media archive became a readily available editorial resource and also a secure, cloud-based archive.
Youngevity used the Backblaze Fireball data transfer service to easily move 70 TB of archived media files to Backblaze B2.
A Clear Future with a Reliable Content Archive
Salik believes that cloud storage, specifically Backblaze B2, will be a key technology for Youngevity for years to come.
Today, Salik and his team have a flexible, manageable workflow for their video assets. Salik believes that cloud storage, specifically Backblaze B2, will be a key technology for Youngevity for years to come. For Youngevity, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage not only protects 20+ years worth of media assets, it is the data backbone of their MAM system. The most important outcome of using Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is that Salik is spending less budget on his infrastructure and less time worrying about losing assets. That leaves Salik and his team more time to spend creating and delivering innovative and engaging video content that will help drive Youngevity’s global growth.
axle.ai is radically simple media management software that makes all your video, audio, photo, and graphics files instantly accessible to find, share, review, comment, and seamlessly archive. With automatic analysis, tagging, and searchable speed recognition, enjoy enormous time savings while getting far greater value from your media.
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.