In today’s fast-paced media landscape, efficient collaboration is essential for success. With teams managing large files between geographically dispersed team members on tight deadlines, the need for a robust, flexible storage solution has never been greater. Hybrid cloud storage addresses this need by combining the power of on-premises solutions, like network attached storage (NAS) devices, with cloud storage, creating an ideal setup for enhanced productivity and seamless collaboration.
In this post, I’ll walk you through some approaches for optimizing media workflows using hybrid cloud storage. You’ll learn how to unlock fast local storage, easy file sharing and collaboration, and enhanced data protection, which are all essential components for success in the media and entertainment industry.
Plus, we’ll share specific media workflows for different types of collaboration scenarios and practical steps you can take to get started with your hybrid cloud approach today using Synology NAS and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage as an example.
Common Challenges for Media Teams
Before we explore a hybrid cloud approach that combines NAS devices with cloud storage, let’s first take a look at some of the common challenges media teams face, including:
- Data storage and accessibility.
- File sharing and collaboration.
- Security and data protection.
Data Storage and Accessibility Challenges
It’s no secret that recent data growth has been exponential. This is no different for media files. Cameras are creating larger and higher-quality files. There are more projects to shoot and edit. And editors and team members require immediate access to those files due to the high demand for fresh content.
File Sharing and Collaboration Challenges
Back in 2020, everyone was forced to go remote and the workforce changed. Now you can hire freelancers and vendors from around the world. This means you have to share assets with external contributors, and, in the past, this used to exclusively mean shipping hard drives to said vendors (and sometimes, it can still be necessary). Different contractors, freelancers, and consultants may use different tools and different processes.
Security and Data Protection Challenges
Data security poses unique challenges for media teams due to the industry’s specific requirements including managing large files, storing data on physical devices, and working with remote teams and external stakeholders. The need to protect sensitive information and intellectual property from data breaches, accidental deletions, and device failures adds complexity to data protection initiatives.
How Does Hybrid Cloud Help Media Teams Solve These Challenges?
As a quick reminder, the hybrid cloud refers to a computing environment that combines the use of both private cloud and public cloud resources to achieve the benefits of each platform.
A private cloud is a dedicated and secure cloud infrastructure designed exclusively for a single tenant or organization. It offers a wide range of benefits to users. With NAS devices, organizations can enjoy centralized storage, ensuring all files are accessible in one location. Additionally, it offers fast local access to files that helps streamline workflows and productivity.
The public cloud, on the other hand, is a shared cloud infrastructure provided by cloud storage companies like Backblaze. With public cloud, organizations can scale their infrastructure up or down as needed without the up-front capital costs associated with traditional on-premises infrastructure.
By combining cloud storage with NAS, media teams can create a hybrid cloud solution that offers the best of both worlds. Private local storage on NAS offers fast access to large files while the public cloud securely stores those files in remote servers and keeps them accessible at a reasonable price.
How To Get Started With A Hybrid Cloud Approach
If you’d like to get started with a hybrid cloud approach, using NAS on-premises is an easy entry point. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right NAS device for your data storage and collaboration needs.
- Storage Requirements: Begin by assessing your data volume and growth rate to determine how much storage capacity you’ll need. This will help you decide the number of drives required to support your data growth.
- Compute Power: Evaluate the NAS device’s processor, controller, and memory to ensure it can handle the workloads and deliver the performance you need for running applications and accessing and sharing files.
- Network Infrastructure: Consider the network bandwidth, speed, and port support offered by the NAS device. A device with faster network connectivity will improve data transfer rates, while multiple ports can facilitate the connection of additional devices.
- Data Collaboration: Determine your requirements for remote access, sync direction, and security needs. Look for a NAS device that provides secure remote access options, and supports the desired sync direction (one-way or two-way) while offering data protection features such as encryption, user authentication, and access controls.
By carefully reviewing these factors, you can choose a NAS device that meets your storage, performance, network, and security needs. If you’d like additional help choosing the right NAS device, download our complete NAS Buyer’s Guide.
Real-World Examples: Using Synology NAS + Backblaze B2
Let’s explore a hybrid cloud use case. To discuss specific media workflows for different types of collaboration scenarios, we’re going to use Synology NAS as the private cloud and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage as the public cloud as examples in the rest of this article.
Scenario 1: Working With Distributed Teams Across Locations
In the first scenario, let’s assume your organization has two different locations with your teams working from both locations. Your video editors work in one office, while a separate editorial team responsible for final reviews operates from the second location.
To facilitate seamless collaboration, you can install a Synology NAS device at both locations and connect them to Backblaze B2 using Cloud Sync.
Here’s a video guide that demonstrates how to synchronize Synology NAS to Backblaze B2 using cloud sync.
This hybrid cloud setup allows for fast local access, easy file sharing, and real-time synchronization between the two locations, ensuring that any changes made at one site are automatically updated in the cloud and mirrored at the other site.
Scenario 2: Working With Distributed Teams
In this second scenario, you have teams working on your projects from different regions, let’s say the U.S. and Europe. Downloading files from different parts of the world can be time-consuming, causing delays and impacting productivity. To solve this, you can use Backblaze B2 Cloud Replication. This allows you to replicate your data automatically from your source bucket (U.S. West) to a destination bucket (EU Central).
Source files can be uploaded into B2 Bucket on the U.S. West region. These files are then replicated to the EU Central region so you can move data closer to your team in Europe for faster access. Vendors and teams in Europe can configure their Synology NAS devices with Cloud Sync to automatically sync with the replicated files in the EU Central data center.
Scenario 3: Working With Freelancers
In both scenarios discussed so far, file exchanges can occur between different companies or within the same company across various regions of the world. However, not everyone has access to these resources. Freelancers make up a huge part of the media and entertainment workforce, and not every one of them has a Synology NAS device.
But that’s not a problem!
In this case, you can still use a Synology NAS to upload your project files and sync them with your Backblaze B2 Bucket. Instead of syncing to another NAS or replicating to a different region, freelancers can access the files in your Backblaze B2 Bucket using third-party tools like Cyberduck.
This approach allows anyone with an internet connection and the appropriate access keys to access the required files instantly without needing to have a NAS device.
Scenario 4: Working With Vendors
In this final scenario, which is similar to the first one, you collaborate with another company or vendor located elsewhere instead of working with your internal team. Both parties can install their own Synology NAS device at their respective locations, ensuring centralized access, fast local access, and easy file sharing and collaboration.
The two NAS devices are then connected to a Backblaze B2 Bucket using Cloud Sync, allowing for seamless synchronization of files and data between the two companies.
Whenever changes are made to files by one company, the updated files are automatically synced to Backblaze B2 and subsequently to the other company’s Synology NAS device. This real-time synchronization ensures that both companies have access to the latest versions of the files, allowing for increased efficiency and collaboration.
Making Hybrid Cloud Work for Your Production Team
As you can see, there are several different ways you can move your media files around and get them in the hands of the right people—be it another one of your offices, vendors, or freelancers. The four scenarios discussed here are just a few common media workflows. You may or may not have the same scenario. Regardless, a hybrid cloud approach provides you with all the tools you need to customize your workflow to best suit your media collaboration needs.
Ready to Get Started?
With Backblaze B2’s pre-built integration with Synology NAS’s Cloud Sync, getting started with your hybrid cloud approach using Synology NAS and Backblaze B2 is simple and straightforward. Check out our guide, or watch the video below as Pat Patterson, Backblaze Chief Technical Evangelist, walks through how to get your Synology NAS data into B2 Cloud Storage in under 10 minutes using Cloud Sync.
Your first step is creating an account.
In addition to Synology NAS, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage integrates seamlessly with other NAS devices such as Asustor, Ctera, Dell Isilon, iOsafe, Morro Data, OWC JellyFish, Panzura, QNAP, TrueNAS, and more. Regardless of which NAS device you use, getting started with a hybrid cloud approach is simple and straightforward with Backblaze B2.
Hybrid Cloud Unlocks Collaboration and Productivity for Media Teams
Easing collaboration and boosting productivity in today’s fast-paced digital landscape is vital for media teams. By leveraging a hybrid cloud storage solution that combines the power of NAS devices with the flexibility of cloud storage, organizations can create an efficient, scalable, and secure solution for managing their media assets.
This approach not only addresses storage capacity and accessibility challenges, but also simplifies file sharing and collaboration, while ensuring data protection and security. Whether you’re working within your team from different locations, collaborating with external partners, or freelancers, a hybrid cloud solution offers a seamless, cost-effective, and high-performance solution to optimize your media workflows and enhance productivity in the ever-evolving world of media and entertainment.
We’d love to hear about other different media workflow scenarios. Share with us how you collaborate with your media teams and vendors in the comments below.