TBWA Australia Adds Quantum StorNext to Increase Efficiency of Collaborative Workflow
TBWA Australia, one of the country’s top advertising and creative agencies, is using a Quantum storage solution powered by StorNext to streamline content sharing, keep content protected and available, and reduce administrative overhead by hundreds of hours a year.
“With growing demand for digital media production outpacing our existing storage systems, we needed a solution that could ensure data protection while saving staff time,” says Jaymz Hingert, regional IT manager at TBWA Australia. “Of the solutions we evaluated, only StorNext was capable of addressing our data protection and productivity requirements; every other solution would have demanded a great deal of manual intervention. And we discovered Quantum had a StorNext solution designed for smaller offices.”
Pushing the Limits of Direct-Attached and RAID Storage
Prior to deploying the Quantum platform, video editors at TBWA Australia worked on servers with direct-attached disk storage, a model that ultimately compromised both workflow efficiency and the security of valuable content. To bring content from existing assets into current work, team members had to find the disk, mount it, locate the right files, and then find enough space to restore the appropriate content back onto the local disk where they were building the new project. In addition to bogging down editing processes, this model complicated collaboration because editors could only share files by moving RAID arrays between servers or using flash drives, whether transferring the files across the office or between offices in different cities.
TBWA Australia’s rapidly increasing workload — and corresponding increase in the volume of high-resolution files requiring storage — put further pressure on storage. Teams worked on RAID arrays until they were full and then stored them on-site with rarely enough time for a real backup. Preservation of this growing store of client content was a significant concern because moving data off-site for disaster recovery (DR) protection simply wasn’t possible.
Automating Content Protection and Streamlining Collaborative Workflow
By supporting a fully automated end-to-end workflow, the Quantum solution has made it easy for TBWA Australia to improve collaboration among editors, protect content and leverage direct access to archived data to speed reuse of existing assets. Supplied and integrated by Quantum partner CompNow, the StorNext-powered system provides a dedicated SAN fabric, 48TB of high-performance disk, a Quantum Xcellis Workflow Director to manage data across different tiers, a StorNext AEL500 LTO archive and Quantum Q-Cloud off-site cloud storage.
Within the agency’s new workflow, StorNext Storage Manager automatically creates a tape copy of any file saved on Xcellis shared storage. Stored in the StorNext AEL archive, this tape copy serves as a backup while work is in progress. When a project is complete, StorNext then removes the content from shared storage, while the tape copy remains accessible from that storage as an active archive, minimizing the disk space required on the shared storage. The IT team also has established a policy so that whenever StorNext makes a copy to the tape archive, it creates and sends a copy to Q-Cloud. As a result, TBWA Australia can use the tape for normal recovery and archive access while maintaining DR protection.
“Q-Cloud provides automated, indefinite DR protection,” adds Hingert. “If the building burns down tomorrow, we’ve got a copy of everything — current projects and old material — safely on Q-Cloud.”
Collaboration across TBWA Australia is also much easier and more efficient because editors are able to see everything, no matter where it’s stored, through the same file system. LAN connections facilitate transmission of files between offices for faster, simpler sharing of content across the agency.
“StorNext has helped our creative team to realize an immense gain in productivity,” says Hingert, “and we all sleep much better knowing that all our data is safe, both on tape and in the cloud.”