Air Bud faced an immediate decision regarding its secondary storage infrastructure when the existing legacy environment completely gave out. The company needed to identify a new solution rather quickly, and apart from the pressure to evaluate options in a short amount of time, the IT team needed to evangelize the importance of redundancy and data recovery to its executives.
As imagined for a film production company, the studio has millions of files, and in the last several years the company has doubled the daily number of files generated. With the need to archive all data indefinitely, the IT team mandated a solution to handle millions and millions of files, with the ability to do file level recovery and seamlessly archive to the cloud. While the IT team had been storing data in the cloud, the process was completely manual and took an excessive amount of time to archive data, and restoring from the cloud was even more tedious.
The legacy environment had many pain points and challenges, and the IT team often struggled with issues such as failed tapes, physical restraints to storing tapes, and difficulty retrieving assets from tape. The process of managing tape drives took an excessive amount of time and resources, as well as cost. In addition, the time required to recover files was so excessive the studio often had to push deadlines or adjust plans if files were not recovered quickly.
Air Bud looked for the following capabilities in a secondary storage solution:
- Cost-effective, next-generation solution for simplified backup and recovery
- Ability to manage millions of files with secure data protection
- Reduce file recovery times to meet film production deadlines
- Seamless integration with leading public cloud storage providers
Air Bud began evaluations to choose a new solution, including replacing its legacy systems with a different tape provider, as well as considering modern hyperconverged solutions like Cohesity. The company has just over one petabyte of data and more than 80 servers in its Vancouver datacenter. With the requirement to store all data for an indefinite time period, even a basic legacy infrastructure replacement was going to be very expensive and cost prohibitive. In the end, Cohesity’s hyperconverged solution with a single web-scale platform was the superior option for the company.
“Many solutions we looked at had cumbersome roundabout ways of managing the secondary data environment,” explains Clark. “For a film production environment, it was key to quickly and easily retrieve and restore files, and to seamlessly archive to the cloud. In our business, if we cannot restore data for our production teams fast enough, then that may mean we miss production deadlines or our film isn’t launched on Netflix when we want. The Cohesity solution was key to our bottom line.”
Air Bud deployed Cohesity C2600 nodes and uses Cohesity DataProtect and DataPlatform Cloud Edition for archiving data to AWS Glacier.
We have seen tremendous transformation across all of our business since implementing Cohesity. Here at Air Bud Entertainment, not having a next-gen secondary data solution was costing us time and money, and even sometimes affecting our film production schedules. Cohesity has provided the simplicity and speed for data backup and recovery that we needed across our entire IT environment. The entire solution is just quick and easy.”
– Tyson Clark, Technical Director, Air Bud Entertainment
After only four months from evaluation to implementation, Air Bud deployed Cohesity for next-generation backup and recovery. More than 90TB of data is backed up to Cohesity, and the IT team easily uses Cohesity to move additional data to AWS Glacier for archival storage. Having a hyperconverged solution has transformed many business operations for the film company.
Air Bud has realized significant time savings with Cohesity. If an employee needed a 30-second movie clip from five years ago, often an IT associate would have to search up to 40 tapes simply to find the clip, and then restoring it would take even more time. The Google-like search capabilities and features in Cohesity have been instrumental in creating efficiency for the company. To retrieve a file from AWS cloud storage, Air Bud had to reference a list of every file, initiate a command line to request the files, and then begin the download. Finding a file was so involved that it was easy to then forget to download a file after the request, and the process would have to start all over. With Cohesity, restoring from the cloud is greatly simplified and takes far fewer resources and is completed within a day.
The entire backup process has been greatly simplified, with tremendous time and cost savings. Tape maintenance and storage space costs, such as $100 fees simply to deliver a tape from storage, were eliminated with Cohesity. In its previous environment, Air Bud was unable to restore files while a backup was in process, and each backup took over an entire week. Cohesity transformed operations across the entire company, and the majority of backups are completed within 30 minutes, with the ability to backup and restore at the same time, often with multiple backups running at once.
Additional significant cost savings have been achieved during the filming process. With the ability to do fast backups with Cohesity, data from a full camera card is now downloaded easily, and put back into production. This process took an entire day previously, and now is just under two hours, allowing film crews to use fewer camera cards, with a savings of up to $15K per shoot.
Air Bud realized many benefits with Cohesity including:
- Single web-scale platform for simplified and fast backup and recovery
- Native integration with AWS for seamless cloud storage
- Significant cost savings for IT and film production crews
- Intuitive interface and top-notch support allow for easy deployment, helpful monitoring and reporting, as well as easy transition for upgrades and adding nodes