Major Television Broadcaster Turns to Acembly-Wasabi for Instant Access and High-speed Transfer of Archived Video Assets

The marketing arm of one of the world’s largest broadcasting companies needed a faster and more economical way to retrieve archived promotional footage, transcode it, and transfer it on demand to wherever it was needed around the globe. Achieving these goals wasn’t possible with the mix of disparate on-prem storage solutions and off-site tape library they had been relying on. They found what they were looking for, and so much more, with Acembly media management and Wasabi hot cloud storage.

Challenge: piecemeal systems hindered access

The group, which is responsible for global on-air promotions, estimates that it stores between 150 and 350 terabytes of video. At any time, they may be called upon to retrieve a promotional spot from its archives for playback anywhere in the world. So they needed a way to grab archived promotional video files, get them transcoded, and transfer them thousands of miles away on the spot.

Before considering cloud storage, the group had been struggling to manage a combination of different vendors’ storage solutions on premises and also used an off-site Quantum tape library for cold storage. The environment was complex to maintain and could no longer scale. Most problematic was that it didn’t provide the instant access to archives the marketers required. Once they retrieved files from cold storage, it could take as long as 35 hours to send a 40 GB video to another continent using traditional FTP and HTTP methods.

The marketing group was preparing to move its video assets into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud storage service for the scalability benefits afforded by the cloud, when its media management vendor, Acembly, recommended Wasabi hot cloud storage. At that point, the group’s plans took a dramatic turn.

“We didn’t want to move a petabyte of media into Glacier for archiving, only to spend the money it takes for migrating it out–a pretty penny–a year later.”

Solution: storage-agnostic management, instant retrieval, and low costs

Acembly was built to be storage agnostic, exposing costs and usage transparencies, while applying controls with notifications and automation for media workflows. Built with powerful transcoding and file transfer features, Acembly can be used as a web or desktop application that manages local and multi-cloud environments from a single, simple interface.

Acembly gives users an integrated view into their storage silos organization-wide, both on premises and in the cloud, and can run analytics to compare costs across the various storage services and pricing tiers.

Acembly had initially calculated the cost savings of moving some of the broadcast company’s video off-prem and into AWS Glacier, a less expensive AWS cloud service tier for cold storage. But Glacier didn’t meet the customer’s active archiving requirement. It would have taken the broadcast marketing group up to a day to get its files from Glacier, and there were significant retrieval fees associated with accessing them.

“We didn’t want to move a petabyte of media into Glacier for archiving, only to spend the money it takes for migrating it out–a pretty penny–a year later,” says the vice president of the broadcast marketing group.

The Acembly team continuously looks to integrate emerging storage and cloud technologies that bring higher value to the market. With a few quick tests, Acembly analytics calculated that Wasabi was far and away more economical and higher performing than AWS for the broadcast group, regardless of how often the files needed to be accessed. That’s because Wasabi has no tiered pricing.

With Wasabi, all storage is hot cloud storage, priced at 80 percent less than AWS’s premier S3 cloud storage service. On top of that, the group doesn’t have to pay hefty fees every time it retrieves its data, as it would with traditional cloud storage setups. Instead, the group pays a flat, monthly retrieval fee and can egress its files from storage as often as it likes. The flat-fee model was much friendlier to the broadcaster’s budgeting process than trying to anticipate how often it would need to access each piece of stored content and having to pay to do so each time. And Wasabi’s not just less expensive: it’s six times faster to retrieve video from Wasabi than from AWS’s premier S3 storage service.

“For a long-term active archive, it’s impossible to deny the value of Wasabi for a range of reasons, including the fast retrieval of valuable video assets, simple integration with Acembly’s ecosystem of services, and on-demand provisioning of Wasabi storage for any Acembly user.”

Results: Find, Transcode, Click, and Share

The broadcast group uses the Acembly software to view, find, and access the files it needs across the Wasabi storage environment. It also uses Acembly to quickly transcode files with the click of a dropdown menu that lets them choose from any video format. Then, the click of a “share” button sends the files on their way to anywhere in the world in less than a minute. There’s no more need to schedule a time for assets to be retrieved and become available to the group’s external clients.

Being able to locate and access all its stored video assets easily and with no hidden retrieval fees was a big win for the group.

“When we look at the cost of cloud storage, the contrast in price between Wasabi and other public cloud storage products is amazing,” says Patrick Kennedy, Acembly’s CEO. “For a long-term active archive, it’s impossible to deny the value of Wasabi for a range of reasons, including the fast retrieval of valuable video assets, simple integration with Acembly’s ecosystem of services, and on-demand provisioning of Wasabi storage for any Acembly user. This is a big win for businesses seeking better, faster, cheaper storage for their data and media management needs.”

Pricing and Availability

Acembly is offering media management bundles with Wasabi hot cloud storage as a monthly subscription. Entry level pricing starts at $699/month for 5 terabytes of storage which includes 2 terabytes of data download (egress), 2 terabytes of transcoding and 2 terabytes of high-speed file transfer for 10 users. For more product and service information visit the Acembly website.

The Acembly-Wasabi joint solution will be demonstrated in the Innovation Zone of the HPA Tech Retreat, February 20-22, Palm Desert CA (Wasabi booth A14). We hope to see you there.

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