Case Study: IQ Media Migrates Petabytes of Video to Wasabi
IQ Media is an innovative media analytics technology company that uses advanced A.I. image recognition and text detection to help brands better assess their marketing and public relations programs. Their intelligent platform enables companies to search real-time and historic TV programming, online news, and social media to track every time their brand is mentioned or their logo appears. Marketers can then correlate this data with their various media tactics, sponsored events, and PR initiatives, as well as to specific audience outcomes such as website traffic, social engagement, and purchase activity.
“This kind of intelligence requires a lot of data,” says Lakshmi Venkataswamy, co-founder and CTO of IQ Media. “We have captured, analyzed, and stored more than six years of television and news across the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of South America.” The company currently manages six petabytes (PB) of information and ingests another six terabytes (TB) of new programming daily. “We lost perspective on what we call “big” data a few years ago,” jokes Lakshmi.
The company quickly outgrew a variety of on-premises storage solutions. They started with a series of clustered Windows Storage Nodes, then moved to a NAS array with an expansion chassis. When they ran out of capacity, they switched to their current commercial third-party scale-out cloud and object storage platform. While the system enabled them to wring more life out of their aging hardware, even this model was not sustainable.
“Managing our own storage system adds a lot of complexity,” says Lakshmi, whose small IT team is responsible for managing the storage cluster across two data centers. “At the time, no other vendor could match the low cost per terabyte we got from our own in-house storage.” Now, faced with the prospect of buying more hardware in order to scale, Lakshmi was ready to take another look at the cloud.
“We want out of the storage business; it’s not core to what we do. If we can store our content for the same or less in the cloud, it’s worth pursuing.”
Lakshmi looked at each of the three leading cloud providers as well as Wasabi and performed a total cost of ownership analysis between each cloud service and their existing object-based on-prem system. To get to an equivalent cost per TB per month, Lakshmi added his total 5-year on-premises costs—including capital equipment, maintenance, third party software licenses, leasing of data center space, power, and personnel—and divided by 60 months. Wasabi was the only cloud provider whose prices came in lower than what they were currently paying.
“Wasabi was the clear winner when it came to price,” says Lakshmi, “and I like the fact that storage is all they do.” It was important to IQ Media that they partner with cloud storage experts.
“Moving from capex to opex is not just a cost issue for us. Migrating to Wasabi allows us to focus on what we do best.”
Migrating the massive volume of content has not been a problem, either. To accelerate the process, IQ Media opted for a 1 Gbps Wasabi Direct Connect connection to Wasabi’s east coast data center. They were also one of the first companies to leverage the new Wasabi Ball Transfer Appliance for data migration acceleration. “We’re able to move approximately 400 TB a week with Wasabi Ball,” says Lakshmi. “Our goal is to have 4 PB in Wasabi by the end of the year.”
IQ Media is well on their way to reaching their goal of simplifying management and lowering the cost of their storage. “With Wasabi storing the majority of our video, we’ll be able to drop down to one data center,” says Lakshmi.
“Between lowering our data center footprint, eliminating maintenance fees, and freeing up our personnel, switching to Wasabi will easily save us $100K a year.”
IQ Media still stores their most recent content in their internal cloud, roughly 3 PB in each datacenter. As their hardware ages out, they plan to move that content to Wasabi as well. “We’re projecting about 2.1 PB of growth a year,” says Lakshmi. “Between the archives we’re migrating, the content we’ll be moving as our hardware reaches end of life, and new content, I can easily see us storing between 6-7 PB of data in Wasabi by 2020.”
To prepare, IQ Media is already talking about upgrading their Wasabi Direct Connect connection to a 10 Gbps connection.