CTERA+Wasabi Provide Scalable, Cost-Effective Media Management Solution for Glenn Davis Group

Tue May 23 2023By Carson Barcome


Based in greater Toronto, Glenn Davis Group consists of two design and branding agencies, Davis and Bridgemark. The joint team of 125 members develops marketing and branding solutions across a variety of disciplines, including digital communications, motion graphics, and packaging. With over 30 years of past projects and more on the horizon, Glenn Davis Group needed a storage infrastructure to scale its growing business.

Cloud storage scalability paves the way

Previously storing data on-premises, Glenn Davis Group’s IT team was skeptical about migrating to the cloud, but the team had a number of challenges to solve, the first being the large size of their media inventory. “A single media file can be as much as three gigabytes; we host many terabytes of them” explained James Payne, Head of Technology at Glenn Davis Group. “Cloud storage didn’t seem like a good fit. We create and modify hundreds of gigabytes daily – Moving that across an internet connection didn’t seem feasible”. With traditional cloud storage vendors, storing media files in a hot tier would cost a lot of money. Lower-cost cold storage tiers weren’t an option due to the agency’s need for quick access to files at a moment’s notice. Cost-effective and fast data transfers were a high priority for Glenn Davis Group. Along with the vast scale of data comes an additional issue of growth surges. “A new client project might consist of lightweight vector files or hundreds of heavy raster and video files. The content we generate for customers has an uncertain lifespan, so we’ve become somewhat of an infinite retention site,” said Payne. James also shared how media files grow in size as design software is enhanced through updates to new versions. “When capabilities are added to our design applications, file sizes increase. We don’t know what a media file will look like in two years.” These challenges compounded into an arduous process for the IT team. “In these circumstances planning future storage capacity is difficult; we always seem to come up short.” Glenn Davis Group needed a solution with the flexibility to handle surges of business growth and streamline their workflow without breaking the bank.

Finding storage solutions without movement fees

During their search for a scalable solution, Glenn Davis Group first looked at AWS. “We weren’t really fans of Amazon’s pricing model with egress charges and things of that nature,” said Payne. For their ideal workflow, Glenn Davis Group needed a solution with fast access to data but without hefty fees tacked on for egress. To realize this goal, the team deployed the global file management system CTERA. “CTERA pitched us a comprehensive hybrid solution. Edge filers for speed; Workstation backups; Friendly user interface; A lot of our desirables all in one solution,” said Payne. CTERA’s global system centrally manages files no matter the user’s end-point with boundless storage site capacity. It was a perfect management system for Glenn Davis Group to access their projects. Still, they needed a cloud storage host with a fair pricing strategy to pair with CTERA. Payne and team found Wasabi, a CTERA technology alliance partner, for a tightly integrated, self-service, global file system.

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