Transforming Media Asset Management with Wasabi & VIDA Content OS

March 11, 2024By Ben Bonadies

VIDA Content OS, a media asset management platform by Visual Data Media Services, supports content owners in storing, delivering, and distributing their media libraries. By efficiently managing content libraries, VIDA caters to the needs of film distributors, TV series producers, and large broadcasters.

Challenge: finding the right solution for BBC Studios

BBC Studios, (Motion Gallery) is the commercial arm of the BBC, which sells licensed clips from their vast archive for use in everything from documentaries and news shows to film and television series. Traditionally master content for licensing was held on premises and LTO, however, this method required manual scaling as the library grew. “Hardware management became burdensome and increased costs of IT overhead and electricity was not scaling well” said David Nickolls, Product Owner for VIDA. The volume of data was in the hundreds of terabytes and growing, and this manual process quickly became unsustainable.

In addition, BBC Studios’ use of the system involves constant access and search by thousands of registered users, retrieval, screening, and delivery of specific high-res clips on demand. This requires a high level of organization, speed, and availability to meet instant requirements, often under tight deadlines.

These scenarios necessitated a software solution that was not just secure, but also quick, easily accessible, and economical. When it came time to rearchitect the workflow, Nickolls knew the new product needed a storage solution that could keep up with the demands of the growing and constantly changing media landscape. They needed a solution that could offer scalability, speed, reliability, and a competitive cost structure to accommodate the unique requirements of their diverse client base.

“Wasabi's commercial model and scalability makes it an absolutely essential component of our overall architecture.”

— Symon Roue, Managing Director, VIDA

Building a storage solution for scale

Building the system that Nickolls wanted to create would require the seamless interaction of multiple pieces of software and teams, all working in tandem. At the heart of the operation would be storage solutions built to scale with the business and fuel the entire system with hyper-available content.

To tackle these complex challenges, VIDA chose to partner with Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

Wasabi’s commercial model provided VIDA with the ability to scale its storage across multiple geographic regions. “Wasabi has enabled us to grow our storage footprint rapidly and because storage management is a cinch, we’ve saved valuable time as well,” said Nickolls. It is especially important for the clients of BBC Motion Gallery, who requires frequent access and delivery of specific clips from their vast archive. Wasabi now serves as a key storage location for VIDA’s data.

Case Study

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Crucially, Wasabi is compatible with the range of software needed to orchestrate the larger VIDA Content OS system. Two key examples are Dolby Hybrik, which the VIDA team employs for transcoding, and IBM Aspera for large file transport, both of which interoperate with Wasabi. Wasabi’s S3 API compatibility was key to the content operating system aspect to VIDA as a whole, which sits on AWS Lambda. “We’re using a whole host of the AWS services, but we’ve tightly integrated Wasabi in VIDA as hot storage,” said Nickolls. Wasabi’s flexibility allows VIDA to construct its offering using best-of-breed components while maintaining lower overall storage costs for customers of their platform. “It’s given us a very scalable, easy-to-implement architecture,” said Symon Roue, Managing Director at VIDA.

Beyond this, Wasabi’s consistent performance provides VIDA with the reliability needed to ensure their clients’ content was always available and secure. In the media industry, where content security and availability are critical, Wasabi’s robust infrastructure and reliability played a significant role in VIDA’s decision to choose them as storage partner.

Result: Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage paves the way for content availability

The partnership with Wasabi has yielded impressive results for VIDA. The scalability and economic model of Wasabi have allowed VIDA to grow its business. Wasabi’s reliable service has made VIDA’s operations smoother and more efficient, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction—particularly when it comes to being secure.

“Our clients’ contents, security, and availability are the service we’re actually providing ultimately,” said Roue. “So, it’s got to be rock solid; it’s got to be always available.”

Wasabi’s flexibility and compatibility were integral to the success of VIDA’s architecture. Taking advantage of S3’s large partner ecosystem allowed Nickolls and the VIDA team to utilize an array of technologies that enable seamless interplay between the VIDA team, BBC Studios, and Getty Images, which serves as BBC Motion Gallery’s commercial partner. What was before considered a manual system is now largely automated thanks to these interlocking processes. 

The next steps

The demand for storage will only increase, and VIDA’s partnership with Wasabi will enable them to meet this challenge head-on, future-proofing their business. Wasabi’s flexibility and commitment to innovation will allow VIDA to stay nimble in the rapidly evolving media industry.

Looking ahead, VIDA envisions broadening its horizons by exploring new markets and engaging with more clients, which Wasabi’s scalability will comfortably accommodate.

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