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Site Tour 360 Finds Right-Priced High Performance Storage with Wasabi

"As a startup, we need to be both fast and keep our costs low. We tried all of the usual web options for our storage needs, but the bill that we received at the end of the month was too hard to predict and far too expensive. There had to be a better way to do this that didn’t force us to compromise on eating the costs or passing them on to customers."

– Mike Vorce, President, Site Tour 360

Overview

Site Tour 360, a startup that creates, captures, and builds projects for large collections of 360 degree imagery, uses Wasabi hot cloud storage for low cost, fast and reliable primary and archive storage. By combining this imagery with other relevant data (maps, documents, videos, etc) they are able to make meaningful interactive experiences. Primary use cases include: disaster/recovery services (to show before/after imagery after natural disasters or industrial accidents), community redevelopment (cities highlighting investment opportunities), and large event documentation.

Using Wasabi, they have enhanced the performance of their user experience, cut and stabilized storage costs, and been able to focus their energies on offering expanded services.

Business Challenge: Drive Down Costs While Increasing Scalability

The foundation of Site Tour 360’s business model is high resolution imagery, and as with most businesses chasing the most recent improvements in high-res cameras, every new project creates ever larger file sizes and total datasets. These images are stitched together to provide virtual visual experiences reflecting historical, current or future real-world locations.

As interest in real-world 3D imagery increases, Site Tour 360’s storage needs grow as they gain more clients, maintain active data and archives for ongoing clients, and move to provide greater interactivity and depth in the experience, by moving from still imagery to video footage.

The challenge is how to do that at scale, at speed, with minimal staff and at a cost that suits the profile of a startup.

Earlier implementations of their custom developed visual experience platform used several different technologies, including a commercial web hosting provider (DreamHost), Google’s Street View platform, AWS S3 and Azure Blob Storage.

Solution: Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage

Wasabi serves as the primary data storage for their own custom developed user experience, and as a secondary copy of any footage that has been uploaded to Google’s Street View platform, in order to retain full control of the captured footage for their clients.

“Before finding Wasabi, in addition to looking at ways to remove unpredictable usage costs, we tried many approaches to reduce the size of files,” says Dylan Faraone, Technical Director, “For example, using various compression techniques to reduce the size of the files. But in a world where clients and viewers expect high resolution images, that forced us to drop the resolution in an attempt to save on the download (egress) charges at the end of the month. That approach failed to provide the user experience that we want to be able to deliver.”

Results: Affordable, High Performance, Safe Storage

After hearing about Wasabi and running real world experiments to compare both the speed of the user experience and month-end costs, they were convinced that Wasabi hot cloud storage was the right choice.

“We tested Wasabi using a collection of tornado footage from Alabama to confirm the performance,” says Dylan, “I have to admit, we were dubious. But Wasabi is fast as heck and we were thrilled to find a solution that provided the right pricing and performance for our needs.”

Wasabi’s architecture provides significantly faster read/write speeds than other cloud storage solutions and provides eleven 9s (99.999999999%) of object durability, ensuring the integrity of the company’s business-critical data assets. And with Wasabi’s hot cloud storage, they can keep all data active, without the complications of handling multiple tiers of data, and keep “archived” data readily available for instant use.

Now that the cost of storage is under control, Site Tour 360 is turning their attention to the increasing need for 360 imagery, streamlining the rest of their workflow to make capturing and assembly of the footage as fast as possible, and scaling out their service offering to take advantage of the growing use cases for 360 degree imagery, such as visualizing tourist destinations and showcasing commercial properties.