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


  • Marketing

Use Cases 

  • Remote collaboration
  • Data management
  • Active archive


Find cost-effective cloud storage that enables fast egress to scale infrastructure.


Wasabi hot cloud storage, CTERA global file management system


  • Seamless, integrated workflow
  • No more storage egress fees or API request charges
  • Scalable storage solution

“We see Wasabi as our infinite bucket where we can continue to scale our enterprise and feel confident that we won’t run out of capacity or deal with expensive storage upgrades.”

– James Payne, Head of Technology at Glenn Davis Group


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.

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

CTERA + Wasabi: a scalable, self-service storage solution

Today, Glenn Davis Group has instant access to their files over a shared directory through CTERA’s virtual appliance, allowing staff to make modifications to their work instantly. “The power of CTERA is that single pane of glass. The user sees the global file system all in the same place being powered by Wasabi on the back end,” explained Kyle Edsall, Service Delivery Engineer at CTERA. CTERA acts as the solution’s fulcrum, operating as the central location for users to access and store files, while Wasabi is the ideal storage target due to its high performance, low-cost per gigabyte, and no cost for egress. “Glenn Davis Group automatically caches active data on their CTERA filer,” explained Edsall. “Seldom-accessed data resides in their Wasabi bucket from their CTERA filer, ready to be hydrated on-demand. You can imagine there is a lot of egress happening as CTERA connects to Wasabi to draw in new files as well as push out block-level changes.”

Wasabi: predictable pricing & high-performance

Such transfer of data is possible for Glenn Davis Group due to the predictable pricing of their Wasabi+CTERA solution. “There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than having something variable that could trigger a massive bill at the end of the month,” said Edsall. “You want to be able to accurately project that bill and understand there are safeguards in place that will ensure you don’t get an unwelcome surprise at the end of the month.” The combination of predictable pricing without sacrificing performance was a massive indicator that Wasabi was the ideal solution for Payne and the team. “We came upon Wasabi and were struck by what was offered. Wasabi took away little things that got in the way, like egress charges, that would’ve cost extra to get us started. We didn’t think we could get that value at that price point. The reality is, that’s exactly what Wasabi brought to the equation.” For Payne, Wasabi’s pricing model and performance ensure Glenn Davis Group has a scalable storage solution for the agency’s future. “We see Wasabi as our infinite bucket where we can continue to scale our enterprise and feel confident that we won’t come across changes in our storage needs,” said Payne.

In summary:

Now with CTERA+Wasabi, Payne and the Glenn Davis Group team are able to access their workflow instantly and store their files with a comprehensive, highly performant scalable solution that doesn’t break their budget, “CTERA’s global file system paired with Wasabi’s object storage delivers on-prem performance to handle the demands of a big project while protecting historical files and stale data in a vast, encrypted cloud container,” said Payne. “Add to that mix an elegant web interface for anywhere access to all our information, including endpoint backups, and we have the perfect solution to address the evolving needs of
our organization.”