TBWA Australia is the Australian and New Zealand office of TBWA Global, one of the largest advertising and creative agencies in the world, with 200 offices and a client list that includes Apple, Adidas, and Nissan. TBWA Australia is one of Australia’s leading creative agencies, exemplifying the philosophy of its parent company by providing innovative, disruptive branding strategies for its customers.
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Until recently, video editors in TBWA Australia’s offices were still using servers with direct-attach disk storage, working on disks until they were full and then storing them on-site. There was rarely time for a backup—or offsite disaster recovery (DR) protection. “We never lost any data, I’m happy to say,” explains Jaymz Hingert, regional IT manager at TBWA Australia, “but we had long delays in getting it back sometimes.”
To reuse assets, editors had to find the right disk and files, and then restore them back onto the local disk. “It was a system that worked when we were small, but we really had outgrown it,” explains Hingert. “Not only was it slow, but it put a huge burden on both the editors and the IT team. The editors had to manually manage the files and their location—the IT team had to keep bringing resources in, managing the disk, and making sure that data was there. There was way too much time spent by everybody—hours of overhead every week.”
The system also made it difficult for editors to collaborate, even when they were in the same office. Teams shared files by moving RAID systems between servers or using flash drives. If an editor in Melbourne or Sydney needed to use content developed in the other office, the fastest way was to physically move the disk from place to place. This workflow caused delays and discouraged collaboration.
When the amount of data approached 40TB, the workload increased—and higher-resolution formats meant bigger and bigger files. The IT team decided to look for a better workflow alternative. “We brought in an integrator with lots of media experience to help us, CompNow, and we talked to the IT teams in some of the company’s larger offices to see what they were doing,” recalls Hingert. “The recommendation of both groups was Quantum StorNext, but we weren’t sure if it would work for a smaller office, one with one to four editors—we thought of it as something designed for a larger operation.”
After reviewing other options, the decision was clear. “Our main problems were data protection, productivity, and reducing the huge overhead that the old system required,” says Hingert. “None of the other products we looked at could do all that—every one of them would have meant lots of manual intervention. And we discovered that StorNext Pro Foundation, which was designed for smaller offices, would fit our budget once we looked at all the capabilities it offered.”
ABOUT THE SOLUTION
StorNext Pro Solution Provides End-to-End Collaboration
TBWA Australia’s new Quantum StorNext Pro Foundation system provides a SAN fabric, 48TB of high performance disk, an Xcellis Workflow Director powered by StorNext 5 software, an LTO archive, and Q-Cloud cloud storage. All the components are part of an integrated solution designed to provide a fully automated end-to-end workflow—including collaboration between editors, data protection, and direct access to archived data.
The new system gives editors shared, collaborative and immediate access to files. LAN connections even make it possible to transmit files between offices directly, so it’s faster and easier to share content across the region. “I think StorNext Pro has just about completely eliminated editors having to move data around manually,” says Hingert. “It’s a much better workflow, and it makes them much more efficient—they get more work done in less time, mostly because they just work on content instead of having to manage all the storage.”
Fully Automated Protection and Archive
The Quantum solution has transformed data protection and archiving. As soon as a file is saved on disk, StorNext creates a copy on tape, serving first as a backup, and later as an archive—keeping work available while minimising the need for disk.
“Having all the data backed up automatically is a great relief for us,” says Hingert. “There are times when we have assets on that system that represent hundreds of thousands of dollars for TBWA and our customers.” Reusing existing assets is also fast and easy. “StorNext lets the editors see everything through the same file system—both material on disk and the content that’s in the archive,” explains Hingert. “So they can see old projects quickly and get to data immediately. It’s made a huge difference in productivity.”
DR Protection Using Quantum Q-Cloud
The new StorNext system provides long-term DR protection seamlessly integrated into the workflow through Quantum Q-Cloud as off-site archive. “Whenever we make a copy on tape, we also set a policy to have StorNext create a second copy in Q-Cloud,” explains Hingert. “We use the tape for normal recovery and archive access, but Q-Cloud provides indefinite, automated DR protection. If the building burns down tomorrow, we’ve got a copy of everything—current projects and old material—safely on Q-Cloud.
“There were two huge advantages from StorNext. We all sleep much better knowing that all the data is safe both on tape and in the cloud. And we had an immense gain in productivity from the automation—all the steps we used to have to do manually are now taken care of automatically, saving us hundreds of hours a year in overhead.”
CompNow : Quantum Alliance Partner
Using a Quantum partner that has a high level of certifications and a direct relationship with Quantum ensures that the needs of the customer remain at the forefront, and that the level of support is solid from conception to on-going maintenance.