BuzzFeed’s Branded Creative Team Supercharges Branded Content Production with StorNext

BuzzFeed needed a shared storage system to keep up with production schedules for its branded content campaigns. The answer was a Quantum StorNext appliance-based system that combines storage area network (SAN) with network-attached storage (NAS) and preserves flexible options for future growth.

VIDEO EMERGES AS KEY DELIVERY ELEMENT FOR BRANDED PARTNER ADS
One of the important production tasks for BuzzFeed is helping its brand partners create compelling video ad content that can be shown across BuzzFeed’s platforms. As the company was planning to move the BuzzFeed studio to a new facility in Los Angeles, they realized it was time to upgrade the video production system used by the Branded Creative Team to provide more streamlined workflow and easier, faster collaboration.

The team knew they needed a shared storage system to improve workflow, so they evaluated several different approaches and spent nearly two months creating a proof-of-concept test for a NAS-based workflow solution. They then looked to IMT—a Los Angeles area integrator with extensive experience in helping digital media organizations modernize workflows—for help in selecting the best solution.

TEST LAB MAKES EVALUATION FAST AND EASY

"IMT suggested that we look at Quantum StorNext, but we were reluctant at first,” explains Dan Munger, Video Technology Manager at BuzzFeed. “We thought of it as being SAN only and complex to set up and manage."

“We explained that StorNext now supports a NAS interface as well as SAN and that it was based on an appliance approach that was easy to install and support,” says Joe Marchitto, IMT’s Director of Systems Architecture.

Even though the option sounded interesting, BuzzFeed did not want to spend another two months evaluating the product. “That was where the IMT Lab came into play,” says Dan. “IMT said we could test the system with our data in their lab and they could set it up in a day.” The results of the experiment convinced the team that StorNext was the right choice, and they made the decision to move ahead.

STORNEXT ENABLES COLLABORATIVE WORKFLOW

The new BuzzFeed Branded Creative Team solution, which includes StorNext Xcellis Workflow Director—an appliance that hosts the StorNext software, instantly improved the way branded content is created and managed.

“Quantum StorNext shared storage has dramatically increased our productivity by letting our editors collaborate in real time, so they can focus on creative ideas instead of fighting with technical limitations,” said Richard Klopfenstein, Post Production Technologist.

ONGOING RELIABILITY AND MANAGEABILITY CRITICAL

The overall reliability of the StorNext environment has been an important bonus for BuzzFeed’s Branded Creative Team, minimizing admin overhead while keeping productivity high and controlling costs.

“One key differentiator to BuzzFeed’s branded content success is that they manage their business using real-time performance metrics, and need to be able to manage their storage system the same way,” says Jason Kranitz, SVP Sales, IMT. “StorNext Connect lets them do that.”

FLEXIBILITY PROTECTS AGAINST FUTURE CHANGES

StorNext is designed to scale easily to meet a wide range of potential changing demands, including archive options on disk, tape, and the cloud.

Dan Munger says, “Investing in Quantum’s StorNext long-term gives our department the scalability to tackle huge projects with confidence, and provides predictability for our users and our clients, no matter what the future brings.” 

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