Hogarth Worldwide relies on Quantum StorNext to keep up with rapid business expansion17 May 2017
Hogarth Worldwide—a fast-growing global marketing implementation agency—needed a storage solution that could provide high-performance, collaborative workflow across multiple sites and platforms, and easily scale to support future needs. Since 2009, Quantum StorNext has been the answer—delivering flexibility, performance, and scale. And it gives Hogarth teams the ability to collaborate on projects no matter what platform they are using—Mac, Linux, or Windows.
Hogarth Worldwide is a specialised marketing implementation company with a dazzling history of growth. It started with 14 people in a London attic in 2008. Today, the company has hundreds of employees in more than 20 offices that stretch from New York to Singapore to Bucharest. Experts in the art of media production, Hogarth focuses relentlessly on the implementation side of marketing and advertising. Hogarth teams work with ad departments in major corporations and creative agencies to deliver advertising efficiently and cost-effectively across a wide range of media and platforms, including broadcast, post-production, computer- generated imagery (CGI), effects editing, localisation, and distribution. Hogarth’s growth has been phenomenal—the company doubled its head count in the last year, and it frequently needs to quickly scale up to handle specific projects.
BUSINESS BUILT ON STORAGE TECHNOLOGY AND WORKFLOW
Hogarth brings together specialists who understand all the elements required to implement and deliver the highest quality media content as quickly and efficiently as possible. “I think that Hogarth was really the first organisation built around the application and infrastructure expertise required to implement high-quality advertising and marketing materials,” explains Nick Wood, production systems manager at Hogarth, “and its success shows how effective a strategy it has been. We work with lots of different creative teams in other companies, which allows us to focus all our energy on production and implementation—and we really understand that well.”
Hogarth relies on an infrastructure that enables effective workflow, collaboration, asset management, and data storage. These technologies give the company a business advantage in a highly competitive, global market. As technologies change, Hogarth continues to evolve its infrastructure and tools to keep pace with the latest requirements, providing its customers and partners with real- time access to content anywhere in the world.
KEEPING TECHNOLOGY CURRENT WITH CHANGING NEEDS
Hogarth understands how workflow has changed in the industry and what it means for schedules and budgets. “In the early days of this industry, lots of high-end work was shot on film, then developed, scanned, and we did back-end processing,” explains Wood. “The costs were largely up front and pretty obvious. Today, it is very different—everything is shot directly onto disk. It is incredibly inexpensive to add more—a terabyte now costs only £100 or so. So cameras keep running longer, and they keep more raw footage. Today we’ve got about 1.5PB of data just in the London offices, and we expect more as resolution and frame rates increase. Compared to film, digital content looks free, but we’ve really just shifted the cost and complexity to the storage management side.”
Managing that part of the process effectively as technology changes and data volumes explode is one of the keys to Hogarth’s success. In the early days, Hogarth had only two platforms—Macs and Xsan. Later it added Windows and Linux, and new capabilities to keep up with increasing work demands.
STORNEXT PROVIDES FOUNDATION FOR GROWTH
“One constant since Hogarth’s early days has been Quantum’s StorNext,” Wood notes. “We started converting Xsan environments to StorNext very early to take advantage of its
flexibility, performance, and scale. And it gave us the capability to let our teams collaborate on projects no matter what platform they were using—Macs, Linux, or Windows. Today, 12 of our offices already have full StorNext environments installed—and we’ll add more as data volumes increase.”
StorNext also gives Hogarth the ability to scale rapidly, an important attribute for a fast-growing company. “With StorNext, we know we can quickly add disk capacity for an office if the workload sees a surge, and we can expand the system almost instantaneously to add more workstations. We’ve had to do that— expand from five or six workstations to 40 for a big project – and StorNext makes it easy.
TRANSPARENT UPGRADE TO XCELLIS WORKFLOW DIRECTOR
As Hogarth’s needs changed, Quantum provided the flexibility to meet its requirements, and the company’s integrator partner Trams provided both advice and support for installation services. Initially the system was supported on Quantum M330 controllers. Recently, the company upgraded to Xcellis Workflow Director. Xcellis gives Hogarth the ability to scale performance and capacity independently—an important feature for a fast-growing company. And it provides the option of using network-attached storage (NAS) as part of the storage pool.
“The switch from the M330s to Xcellis Workflow Directors was easy,” Wood explains. “We did it over the weekend. The actual switch-over only took a couple of hours, and everything came over and synched up perfectly. The production teams didn’t notice a thing. Throughout the whole process—and actually for the whole time we’ve had StorNext—Quantum support has been great. The system usually just works. But when we do need something, we get immediate expert help both from Quantum and from Trams.”