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network sync from local storage to the cloud
Brian ReisdorfApr 17, 2020 4:00:00 AM2 min read

Connecting your local and cloud storage with ProMAX

Once you've synced your local and cloud storage, you'll still need a way to manage future uploads and access files as needed. Using a high-performance NAS device like ProMAX Platform, editors can access their local and cloud storage in the same interface.

The approach that we've taken is real simple, local high-performance shared storage with a SQL database that's indexing everything on that local storage. Then we push and pull files to the cloud storage. We keep that index of those files locally. So you can literally search kind of like you do in finder or doing spotlight.

You can just search for a file and find it. With our database and search our whole goal is to not make it matter whether it's on your local storage, your Backblaze pool,  or on a hard drive sitting on the shelf.  It's just like here's the file. Here's the location and then if it's in in cloud service like Backblaze, you just right-click restore that file and bring it back locally.

A lot of people don't understand how ethereal object storage can be. It's not a file system where you click through folders. We designed the interface to make it feel like you're just clicking through folders though. It's just what people are used to, let's keep things simple.

One of the other things we do is we create those low-res proxies on the local storage and we just keep those low res proxies. One of the problems, whether it's cloud or LTO or a drive that's like 12 drives deeps in a closet that you forgot about, is searching and retrieving those files can take a significant amount of time.  It's very important to be able to preview those files and be able to see them and play them back before you go through the trouble of storing that data.

The difference between an object store and a file system is it is absolutely not what many people expect them to be. If you're used to NTFS or HFS+ kind of stuff, having a front end that kind of trivializes that was really what got us in the cloud storage conversation with Backblaze in the first place.

Backblaze came to us and said there were creative users who want to use this thing and like they need something else here. So that was kind of our goal around that and I think we did a relatively good job.

Absolutely and you get both benefits.  You get the whole notion of object storage is that it's it's highly scalable and it actually protects against the kinds of things that can happen to individual disc drives like bit rot. So if that ever happens in something stored as an object, it will immediately be flagged and either repaired or retrieve from elsewhere in the storage.

So it has all these techniques to make sure that what you write to object storage is always retrievable a hundred years from now exactly as you wrote it and that right there is a really outstanding advantage of an active archive and now when you pair it with something that makes it as easy to discover as browsing through projects and files and folders and even automatically making those proxies for you before you ship it to Backblaze and the Raw's get moved in. That's a killer solution.