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ZigZag Post

At ZIGZAG Post, we use Synology as an important part of our daily post-production workflow, from accessing all daily office admin files, archiving digital broadcast masters, original camera card files, and most importantly, a complete mirror backup of our Avid editing files. If our main media server goes down, we can immediately switch over to the Synology NAS for our editors to continue editing. We would definitely recommend Synology as a cost effective, reliable and easy to use solution for any post facility. A great solution to massively expand your house storage without blowing the budget. Robert Sarroff, Director, ZIGZAG Post.

The Company

ZIGZAG Post is a boutique film and television post-production studio in Sydney, Australia, offering services including production space, offline and online editing, colour grading, audio record/mix, sound design, music composition, data wrangling, and digital archive management. The company was involved in the making of popular shows such as ABC's The Gruen Transfer and Outback ER, Network Ten's Can of Worms, as well as many others.

The Challenge

Before Synology, the studio had been backing up its main media server to several external hard drives. When the media server was down or required maintenance, it was extremely difficult to locate the currently working projects in those external hard drives and to share them across different workstations. This resulted in significant office downtime.

When sharing previews or final cuts with clients, another inefficiency arose: the team had to copy large files to Dropbox and wait for them to upload, before they could obtain a share link. As the size and amount of files grew rapidly, ZIGZAG Post started to search for a reliable and affordable system to back up projects – something that is ready to take over from the main media server and ready for sharing any time.

The Solution

To tackle the challenges of business continuity and remote file sharing, Synology was recommended to Robert Sarroff, Director of ZIGZAG Post, by a local distributor. He decided to purchase a DiskStation DS1812+ to create a new setup, in which Mac devices throughout the facility can access the DS1812+ and the office admin files, archived digital broadcast masters, and original camera card files stored on it through Apple Filing Protocol (AFP). At the same time, data in ZIGZAG Post's main media server are continuously mirrored to the DS1812+ through Ethernet. 

Fast, centralised, and cost-effective storage

Using DS1812+ as a complete backup of the main media server means that if the latter goes down, all Sarroff needs to do is to mount the NAS volumes his team need to work with onto their computers. The staff can then continue to edit the copy on the NAS from any software they use, such as DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere or Apple Final Cut Pro. The link aggregation support in DS1812+ further allows ZIGZAG Post to aggregate its two network interfaces to increase bandwidth as well as provide traffic failover. 

"Many studios don't have this kind of setup in place. When their storage system fails, that means days have to be spent on salvaging data and no work can be done," said Sarroff. "For us, it means a 10-minute break for the team. They go get a coffee, and when they're back, they can immediately pick up where they left off."

"With Synology, we get everything we need – a centralised, shared storage – without having to purchase another specialised media system – those things can cost you an arm and a leg!"

Automatic synchronization to public cloud 

For external file sharing, Sarroff uses Synology's Cloud Sync feature to link DS1812+ with ZIGZAG Post's Dropbox account. Data are uploaded to the NAS through the fast local network, and then automatically synchronised to Dropbox in the background. Not only does the Dropbox copy serve as an offsite backup, this mechanism also ensures that files are readily sharable whenever a client request comes in.

Even so, Sarroff is looking to replace Dropbox with Synology's built-in "Share file links" feature. "In the latest DiskStation Manager 6.0, we can even customise the download page with our own background and logo. It will help us stay professional while at the same time save us the 10 bucks per month we're paying Dropbox."

Versatile, scalable, all-in-one server 

Besides storing video editing projects and admin files, Sarroff has also set up an internal wiki on the DS1812+ for his employees. In addition, although the company is already hosting a dedicated VPN server to make remote access possible, he is interested in trying Synology's free VPN Server package later on to see if this could minimise the number of servers the office needs to maintain.

On-demand capacity expansion 

In the post-production world, the standard video resolution never stops improving, and the size of data, in turn, is growing at an incredibly fast pace. Since its purchase, the DS1812+ has gradually reached its 8-drive capacity, but when the time for expansion comes, it can be connected with Synology's expansion units and scaled up to 18 drives. "We are also checking out another Synology with 10GbE capability," adds Sarroff. "Our office has the 10GbE infrastructure ready. Migrating to a 10GbE NAS will ensure a much better performance, especially when moving a large amount of data between the NAS, main media server, and multiple workstations. And we wouldn't consider anything other than Synology."

Recommended Models

  • DS1812+

Recommended Features

  • Fast, centralised, and cost-effective storage
  • Automatic synchronisation to public cloud
  • Versatile, scalable, all-in-one server
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