London-based LEAP is the UK’s leading independent creative services agency which has served the advertising and marketing community for more than 30 years. Expert teams and innovative technologies are the core of its success, and LEAP is constantly evolving to meet and surpass the market’s high expectations.

With an upcoming office move to a new London location, the time was right to replace outdated departmental legacy storage with a centralized platform. The new file system enables LEAP’s IT team to manage petabytes of unstructured data, accelerates the creative team’s access to files, and helps reduce business risk from potential data security or data corruption.

After deploying Qumulo, LEAP saw the following benefits to its business:

Creative projects are accelerated and collaboration is improved. LEAP knew the success of its creative workflow would be heavily dependent upon leveraging the cloud. Qumulo simplifies rendering jobs by integrating cloud resources and removing the need to re-architect third-party applications to leverage object-based data services.

Qumulo also enabled LEAP to replace resource-intensive backup and dedupe with automated snapshots and replication to Amazon S3. New, cloud-based data protection uses fewer resources, is highly automated and flexible, and enables rapid restore.

Since cloud extensibility was a key project requirement, Qumulo provided a proof-of-concept evaluation opportunity for LEAP leveraging Qumulo CloudStudio on AWS. The proof-of-concept demonstrated the high performance of Qumulo’s file system for rendering and answered all of LEAP’s questions regarding functionality and integration with Amazon S3 for longer-term data protection and retention.

LEAP is also integrating a Qumulo API to mirror to Amazon S3, granting file access to its freelance talent. With an extended global network of thousands of in-market experts contracted for localization projects as well as artists, designers and motion graphics editors working remotely, efficient and secure data access accelerates creative projects and improves collaboration. 

With all of its content in Qumulo’s single file data platform, LEAP has the ability to expand in any direction it wants to go, on-prem, private, and multicloud.

Content consolidation and visibility into data gives IT complete control. LEAP’s file data was previously spread across a wide range of disparate legacy storage systems. The previous storage environment was labor-intensive for IT to manage and locating files at different points in the workflow was a real challenge.

The move to Qumulo’s file data platform enables LEAP to consolidate all creative content, and ensure no data gets lost in disparate file systems.

Qumulo’s analytics enable IT to optimize its data infrastructure. High visibility enables the team to see how many clients are connected, who is using the most bandwidth, where the system is growing quickly, and enables the team to monitor performance in real time. Instead of legacy system guesswork, the IT team can see exactly what is going on throughout the entire data platform.

One of the biggest visibility benefits is balancing performance for the entire company. The IT team knows when large files are hitting the server and can allocate capacity and accelerate file access for that operation without affecting any other department.

Aidan Taub, Systems and Technology Director for LEAP said, “Knowing where our data was and how we were utilizing it was a critical requirement. Qumulo’s analytics gives us complete control over our data and allows us to immediately respond to changing conditions.”

Faster performance – a 240X increase. Previously, LEAP’s end users experienced slow file opens and stuttering playbacks. Qumulo’s file system, together with an upgraded network, eliminated poor performance with fast throughput and zero latency, delivering a 240x performance increase.

Within three months of the project implementation, sustained speeds came in at a high of 712MB/s reads and 360MB/s writes – not peak but a sustained 240x increase in write speed and 31x increase in read speed.  

“We’ve got all our teams working off the same data platform at the same time, not separate solutions for every department,” said Taub. “Our teams are happy and comfortable using Qumulo as their centralized data system. IT is happy too, because we have one place to look for files and one place for backup. And, the Qumulo analytics give us instant visibility into our data and users.”

Today, the entire LEAP organization is connected to Qumulo’s file data platform across both office locations. The file system supports everything from VMs and VM hosts, to back office applications, to heavyweight creative and rendering operations. And it’s doing it all without missing a beat.

When the COVID pandemic threatened and lockdown restrictions loomed, LEAP was able to seamlessly implement a move to remote working. Although such a scenario was not foreseen when the system was set up, Qumulo’s ability to mirror data to the cloud has proved itself vital in this situation. Despite the extenuating circumstances, LEAP has been able to provide continuity of service, maintaining secure and efficient workflows for collaborators and clients.

And for the near future, Qumulo is ready to support LEAP’s major push into the cloud.

“We have successfully tested workflows that would be impossible without Qumulo. All along, they have taken our business as seriously as we do by encouraging us to use our data infrastructure in new ways. With Qumulo, we are planning for our future with an incredibly innovative approach to data systems and technologies,” said Taub.

Learn More

Read the full case study about the benefits LEAP was able to realize with Qumulo here.

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