Keep customers' valued memories safe and accessible while expanding services and leveraging new revenue opportunities.


17 billion

Photos and videos being migrated


A Picture-Perfect Data Migration

Weddings, babies, birthday parties, and vacations—precious new memories are captured every second. And now that everyone seems to carry a smartphone, even everyday life is constantly caught on camera. Photobucket plays a critical role in how its millions of members worldwide record and share their most valued memories. Its services keep photos and videos readily available and safe for years to come.

To stay relevant in a fast-moving industry, Photobucket must constantly innovate. Customers are mobile, and they want to be able to print, share, and edit their memories quickly, all from one place. In response to changing customer demands and new market opportunities, the company is shifting from online photo sharing supported by advertising to a full-service offering driven by subscriptions and fulfillment. With this move, customers expect even richer, more responsive services from the company.

Photobucket set a long-term goal: by decoupling its customer-facing photo management applications from file systems, it could shorten development cycles and give developers new options for adding features. It could also remove certain limitations, such as the number of photos and videos a user can store in a single album. Moving to object storage would directly contribute to Photobucket’s competitive edge—but the company needed a way to get there gradually without disrupting operations.

NetApp Professional Services was engaged to facilitate Photobucket's migration to object storage with zero downtime. The strategy encompasses the company’s existing FlexPod infrastructure which includes a four-node cluster of NetApp FAS8040 systems integrated with Cisco UCS servers and Nexus switches. Acting as the source, the Flexpod infrastructure hosts web-friendly media files in Photobucket’s current NFS environment, which can be maintained with no downtime thanks to the NetApp clustered Data ONTAP operating system. The “bridge” portion of the solution involves the FlexPod infrastructure’s NetApp FAS8040 systems running NetApp FlexArray software. This layer provides a unified virtualization platform that seamlessly connects the NFS environment to a separate Fibre Channel SAN based on high-density NetApp E5600 systems. The NetApp E5600 systems and NetApp StorageGRID Webscale software are then leveraged to provide petabytes of object storage—the eventual destination for billions of photos and videos.

Backed by NetApp technology and support, Photobucket is seamlessly ushering in a cutting-edge approach for supporting fast and efficient content sharing on a massive scale. As its 17 billion web-friendly media files are moved into StorageGRID Webscale, Photobucket’s developers will also be able to introduce new features faster. Freed from the limitations of a traditional file system, they can offer more conveniences to customers and support the company’s revenue shift away from advertising toward subscriptions and fulfillment services. Performance will remain consistent and predictable, even as Photobucket adds more customers.

About this Customer


Photobucket has 100 million registered members and 60 million unique visitors every month. Its services keep photos and videos readily available and safe for years to come.

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