We’re distributed by design, which means our company policies and values revolve around how to best work when Elasticians are spread around the world. One consequence of this design is that communication is challenging - getting everyone on the team across 14 time zones on a call regularly is not reasonable.
We counter this by taking things async when possible but acknowledge that a synchronous video call has its place. In many ways this is even an advantage, as with recordings we’re able to revisit the actual words spoken during a meeting instead of relying on memory or the perspectives of various note takers.
This left us with one challenge - getting the recordings out. Enter
zat, a tool originally developed on a train ride from Philadelphia to Boston, for archiving recordings from Zoom to Google drive. From the internal announcement 4 years ago:
Instead of updating google docs, calendar events, or sending emails with links to recordings (don’t forget the password), zat copies zoom recordings to google drive. This enables discovery via workplace search and google drive, preserves recordings when zoom accounts are removed, and of course frees up the time previously dedicated to manual process.
zat users configure slack notifications for new announcing recording availability, resulting in message like:
You can find the Apache2 licensed code at GitHub - graphaelli/zat: Zoom Archive Tool, along with prebuilt binaries for zat and related tools.
While zat quickly caught on at Elastic, requiring individuals to gather various credentials and formatting their yaml configuration was a bar high enough to prevent wide adoption.
Utilizing our Spacetime program, where Elasticiains can take time to put aside the roadmap for a week at a time, we developed zaas - zat as a service. That reduces new meeting recording configuration to:
This one is quite intertwined with our internal tooling so we’re keeping it in house right now, but the implementation is pretty straightforward, composed of two components. A web UI for recording archival management:
And a modified version of zat for running the archival process in this multi-tenant setting. This service is currently making 100s of recordings available each month.
We hope this was a useful look into one part of how we make distributed work function well at Elastic.