SOURCE: BlueArc

October 23, 2007 08:15 ET

BlueArc Storage Solution Helps Australia's Photon VFX Render New Business Growth

Titan 2000 Deployment to Accelerate Visual Effects Company's Foray Into Animation

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - BlueArc® Corporation, a leader in scalable, high-performance unified network storage, today announced that Photon VFX has deployed a Titan 2000 network storage system, aimed to help the Queensland, Australia-based studio dramatically accelerate rendering output and boost staff productivity.

Established in 1990, Photon VFX helped pioneer Australia's visual effects business and is now a leading company in the region's film industry, with facilities in Australia and New Zealand that service feature film and high-end television drama productions worldwide. Photon VFX's animation division is the principal animation studio on "Animalia," tasked with developing the CG assets and bringing Graeme Base's popular children's book to life as a 40-episode television series, anticipated to screen on BBC, Network Ten, CBC, PBS and many other networks to be announced.

Photon VFX's Titan system, configured as a single large volume with approximately 10 terabytes of storage, is shared both by production artists and render nodes, and supports artist access, whether they use Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh or Linux operating systems. Support for integrated tiered storage provides the company with the flexibility to create a cost-effective network that combines high-performance disk drives for projects and shots in progress, and high capacity storage for archival files.

"The 'Animalia' series is one of Photon VFX's most demanding: We're now rendering multiple passes of HD frames for 150 to 200 shots daily," said Shereena van de Berkt, senior producer for Photon VFX. "BlueArc's Titan storage technology is easily handling dozens of our production team members' simultaneous access to massively data-intensive image files, so no one has to wait while the system responds to someone else's task."

When Photon VFX was awarded the highly anticipated project, van de Berkt recognized that the demands of rendering and delivering animated scenes nightly had the potential to overwhelm the company's storage networks that had been assembled over the years -- consequently overtaxing Photon's talent and manpower, in the process. Company executives evaluated multiple solutions and selected BlueArc's Titan due to its distinctive high-performance hardware architecture. That decision was reinforced by the recommendation of Titan by industry peers, including a partner also working on the "Animalia" production.

"The Titan 2000 is now the heart of our storage infrastructure, and our production artists are really pleased with the system's responsiveness, whether they are browsing, opening or saving files, even while there is heavy rendering load," said Kim Pearce, IT director, Photon VFX. "We haven't experienced any downtime, and my team can focus on activities that are more strategic than system maintenance."

Photon VFX expects that its investment in BlueArc technology will help further extend the studio's talents into animation, with performance and capacity that add to Photon's competitive advantage. The studio is producing "Animalia" shots so quickly that van de Berkt anticipates the company may need to hire another rendering wrangler.

"Now it's a question of our people keeping up with technology," said van de Berkt. "We have the technological foundation on which to build new and innovative processes that will sustain our reputation as an industry leader."

About BlueArc

BlueArc is a leading provider of high-performance unified network storage systems to enterprise markets, as well as data intensive markets, such as electronic discovery, entertainment, federal government, higher education, Internet services, oil and gas and life sciences. Our products support both network attached storage, or NAS, and storage area network, or SAN, services on a converged network storage platform.

We enable companies to expand the ways they explore, discover, research, create, process and innovate in data-intensive environments. Our products replace complex and performance-limited products with high-performance, scalable and easy to use systems capable of handling the most data intensive applications and environments. Further, we believe that our energy efficient design and our products' ability to consolidate legacy storage infrastructures, dramatically increases storage utilization rates and reduces our customers' total cost of ownership. Information about BlueArc solutions and services can be found at http://www.bluearc.com/.

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