September 09, 2005 09:23 ET

IBM'S TotalStorage Tape Solution Implemented at Leading Visual Effects and Animation House

IBM's 500,000th Linear Tape Open Storage Drive Technology Delivered to Sony Imageworks

LOS ANGELES, CA and ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 9, 2005 -- IBM today announced the company has shipped its 500,000th IBM® TotalStorage® Linear Tape Open™ (LTO) drive solution, since the technology became available in mid-2000. The ultra-powerful IBM tape drive solution is one of the fastest-selling tape drive solutions in history.

The 500,000th IBM TotalStorage LTO™ drive was delivered recently to Sony Pictures Imageworks, a state-of-the-art digital animation and visual effects company. The company purchased the new storage technology solution to back up its digital animation productions.

As the digital production capabilities have steadily grown in size, skill and artistry throughout the industry and over the years, the importance and size of digital storage has grown exponentially as well. The IBM TotalStorage tape solution will help Sony Pictures Imageworks, Inc. continue to quickly back up its growing daily volume of data and access and manage digital animation shots which sometimes average more than 1,000 shots per movie. IBM's expertise in media and entertainment and storage technology has allowed it to work with various digital animation houses across the world in designing and implementing a storage system to fit their needs.

Sony Pictures Imageworks has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars® for its work on "Spider-Man 2" the CG-animated short "The ChubbChubbs!," and other award winning productions, and is latest digital animation house that has implemented IBM storage technology to help securely and efficiently back up and store terabytes of animation and data generated daily. Imageworks has quickly grown into an industry innovator in its 13 years, developing groundbreaking technology to accommodate its diverse slate of projects ranging from demanding realistic visual effects for live action features to performance-based characters for high profile, character driven animated projects.

The system implemented at Imageworks features the IBM TotalStorage UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 with 20 LTO tape drives, including dual robotics designed to continuously back up information. This high-availability option is designed to allow two robotic accessors, or robotic arms, to operate simultaneously in two to 16 frame configurations. The dual accessor pulls tape cartridges from a slot and inserts them into a drive and vice versa to help decrease the chance of a tape library failure.

In addition, the IBM Tape Library system is designed to provide multi-petabyte capacity in an automated tape library that is scalable to 192 tape drives and over 6200 cartridges for midrange to enterprise open systems environments.

"We are pleased that Sony Pictures Imageworks has recognized the business benefits of embracing IBM's highly scalable tape storage solutions for digital content workflow and has received the 500,000th shipment of our tape drives," said Cindy Grossman, vice president, IBM TotalStorage Tape Solutions. "Award-winning creativity coupled with powerful technology is a winning combination in today's rapidly changing Media and Entertainment industry."


Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award®-winning, state-of-the-art visual effects and character animation company dedicated to the art and artistry of digital production and character creation. The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars® for its work on "Spider-Man 2" and the CG animated short film "The ChubbChubbs!," as well as nominations for "Spider-Man," "Hollow Man," "Stuart Little" and "Starship Troopers." Imageworks continues to raise the level in the visual effects and character animation industry, becoming a major force by providing leading edge technology to its world-class artists.

Currently in production at Imageworks are "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Superman Returns," "Monster House," "Ghost Rider," "Spider-Man 3," "Beowulf," and the first two full-length animated features from Sony Pictures Animation, "Open Season" and "Surf's Up."

Imageworks is a division of Sony Pictures Digital, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment. For more information, please visit

About IBM

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