April 05, 2011 03:00 ET

BlueArc Energy-Efficient Storage Propels New Dr. Seuss 3D CGI Animated Film

Illumination Entertainment Selects Faster Storage Solution From BlueArc

SAN JOSE, CA and PARIS--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - BlueArc® Corporation, a leader in scalable, high-performance network storage, today announced that Illumination Entertainment, a producer of family films for Universal Pictures, has selected an energy-efficient storage system from BlueArc. One of the system's first tasks is to manage the animation rendering on the animated feature "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," currently in production at Mac Guff, Illumination's Paris-based animation production partner. The move further demonstrates Illumination's commitment to pursuing forward-focused technologies that also reduce environmental impact.

Mac Guff, which also worked on Illumination's worldwide hit "Despicable Me," is using two clustered BlueArc Mercury 100 systems at its production studio for artistic rendering and composited images. Additionally, a Mercury 50 is located offsite for business continuity planning. 

French reseller NewNet introduced BlueArc as a data storage solution provider for Mac Guff. Like many digital studios, Mac Guff uses commercial software packages such as Autodesk Maya, but is also a rare example of a studio that uses its own proprietary rendering application, MGLR. 

"We needed a storage system that could scale to cope with demands placed on it by the rendering applications we use," said Robert Taylor, Illumination's Associate Producer on the film. "In BlueArc we found a solution that was not only scalable in terms of its expansion capacity but also extremely energy-efficient."

The primary factor contributing to Illumination's energy-efficient capacity is a special server farm configuration -- first used on 2010's "Despicable Me," Bruno Mahe, Mac Guff's Chief Technology Officer further explains. "We have deployed a customised server farm at our French digital production house using IBM's iDataPlex processing system. The singular configuration of servers in iDataPlex compresses processing power into a small space, reducing energy use by as much as 40 percent relative to traditional server farms." 

"We are finding that data-driven businesses like Illumination Entertainment want more sustainable, cost-effective, high-performance storage solutions, but they don't want speed and capacity at the expense of energy or rack space," said Ravi Chalaka, senior director of solutions and product marketing at BlueArc. "At BlueArc, we're able to deliver more capacity with lower levels of energy consumption than competing systems." 

BlueArc will exhibit its solutions and post-production customer deployments at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, taking place April 11-14, 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth SL 10815. For more information about media workflow acceleration, how to receive free NAB exhibition guest passes, or to schedule a meeting with BlueArc, please visit

About BlueArc

BlueArc partners with customers to solve their storage and data management-related business challenges at scale. The company's best-of-breed, high-performance, highly scalable and cost-effective storage solutions help to accelerate customer success.

In the media and entertainment industry, BlueArc delivers record-breaking performance: reducing rendering times from hours to minutes, and file access times from minutes to seconds. CG artists are additionally able to create more revisions and dramatically speed render farm output fueling extraordinary productions on schedule while reducing costs.

Further information about BlueArc storage solutions and services may be found at

About Illumination Entertainment

In 2007, Chris Meledandri founded Illumination Entertainment in partnership with Universal Pictures. It serves as the studio's main supplier of all-audience family films and in July 2010 its first picture, the blockbuster "Despicable Me," was released. "Despicable Me" is the 10th highest grossing animated film in U.S. history and the second highest grossing animated film of 2010. "Despicable Me" has opened in over 64 international territories, and it has already made more than $540 million worldwide. Illumination is currently in post-production on "Hop," which will be released in spring 2011.

Contact Information

  • For further press information please contact:

    Kort van Bronkhorst
    BlueArc Corporation
    t: (408) 576-6684

    Paul Shlackman
    BondPR for BlueArc
    t: +44 (0)1628 560 161