SOURCE: BlueArc Corporation

August 01, 2006 08:01 ET

BlueArc and Force10 Networks Provide Foundation for CIS Hollywood's Blockbuster Visual Effects

Cutting-Edge Technology Infrastructure Enables Studio to Deliver Top-Notch Imagery for Multiple Simultaneous Projects, Including "X-Men: The Last Stand"

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 1, 2006 -- SIGGRAPH -- BlueArc® Corporation, the world leader in network storage innovation, and Force10 Networks®, the pioneer in building and securing high performance networks, today announced that CIS Hollywood, a rapidly growing effects studio behind some of the summer's most memorable visual effects, has selected BlueArc's Titan Storage System and the Force10 Networks TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers to support the demanding requirements of simultaneous projects.

This summer, CIS Hollywood was able to put their high performance infrastructure to the test with four major simultaneous projects that have generated nearly $1 billion in global box office revenue, including "X-Men: The Last Stand," "Poseidon," "The Break-Up" and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." For these films, CIS Hollywood created over 350 shots within tight deadlines. To meet the multiple release dates demanded from the films' production, the studio's technology workflow had to be completely free of bottlenecks that could significantly impact artist productivity and quality. With BlueArc and the Force10 TeraScale E-Series installed, CIS Hollywood not only met their deadlines, but delivered stunning effects to these summer blockbusters including an incredible scene in "X-Men: The Last Stand," where Juggernaut chases Kitty through a series of concrete walls.

Prior to taking on these simultaneous projects, CIS Hollywood needed a solution that would eliminate the performance bottlenecks in their creative workflow and set the foundation to continue rapid growth in both creative staff and compute power. Through the deployment of BlueArc's high performance Titan Storage System, CIS Hollywood realized the potential to scale capacity and performance, significantly higher than other solutions tested. CIS Hollywood also appreciated the modular architecture of Titan that would allow them to recognize a significantly longer product lifespan, avoiding a forklift upgrade common with traditional network storage solutions.

To complement their high-speed network storage, CIS Hollywood also deployed the Force10 Networks TeraScale E300 in its data center to increase resilient and predictable network performance while expanding capacity. The TeraScale E300 delivers high density, non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet switching performance that ensures seamless scalability for CIS Hollywood's Linux and MacOS X-based artist workstations and render nodes. With the TeraScale E300 at the foundation of its network, CIS Hollywood can now scale compute power and creative staff without the concerns of hitting bottlenecks -- helping the studio create the highest quality effects for their most challenging projects ever.

"In the world of visual effects, your efforts are only as good as the combination of your artists' creativity and your technology's capabilities," said Matt Ashton, Systems Manager at CIS Hollywood. "By deploying BlueArc and Force10 as part of our creative infrastructure, CIS Hollywood was able to significantly reduce render times and reduce artist wait times from minutes to seconds, all while delivering the highest quality special effects in the studio's history."

"The job undertaken by CIS Hollywood this summer in four major movies is tremendous. It is a testament to the studio that they prepared in advance of this very challenging period by deploying Titan, the world's best network storage solution for the entertainment market," said Steve Daheb, vice president of marketing and business development for BlueArc. "In an industry like visual effects, where reducing wait and processing times for tasks to complete from hours to minutes or minutes to seconds can help deliver a higher quality product, there is no substitute for what Titan can accomplish."

"In computationally-intense applications like special effects rendering, the ability to rapidly and reliably share massive files is crucial to the quality of the final product," said Andrew Feldman, vice president of marketing at Force10 Networks. "By bringing leading density and performance together in a resilient system, the Force10 TeraScale E-Series enables CIS Hollywood to create innovative and complex special effects."

The combination of hardware-architected storage and network infrastructures allowed CIS' artists to focus on their creative efforts without having to compromise due to infrastructure limitations or long load or save times -- even during crunch times as they approached rigid deadlines. Even as the studio significantly expanded their render farm to more than 300 nodes and took on additional creative staff, their improved infrastructure met the increased demands. With these simultaneous projects, CIS Hollywood saw upwards of 500 gigabytes to 1 terabyte of data being created daily.

As CIS Hollywood continues to grow, the studio has invested in a technology infrastructure with the horsepower needed to scale alongside them -- whether through storage capacity expansion, a planned upgrade to next-generation Titan 2000 equipment or additional network connectivity and bandwidth from Force10. In an environment where the data flows fast and furious, it won't require superheroes to get the job done -- only intelligent planning and a rock-solid technology infrastructure that's ready for the sequel.

About BlueArc

BlueArc is the world leader in network storage innovation. BlueArc's Titan storage system family delivers unparalleled performance, scalability and simplicity, enabling customers to accelerate their digital world. Utilizing a unique patented architecture, Titan customers can achieve tasks impossible with alternative systems, implementing tomorrow's solutions today. The company's headquarters are in San Jose, California with European operations based in Bracknell, England. More information on BlueArc is available on the Internet at www.bluearc.com.

About Force10 Networks

Force10 Networks is the pioneer in building and securing high performance networks. Based on a revolutionary system architecture that delivers best-in-class resiliency and massive scalability, Force10's TeraScale E-Series switch/routers ensure predictable application performance, increase network availability, and reduce operating costs. Today, many of the world's largest Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks depend on Force10 Networks. For additional information, please visit www.force10networks.com.

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