Auckland, New Zealand - 01 Aug 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that Workshop FX, a Wellington 3D Computer Animation and Visual FX company, is the first New Zealand customer to implement IBM SONAS, its scalable enterprise-class network attached storage array. SONAS (Scale Out Network Attached Storage) has enabled Workshop FX to significantly increase rendering productivity while preparing the studio for future business growth and emerging industry standards including 3D film production.
Workshop FX purchased IBM SONAS in mid 2010 after a global tender. The upgrade from IBM pSeries was driven in part by new High Definition requirements of television shows, such as the second season of The Wot Wots, and by a long term plan to offer additional 3D services in film and animated TV. 3D content creation requires twice the rendering and storage capacity of 2D programmes.
In addition to managing its vastly increasing storage needs, Workshop FX wanted to speed up digital file rendering times to meet tight film and TV production deadlines from producers in New Zealand and internationally.
IBM SONAS automatically stripes data across all disks in a logical storage pool, meaning multiple artists can simultaneously access media files directly off the server. With increased storage capacity and improved renderwall throughput, Workshop FX is now able to speed its rendering of high-quality sequences by up to 20 per cent. Additionally, extra storage capacity can be added at any time without disrupting artists’ work.
“We create and manage millions of files and this number will increase exponentially as our business grows and new formats such as 3D continue to emerge,” says Stephanie Hopkins, General Manager at Workshop FX. “Fortunately the flexible, modular approach of IBM SONAS to storage growth will allow Workshop FX to work on more projects simultaneously in both 2D and 3D, giving us a competitive advantage over some other visual effects companies.”
“Unified storage management is a competitive advantage for Workshop FX and our existing relationship with IBM gives us the confidence to adopt a new product in SONAS,” says John McMullen, IT Manager at Workshop FX. “IBM locally and internationally supported us. At the end of the day, the right technology fit for an organisation is only as good as the global experience and support behind it.”
Implementation at Workshop FX was managed by IBM Business Partner Spectrum Consulting and IBM’s own international IBM SONAS development specialists.
“Workshop FX is a successful early adopter of productivity enhancing technology,” says Matt Paterson, Systems and Technology Group Manager, IBM New Zealand. “Their artists’ and directors’ creativity relies on reliable and high capacity storage and hardware to deliver ideas to the big screen. IBM is extremely proud to contribute to the future productions of Workshop FX.”
For more information about IBM, please visit http://www.ibm.com/nz/en/
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