Out of This World BlueArc Storage Solution Enables Planet 51 to Take Off
November 24, 2009

Out of This World BlueArc Storage Solution Enables Planet 51 to Take Off

San Jose, Calif. - BlueArc Corp., a leader in scalable, high-performance unified network storage,  announced that Ilion, the largest animation studio in Spain, relied on a BlueArc storage solution in the production of the animated science-fiction family comedy Planet 51. Now in theaters worldwide, the film debuted at number four in the box office last week, and chronicles an astronaut’s zany invasion of a peaceful alien planet.
With Planet 51 being the first full-length, animated feature film for Ilion, technical staff knew they needed to upgrade their IT infrastructure to manage the production of such a large project. After an exhaustive search, Ilion chose BlueArc not only for the ease of management and performance of the technology, but also for the industry expertise BlueArc offered.

“When we were researching storage solutions, BlueArc’s expertise in the entertainment industry made them a top choice,” says Gonzalo Rueda, chief technology officer and director of technology for Ilion. “Throughout the development of Planet 51, BlueArc provided us with an added level of service. They understood how we work within our environment and were able to take a consultative role in ensuring the solution met the exceptional demands of our animators.”

During the development of Planet 51, Ilion had 300 artists working on more than 300 dedicated rendering stations. Two clustered BlueArc Titans stored 90 terabytes of data for Planet 51, and allowed Ilion to maximize data access and user loads with low latency. Even as artists worked around the clock, placing constant demands on the storage system, BlueArc delivered consistent performance, allowing Ilion to keep production on track without the burden of downtime or aborted jobs.

Ilion leveraged BlueArc’s Data Migrator software, allowing them to automate data movement between storage tiers. By setting up unique policies, Ilion was able to transparently move sequences to a second tier of storage when they were completed or out of production.

"Data Migrator allowed us to reduce the strain on the Fibre Channel dramatically by transparently moving data between the Fibre Channel and SATA drives,” says Rueda. “We were able to access metadata quickly on Fibre Channel, even if a portion of the data was on SATA, improving our overall performance and decreasing our dependency on a large Fiber Channel tier, which reduced our costs tremendously.”