Animation studio undertakes Titan-ic NAS deployment

C.O.R.E. Feature Animation has deployed a trio of BlueARC's Titan SiliconServer systems. Also this week, AppIQ develops iSCSI management tools for Intel and a new Exchange archiving tool hits the streets.

Animation studio undertakes Titan-ic NAS deployment

When BlueARC Corp. launched the Titan SiliconServer in January it was trying to escape its label as a niche player in the NAS market. Now, it seems, users in different industries are taking note of BlueARC's technology. This week, the San Jose, Calif.-based NAS specialist announced that C.O.R.E. Feature Animation, a division of Canadian visual effects and digital animation studio, C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, has deployed three Titan systems in a multimillion dollar deal to speed movie production and reduce storage costs associated with creating digitally animated feature films.

C.O.R.E. Feature Animation is using more than 50 TB of storage across three Titan systems to save rendering time and simplify storage management, allowing quicker delivery of films to market.

According to Tom Burns, director of technology for C.O.R.E. Feature Animation, "Titan was by far the best storage solution we tested and the only one that could handle the throughput demands associated with the rendering process."

C.O.R.E.'s rendering process of each movie frame requires hundreds of processors to access large image files concurrently in order to generate the required colors, textures, lighting and shading, placing tremendous demands on the storage network infrastructure. C.O.R.E.'s render farm of more than 1000 central processing units (CPUs), each pulling in excess of 500 MB per frame of artist-driven content, was too intense for traditional network storage to manage.

The throughput capabilities of Titan enable C.O.R.E. Feature Animation to render an entire frame of animation - rather than adding complexity to the process by splitting each individual animation frame into component parts.

The Titan allows a single file system to grow up to 256 TB and delivers throughput speeds of up to 20 Gbps. The secret of BlueArc's speedy throughput and scalability lies in the SiliconServer Architecture, which moves typical software-based functions into programmable hardware. But Titan won't get you 20 Gbps right away. The system starts off at a 5 Gbps throughput rate and can scale to 20 Gbps through modular upgrades.

AppIQ to build management tools for Intel's iSCSI gear

AppIQ Inc., Burlington, Mass., announced this week that it is working with Intel Corp., to develop management solutions for iSCSI-based storage networks.

The collaboration calls for Intel and AppIQ to begin joint development of Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) interfaces for the iSCSI storage components being produced by Intel's Storage Components Division, which will make Intel iSCSI products compliant with the Common Information Model (CIM) and SMI-S standards. The joint development efforts will let AppIQ StorageAuthority Suite discover, monitor, provision, automate and report on iSCSI storage resources developed by Intel.

AppIQ said the collaboration will spawn an integrated, standards-based family of storage management products that support DAS, NAS and SANs on all physical protocols, including ATA, SCSI, Fibre Channel and iSCSI. According to AppIQ, Users will be able to deploy iSCSI-based storage resources in combination with Fibre Channel SANs. In addition to the technical collaboration, Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment program, participated in AppIQ's Series B investment round in July 2003.

Software firms join forces to speed e-mail archiving

The industry has come to the realization that e-mail archiving is a storage problem after all. In an effort to capitalize on the archiving market, C2C Systems Ltd. and Lextek International have partnered to provide e-mail archiving products to companies worldwide. C2C has incorporated Lextek's Onix search technology into its Archive One product line.

Here's how the technology works. Archive One Compliance, an archiving, retention and retrieval management application for Microsoft Exchange, stores and manages large amounts of e-mail text while Lextek's Onix product offers full text indexing and retrieval technology.

Art Pollard, president of Lextek International claims that using Onix and Archive One in tandem let users "search through six years of e-mail and find exactly what they're looking for in a short period of time."

This Week's Other News:

EMC improves Centera software integration through secret acquisition

Sub-$10,000 SANs become a reality

Backward compatibility key to new tape drive buys

SD 2004 preview: Bargain hunting for NetBackup

NetApp to reshape its storage architecture

Tape vendor claims high-end reliability for low-end autoloader

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