• Press Release

    April 12, 2011

    EMC Isilon Enables Laika Studios to Transform Big Data into Movie Magic

    Academy Award-Nominated Feature Film and Animation Studio Deploys Isilon Scale-Out NAS to Consolidate End-to-End Production Workflow, Simplifying Big Data Management to Accelerate Workflow Productivity

    SEATTLE, WA - April 12, 2011 -

    EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that LAIKA, the studio behind the Academy Award®-nominated Coraline, has deployed more than a petabyte of EMC Isilon®  scale-out NAS as the primary storage platform for its end-to-end animation and computer graphics (CG) workflow, simplifying big data management to increase artist collaboration and accelerate project completion. Using Isilon's SmartPools™ software application, LAIKA has unified three performance tiers into a single file system, consolidating its compositing, computer graphics and stop motion workflows onto a single, shared storage resource, streamlining production operations and improving IT efficiency.

    "We need our artists focused on the creative process, not waiting for render jobs to finish or content to migrate, so a single, shared storage resource that can accommodate a range of access patterns and performance requirements is a game-changer for us," said Jonathan Rozes, director of IT, LAIKA. "Before Isilon, we had to manage our workflows separately, which made management a hassle and limited our productivity. By moving to Isilon, we've consolidated our entire production operation on one, simple solution, which not only minimized management, but helped expand our bandwidth for new projects."

    LAIKA features two divisions: LAIKA's Entertainment division, which produces animated feature films and shorts, including Coraline, and LAIKA/house, the commercial division behind animated campaigns for Frito Lay, M&M'S and Planters. Prior to Isilon, LAIKA's traditional NAS system segregated its range of workflows across disparate file systems, complicating management, slowing application performance and limiting artist collaboration.

    Working with Isilon channel partner IMT, LAIKA deployed three tiers of Isilon scale-out NAS – the high-performance 5400S for its IOPS-intensive compositing workflow, the 10000X-SSD for metadata-intensive computer graphics applications, and the 12000X for highly concurrent stop motion effects. Using SmartPools, LAIKA has unified these three performance tiers into a single file system, simplifying management to less than one full-time equivalent (FTE) and unifying all of its production operations on a single, shared pool of storage. Additionally, using Isilon's cost-efficient NL-Series in combination with Isilon's asynchronous replication application SyncIQ®, LAIKA can backup its projects to a secure, highly reliable off-site cluster, ensuring maximum data availability and business continuity in the event of data loss or disaster.

    "Coraline is a landmark work of art in the history of animation," said Mike Braico, executive vice president, IMT. "Animation is a passion for us at IMT and Isilon's scale-out architecture is an ideal solution for the data-intensive demands of animation and CG workflows. With Isilon, leading-edge studios can scale performance and capacity in-line with changing project demands, accelerating productivity, while minimizing costs."

    "Efficient artist collaboration is key to great production in today's media industry and with the influx of big data – created by advanced CG techniques, new media formats and more – leading media companies now have unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and creativity," said Sam Grocott, vice president of marketing, Isilon. "By using Isilon scale-out NAS to consolidate its entire production workflow and scale its storage resources in-line with artists' needs, LAIKA is seizing the big data opportunity and leading the way in a new era of media and entertainment."

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