The Portland Group
CSCS Top Right Frontpage
HPCwire

Since 1986 - Covering the Fastest Computers
in the World and the People Who Run Them

Language Flags

Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications

Enterprise Tech
Datanami
HPCwire Japan

HP Cloud Helps Build Dream Movies


Since the introduction of feature-length digitally-animated films like Toy Story and Shrek, animation artists have been trading in their paintbrushes for software. As demand continues to grow for these films, animation studios require more compute power and storage to handle their workloads. Recently, DreamWorks announced a continuation of their decade-long partnership with HP as they look to take advantage of HP's cloud services.

DreamWorks logoDerek Chan, head of digital operations at DreamWorks, spoke with CloudPro about the technology behind its digitally-animated features. Chan explained that a feature film for the studio would generate roughly 500 million files and consume 200 terabytes of data. Beyond the storage requirements, an estimated 70 million CPU hours are needed to develop and render a film.

Chan mentioned in an interview at CloudBeat 2011 that DreamWorks was implementing grid computing and private cloud infrastructures with HP as far back as 2003. The deployments were made because the studio simply didn't have enough physical space to house necessary processing power.

In 2010, the animation studio again looked to HP cloud technology to build continuity between their three production facilities, two in Redwood City and Glendale California, as well as one in Bangalore, India. They replaced point-to-point connections in favor of HP's Switch Cloud in Las Vegas. Both California facilities are attached to the switch via 10Gb fiber.

Ideally, the Bangalore studio would have the same bandwidth, but it's physical distance makes installing the pipe unfeasible.

"It is pretty cost prohibitive to get a 10Gb line between there and the US, so there we run at 500ms. We would love to have a global system that could provide a single view of that same data across all of this, whether private or public cloud. This is one of our big targets – the next evolution of the cloud for us is to make this a viable reality," said Chan in an interview with Datacenter Dynamics.

One of the company's largest challenges comes from demand to create more films, placing additional stress on their compute capacity. Since producing two feature films from 1998-2001, the studio has increased output considerably, creating five features between 2008-2010. To continue to making films at this pace, DreamWorks will be relying on a hybrid cloud setup. In 2010, the cloud processed five percent of the company's rendering workload, while now that figure is up to 20 percent – it's an evolution says Chan.

For entertainment companies, and especially digital animation studios, cloud storage and rendering services are becoming a viable alternative to managing private datacenters. As the industry continues to push the boundaries of technology, cloud providers can expect to receive more attention from content creators.

Most Read Features

Most Read Around the Web

Most Read This Just In

Most Read Blogs


Sponsored Whitepapers

Breaking I/O Bottlenecks

10/30/2013 | Cray, DDN, Mellanox, NetApp, ScaleMP, Supermicro, Xyratex | Creating data is easy… the challenge is getting it to the right place to make use of it. This paper discusses fresh solutions that can directly increase I/O efficiency, and the applications of these solutions to current, and new technology infrastructures.

A New Ultra-Dense Hyper-Scale x86 Server Design

10/01/2013 | IBM | A new trend is developing in the HPC space that is also affecting enterprise computing productivity with the arrival of “ultra-dense” hyper-scale servers.

Sponsored Multimedia

Xyratex, presents ClusterStor at the Vendor Showdown at ISC13

Ken Claffey, SVP and General Manager at Xyratex, presents ClusterStor at the Vendor Showdown at ISC13 in Leipzig, Germany.

HPCwire Live! Atlanta's Big Data Kick Off Week Meets HPC

Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?

Newsletters

Stay informed! Subscribe to HPCwire email Newsletters.

HPCwire Weekly Update
HPC in the Cloud Update
Digital Manufacturing Report
Datanami
HPCwire Conferences & Events
Job Bank
HPCwire Product Showcases


Xyratex

HPC Job Bank


Featured Events


HPCwire Events