03 Feb 2010
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NetApp’s role in Avatar

Creating a new world for the screen doesn’t come without significant data, and Avatar generated more data than any other movie in history, prompting a need for efficient data storage and management.

Because of the film’s use of motion-capture techniques, it generated more data than any other film, even surpassing the amount of data used for the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy combined.

In order to manage the massive amount of data, Weta Digital, which provided many of the effects and animation for the film, partnered with NetApp and reduced data management overhead by 95%.

Key challenges included managing huge amounts of data generated by the renderwall and providing Weta artists with fast access to that data when changes were made to master texture files. In order to combat some of the challenges, Weta worked wih NetApp and Fujistsu New Zealand to develop a scalable storage solution that maximised the price-to-performance ratio for its storage environment and reduced the amount of manual data management required.

Chief Technology Officer of Weta Digital Paul Ryan said, “A traditional storage approach would have made it very difficult to manage the workload required for Avatar. Having partnered with NetApp successfully for 10 years, we were delighted they delivered an innovative, efficient storage environment that was tailored to our needs.”

Avatar image via Yahoo.

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