HP Blade Servers Power the Next Generation of Visual Entertainment

HP today announced that two world-leading visual effects companies have selected HP blade server technology to increase production of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and drive cost-saving data center initiatives.

CGI is used as visual effects in films, television programs and video games. With CGI, development of a typical 90-minute film often requires the production and storage of more than 2 million hours of digitally created content.

These extreme performance and storage requirements, coupled with the rising demand for visual effects, have put competitive pressure on companies to increase production. At the same time, they must drive operational costs out of the business. With high-performance computing blade solutions from HP, visual effects companies are now able to produce larger volumes of digital content much faster and more cost-effectively.

Customers realize cost and space savings with HP high-performance computing solutions

Australia-based Animal Logic is the visual effects creator for the motion pictures “Happy Feet,” “300” and “Australia.” As the company approached maximum capacity in its data center, it turned to HP for servers that would be more energy- and space-efficient without sacrificing system performance.

Animal Logic’s upcoming animated film, “Guardians of Ga’Hoole,” will be created using 1,000 HP ProLiant BL2x220c server blades housed within HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosures. The film is expected to be released in the summer of 2010.

“Creating award-winning digital imagery requires incredibly powerful, efficient computing technology,” said Alex Timbs, head of information technology at Animal Logic. “The HP BL2x220c delivers the same peak performance of our previous system, but utilizes only a fraction of the power and physical space. HP’s two-in-one blade packs double the compute power in our existing space, allowing us to keep up with the demands of our business without physically building out our data center. We are achieving significant advantages in terms of cost benefits – both capital and operational – by moving to HP blade servers.”

Paprikaas is part of the global Technicolor business and a strategic partner of DreamWorks Animation. When its Bangalore, India, data center was out of available power and nearly out of physical space, the company turned to HP for energy-saving server technologies.

Paprikaas chose HP ProLiant BL460c G5 servers to increase performance and establish an energy-efficiency standard in its data center. With its low-power module and the latest low-watt quad-core processor from Intel, the HP ProLiant BL460c is optimized for power-constrained environments.

“The production demands of our business were pushing the power and space limits of our current data center, so we faced a significant challenge – either build out another data center or find an energy-efficient server alternative,” said Nandish Domlur, chief executive officer, Paprikaas. “With the HP Proliant BL460c, we’ve increased our available compute capacity significantly without increasing our total power draw a single watt. We also have the compute power required to create the next blockbuster animation.”

Powered by 240 ProLiant BL460c servers, Paprikaas’ production system placed on the recent TOP500 List of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Its system delivers 23 teraflops(1) per second of performance, which enables Paprikaas to significantly increase CGI production and gain a competitive advantage.

HP blade servers offer visual effects companies a way to pack the increased compute power and capacity needed for producing high-resolution digital imagery into a smaller space. Additionally, the many energy-saving features of the HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant server technologies can deliver bottom-line savings to the business. As a result, customers are able to increase production, gaining a competitive advantage in their markets, without exceeding data center space and operational budgets.


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