It's not often that the details of back-end computing infrastructure make a dent in the consciousness of the public at large, but with today's release of DreamWorks Animation's newest blockbuster animated film, "The Croods", HP has decided to toot its own horn about how it delivered the technology that made the latest state-of-the-art animation technology exemplar possible.
HP's relationship with DreamWorks is more than a decade old, and for its latest film, DreamWorks relied almost entirely on the HP technology infrastructure; networking, servers, workstations, storage, and management tools all were part of the HP converged infrastructure. The network was built for continuous availability and utilized the HP FlexNetwork architecture with management via the HP Intelligent Management Center. Storage duties were handled by centrally managed HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, HP MSA P2000, HP StoreAll Storage, and HP StoreOnce Backup.
HP Workstations were used to create the world that the Crood characters inhabit, and the extensive rendering necessary, reported as 80 million hours, was delivered with a compute infrastructure that consisted of four rendering farms, located globally (Glendale and Redwood City, California; Las Vegas, Nevade; and Bangalore, India), featured the HP Proliant BL460c Gen8 server blades, which HP claims were able to deliver more than 40 percent greater performance than the previous-generation hardware it supplemented and replaced. On average, 500,000 rendering jobs were completed each day of work at the rendering datacenters.
As Derek Chan, the head of Technology Global Operations for DreamWorks Animation, was quoted as saying: "HP Converged Infrastructure ensures that our film-makers have the technical resources they require to bring their creative vision to life and deliver amazing films to our audiences." Given the overall investment in animated movies of this nature and the highly visible nature of the business, should the movie be a flop, DreamWorks' decision to use a converged infrastructure solution goes a long way toward validating the converged/unified/single provider infrastructure as a good one for high-profile, "must succeed" projects.