Arc Productions is one of the longest running successful CG animation and visual effects companies in Canada with a well-earned global reputation for quality, efficiency, and reliability. The Arc Productions Systems and Infrastructure team had run out of expansion space on their core network and were in the market for a new technology that would increase the capacity of the system.
Animation projects place excessive demand on the network. The process of rendering models into 2D and 3D animations requires a high-bandwidth, stable infrastructure. Arc Productions understood that any investment in a brand new network infrastructure would require a large capital outlay. Not only this, Arc Productions would need to places its bets and hope the technology they selected would serve them over years to come.
“We started to discuss ways to increase the capacity of the networking system without having to replace the entire core, reworking everything,” said Terry Dale, Vice President of Systems and Infrastructure at Arc Productions. We introduced the idea of procuring the network as a subscription service rather than incurring the large capital expenditure to upgrade their aging technology.
“IT as a service allows Arc to consume the networking on an as-needed basis, adding and decreasing capacity as requirements change,” said John Morch, the Account Executive for Arc. “The real win is that it future proofs their technology – rather than running the networking gear for 6 years they can now think of it in 60 day windows.”
IT as a service allows Arc to consume the networking on an as-needed basis, adding and decreasing capacity as requirements change. Rather than running the networking gear for 6 years, they can now think of it in 60 day windows.
Arc Productions selected two Brocade 48-port switches, which are connected together and trunked to the legacy core switch. They move the storage and infrastructure servers onto the Brocade fabric. “We can link as many Brocade switches together as we like, allowing us to expand as we grow,” said John Hickson, Head of Systems Engineering and Rendering at Arc Productions. “Now, if we are testing a new piece of hardware and we need more ports, we can just call them up.”
“Scalar has a good group of engineers that know these products very well. Our confidence was pretty high going into this project,” said Dale. It is important not to disrupt workflow, as even half an hour of downtime for Arc Productions is very costly. Our team and the Brocade team worked closely with Dale and Hickson to design a solution that would work with the existing core network, resulting in a smooth deployment of the new technology.
We enjoy a long running, collaborative relationship with Arc Productions, that promotes a healthy dose of learning on both sides. “I have been very happy with my relationship with Scalar. They are knowledgeable about their products, they want to learn about me as a customer and understand our business so they can bring their expertise to the table, augmenting our in house team.” said Dale. “For a small outlay, we are into the new technology and have sped up our central core.”
The thing that has impressed me about Scalar is their willingness to come to the table and learn. They do not come at us with products, instead they listen to our problems and work with us to come up with solutions.