The cost of storage is part of doing business whether it’s in the post production facility or the visual effects studio. Rainmaker Entertainment and Zoic Studios both took a step to reduce those costs by adding Ocarina Networks‘ ECOsystem. According to the San Jose, CA-based Ocarina, VFX/post companies can save up to 80 percent of their primary storage footprint. Ocarina’s solution combines “object deduplication with an industry-specific set of compression algorithms that can  losslessly shrink key Ocarinapost-production file types.”

With the increased amount of stereoscopic 3D filmmaking, reducing the storage footprint is important. Despite the fact that storage costs have lowered over the years, 3D doubles the need for storage. Similarly, archival needs are also growing. “With Ocarina, entertainment companies can cost-effectively deduplicate and compress their multi-tier storage systems, keeping more data online longer and creating new efficiencies in artist and animator workflow,” says Ocarina’s vp of business development Dave Withers. “By dramatically optimizing storage,the companies also save on data center space, power, and cooling for
each production or media archive.”

According to Withers, production data from existing Ocarina customers indicates that capital expense for new storage may drop 70 percent per production, even when the data is media file types that are already compressed, and reduce the overall cost of storage by as much as 80 percent.To prove its point, Ocarina had its solution (at two  unnamed studios) validated by independent fact-checking analyst firm TechValidate, which found space savings of up to 65% on online storage; support of 1 PB media archive on only 250TB of physical storage; deployment of a cost-effective nearline archive that significantly
increases operation productivity, while reducing the net price of disk; and all storage optimization achieved losslessly with perfect data integrity.

Results vary depending on the specifics of the company employing Ocarina Networks’ solutions. Rainmaker Entertainment reports a 65 percent capacity savings. With 70 terabytes of live data, growing at 25 terabytes per year, in addition to many terabytes of archival data, Rainmaker needed to keep more data online for continued use and reference but didn’t have the necessary capacity. By adding the Ocarina ECOsystem, Rainmaker is now able to keep more data online and accessible to artists and production crews at all times. That’s also resulted in another cost savings:  retrieving relevant files is now self-service, savings time and freeing up the in-house IT staff.”

Using Ocarina has made it possible and cost-effective for Rainmaker to maintain an online archive,” says Rainmaker’s principal data administrator Dave Algar. “Ocarina’s unique data reduction technology is specifically designed to address the growth, performance, and data availability challenges that are facing our industry.”

Zoic Studios faced a similar storage logjam, and reports that by deploying Ocarina, data has been reduced by up to 70 percent. According to Zoic Studios’ IT manager Saker Klippsten, ZOic has also been able to  increase online storage from six months to two years worth of files. “Using Ocarina has greatly simplified and consolidated our archive process – you just turn it on and it works,” says  Klippsten. “Not only has it increased our nearline storage capacity, allowing us to keep everything we need online, but also drastically reduced the amount of time required to manage the archive process and aid artists in retrieving content from tape. Our artists are more productive, our IT department has more time to devote toother mission-critical tasks, and the cost savings achieved has opened up our budget to fund new IT projects.”