1Icon of the Animated Film Industry
2SKG in Person
3‘Rise of the Guardians’ Up Next
“Rise of the Guardians,” a story about the legendary characters most beloved by children, including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, is the studio’s latest creation. It will open in November 2012. DreamWorks now produces three films per year, and it takes three to five years to make each one.
4Redwood City Data Center
DreamWorks’ main film-processing and data storage center is located on the San Francisco Bay at the far eastern edge of Redwood City, Calif., about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The facility is said to contain more than 4PB of film data and has access to many more petabytes of archived film if necessary. Each 3D movie can use as many as 17,000 processing cores and comprise around 200TB of data.
DreamWorks IT director and data center manager Mike Cutler shows how he uses “chimneys” to keep hot exhaust air from the whirring servers inside closed panels, instead of allowing it to go into a so-called “hot aisle,” as many other data centers do. Here, the air is funneled up and through the ceiling of the data center, then out onto breezy, foggy San Francisco Bay. Most other data centers use other methods to channel hot air.
6Not a Thing Out of Place
The DreamWorks data center, where the air temperature stays around 72 degrees most of the time—higher than the 66 to 68 degrees many older data centers tend to use—is the picture of organization. Data center manager Cutler said that the server and storage facility could easily operate at 10 degrees warmer if necessary.
7HP Prominently Displayed
8Peeking in the Backdoor
9Avere Nodes a Key Ingredient
When a film is in its final 18 months before release date, processing speed becomes very important. Avere’s FXT 2550 and 2750 storage arrays, like most all of the newer-generation storage hardware now being produced, feature fast and cool-running Intel Xeon quad-core processors. These machines also feature additional capacity on the dynamic RAM (DRAM) cache tier and optimize the storage I/O in the data center.
103PAR Tiered Storage
11Oscar Looks On
12Whimsicality in Topiary
The well-known DreamWorks logo of a boy fishing while sitting on the moon greets visitors in a topiary at the entrance to the studio’s Northern California campus on the San Francisco Bay.