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Scandinavian SFX company heads to cloud with Avere

Scandinavian special effects organisation Important Looking Pirates has appointed Avere as a technology partner. Avere specialises in enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud. It will work with ILP by working with Avere FXT Edge filers and cloud bursting technology to move rendering workloads offsite to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) without compromising on quality.

The problem being addressed is the vastly increased workload for ILP, which didn’t want to have to invest in all the hardware that on-premise storage would have required. It is currently working on Starz’ series “Black Sails” as well as a new adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s book “Childhood’s End” for SyFy.

In terms of the technology requirement this means the need to scale up its capacity to render, meaning the cloud was the obvious solution without investing in copious amounts of servers. However this was made less than straightforward by the latency people typically experience with cloud-based applications.

Niklas Jacobson, co-founder of ILP explained, “Without Avere to improve the performance of our render workloads in the cloud, the alternative would be to either buy more hardware or to reduce our output – which is not an option.” He pointed to the use of Avere during its recent work on “Black Sails” that allowed it to double its render capability overnight and meet a tight deadline.

The technology now allows ILP to be genuinely flexible about where its workloads are processed as they are cloud-based rather than on-premise. “We don’t have to be as selective or worried when taking on jobs, we don’t have to pick and choose jobs based on when their delivery dates are, and we can take on jobs and scale on an as-needed basis.” Added Jacobson. ILP will also benefit from the fact that the supplier works with multiple cloud providers to source its storage technology. “Avere gives us the flexibility and freedom to build our infrastructure where and with whom it makes the most sense.”

For its own part Avere is pleased with the deal: “Avere is helping innovators like ILP unlock the potential of the cloud to deliver content for TV and films that has been held back by traditional legacy storage architectures,” said Ron Bianchini, president and CEO, Avere Systems. “Avere is pleased to help ILP meet its exacting quality standards and scale operations to the cloud to meet growing demand.”

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