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Empowering the dream-makers - How Animal Logic grew their movie-making power with a prefabricated data center

With over 25 years experience, independent Australian company Animal Logic has been at the forefront of creating digital content, award winning visual effects and animation for the film and television industries.

Company

Animal Logic

Sector

Film & Television

Location

Sydney Australia

 

Icon Eye

project type

Prefabricated Data Centres Solution

Goal

Align data center infrastructure strategy to meet business needs.

Approach

Deployment of a modular scalable data center architecture based on Schneider Electric’s customizable prefabricated data center solution.

Story

Increasing demands of high performance computing resources. Business impact of latency bandwidth costs and security and increased data sovereignty demands forcing Animal Logic to come up with an alternative solution.

Results

  • Animal Logic experienced a massive boost in animation productivity; the direct result of deploying a render farm with an average operations speed of 1.25 petaflops per second for their most common workloads, all within a 30 kW per rack power density.
  • The on-premise system is more reliable than their prior one, removing creative “bottlenecks,” reducing latency, and reducing their utility bill.
  • With our services supporting the present and future of Animal Logic’s data center, they’re operating in peak condition.

Bringing characters to life for the silver screen

The studio recently delivered work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Alien: Covenant (2017), The LEGO® Batman Movie (2017), The Great Wall (2016), and The Master: A LEGO® Ninjago Short (2016). Animal Logic is currently in production on The LEGO® Ninjago Movie (2017), Peter Rabbit (2018), and The LEGO® Movie Sequel (2019). Other film credits include: The LEGO® Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Great Gatsby, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, 300, and Happy Feet. Animal Logic Entertainment (ALE), is the development and production arm tasked with establishing a strong slate of innovative, commercially minded, story driven projects stamped with the visual and technical innovation that has become the hallmark of the studios’ work.

Most recently, Animal Logic Entertainment announced a joint venture with Imagine Entertainment to develop, produce, and finance 6 feature length animation and hybrid animation projects over the next 5 years.

Animal Logic is one of the world’s most highly regarded digital production studios with locations in Sydney, Los Angeles and Vancouver — leading to a larger need under pressing industry demand — for the perfect data center.

Data needs and deployment speeds

Alex Timbs, Head of IT at Animal Logic, explains the Animation studio’s growth challenge: “Because our business is cyclical in nature, the demands of the productions we’re working on dictate how many people we have working for us, and how much infrastructure we need. So, speed of deployment for our data center environments is absolutely critical to our success.”

Alex provides perspective on the need for high-density data capacity: “Around 90% of the data center houses high-density compute, which is used for the process of rendering images … the other 10% is high-capacity storage used for production, which houses the images that are generated by that render process.”

Animal Logic prides itself on dreaming big for the big screen and as a result their data center solution needed to be equally as ambitious. Alex says he chose a Schneider Electric prefabricated data center solution because it allows for customization, has a reputation for flexible engineering, and promises fast deployment.

The new state of Animal Logic’s data capacity

Understanding Animal Logic’s unique needs for capacity and delivery, Schneider deployed a custom prefab DC in just under four and a half months. The new infrastructure delivered a major boost in data processing, which in turn enabled greater performance and operational agility.

For example, the newly implemented 30 kW per rack power density empowers Animal Logic’s facility to process 1.25 petaflops per second on average — exactly the depth of capability the graphics house required for advanced animation production and design.

We selected Schneider Electric based on their engineering capabilities and ability to meet the businesses needs quickly.

Alex said, “We selected a high-density Schneider prefab for the purposes of meeting the new business requirements. We needed an extremely high capacity, highly dense solution. We selected Schneider Electric based on their engineering capabilities and ability to meet the businesses needs quickly.”

Furthermore, a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software was deployed to provide complete visibility across the facility, improving planning and operational performance. StruxureOn™, a cloud-based monitoring service offers Animal Logic maximum protection of critical equipment. It features 24/7 remote monitoring, remote troubleshooting, and data-driven insights that provide visibility and live metrics — right to their smartphones.

A partnership secured

Within four and a half months, Animal Logic’s prefabricated data center arrived. They soon began experiencing the returns from investing in a Schneider Electric™ prefabricated data center as their compute capability quickly grew and business-risky latency shrank. The prefab unit will continue to power the studio’s movie-making magic. “Schneider was the only vendor to be able to deliver in that four and a half months, and has very rapidly become what we call a partner in creating these fantastic images that you see on screen,” says Alex, “Schneider Electric is our partner in making movies.”

Animal Logic Sydney is currently in production on LEGO Ninjago (2017) and Peter Rabbit (2018) while its Vancouver studio is currently working on The LEGO Movie Sequel (2019). Keep an eye out for their continuing contribution in Hollywood animation.

 

 
 
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