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August 2017

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Page 28 of 43 27 POST AUGUST 2017 frame" means that storage requirements are now "orders or magnitude more complex" than they used to be. "We had grown a lot, and there comes a time in your company life cycle when you say you need enterprise-level storage. Then you look at the cost associated with it. But a lot comes with using an enterprise-level system, including the number of 9's in uptime. Going from 99 percent uptime to 99.9 percent uptime is a big deal," he says. That spells increased revenue for your business. So the investment becomes a necessity. Healer says that The Molecule's 100 employ- ees on both coasts have worked on about 20 different shows so far this year, including Netflix's Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Seven Seconds, NBC's Shades of Blue, FX's The Americans, HBO's Ballers, OWN's Queen Sugar, USA Network's Shooter, Hulu's The Path, CBS's Elementary, the upcoming Syfy series Happy! and the independent feature, The Wall. In a typical TV, streaming or feature film workflow, material is delivered via Aspera then distributed via Shotgun to artists in New York and LA. At the same time, the ingest team makes a version zero of the footage — a QuickTime which serves as an internal QC step. "Isilon is pretty unique in how the load is dis- tributed across the network," Healer says. "Our system is on a multi-path 10-gig Ethernet back- bone, so we can have 20 artists, the I/O team and the render farms simultaneously take multiple paths to the data. This set up requires no local- ized data for the artists: All the workstations are on gigabit lines, which the storage system sat- urates without saturating its own internal band- width. And, since many jobs happen at once, the render farm never stops." The Molecule is doubling the size of its LA studio and that office will soon need a new stor- age solution, Healer says. A second Isilon sys- tem is under consideration as are products from OpenDrives. C A D E N C E E F F E C T S Almost 10 years ago, Craig Crawford made a life- style move from LA with his family, settling in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and establishing the boutique VFX studio, Cadence Effects ( The company does high-turn- over paint, 2S composites and invisible effects, and its enviable credit roster includes most of the The Fast and The Furious franchise, Bad Moms, Alien Outpost, Game of Thrones since Season 3, pilots for HBO and Warner Bros, American Horror Story in partnership with FuseFX, Magnificent Seven and Creed in partnership with Sandbox F/X and Central Intelligence in partnership with Arch 9 Films. Cadence Effects does 200 to 300 2D VFX shots for Game of Thrones annually. "I'm set up with three workstations: 2012 spec'd 12-core Mac Towers that have been maxed out with 128GB of RAM and SSD drives to run the OS and apps," says Crawford. "It's a 4K set up with an Nvidia Geforce Titan X graphics card and 4K monitor; the Titan takes full advantage of GUP acceleration within NukeX." Crawford says Cadence Effects' central storage system is "very basic and gives the best bang for the buck in terms of performance/reliability. We all plug into it via a gigabit connection." For three years, the artists worked locally, backing up everything to a G-RAID on the desk- top. But Crawford wanted a central server system that allowed multiple access to the same shot and a more collaborative workflow. Two years ago, Crawford invested in a Synology DS2415 12-bay DiskStation, a powerful, scalable NAS with 20TB of available space that offers outstanding data transfer rates and failover support for maximum performance and service continuity. He moved from RAID 0 to RAID 6, which allows two disks to fail at once with no loss of data. "Two of my machines back up to their local storage drives every night in case something drastic happens," he adds. The Synology DiskStation "offered the perfor- mance and reliability I needed at the time," says Crawford. "Down the road, I'll spend more for a system with a better UI and read/write speeds. I want a server that's as fast as I can get, but that comes with a cost. When I land the next big show, which could afford and justify a hard- ware purchase, I might upgrade sooner than expected." In a typical workflow for Game of Thrones, HBO will use Aspera to send two or three sepa- rate plates for split screen shots. They are ingest- ed into the server, where all the scripts and rendered comps also reside. Cadence Effects completes around 200 to 300 2D VFX shots for Game Of Thrones Of Thrones Of anually. Cadence relies on a Synology DiskStation for storage. Craig Crawford established Cadence Effects almost 10 years ago in LA.

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