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Silicon Graphics Solves Hollywood’s Toughest Media Management Challenges


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (April 26, 2006)—As demand grows for higher resolution digital content from high-definition to 2K and 4K, and for more versions of that content for film, television, Internet and mobile delivery, entertainment production facilities have been turning to Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) to help solve their big data content management challenges. SGI has leveraged its high-performance computing and storage expertise that helps government and defense agencies, research universities and Fortune 1000 companies worldwide, to assist Media companies manage the massive amounts of content data impacting their ability to be more productive and profitable.

As media companies began to create and convert their content into digital formats, SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions have assisted film studios, television post-production and film mastering facilities in their transition to IT infrastructures to better manage the growing amount of content data, in production, archiving and repurposing content assets.

“Customers have been extremely pleased with our leadership in standards and interoperability, continued effort to supporting leading Media applications on various operating systems, and our massive data I/O capability-all of which has helped drive the growth in Digital Intermediates in Hollywood and around the world. It has been very gratifying to witness the increasingly large number of partners and customers who have embraced our InfiniteStorage direction,” said Louise Ledeen, Market Strategy Manager, Media Industries, SGI.

SGI InfiniteStorage solutions enable video/film companies to optimize their facility-wide workflows by leveraging IT advances. Enormous amounts of data may be shared by many, within and between facilities without the need to move the content data. SGI InfiniteStorage solutions optimize dataflow through the facility by providing true file sharing at production speeds with a choice of both network attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) storage architectures.

SGI® InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS™ allows facilities to choose the best-of-breed applications for the job without operating system constraints. With more than 500 customers since its introduction in 1999, CXFS provides industry-leading heterogeneous shared file access over a storage area network and supports Linux®, Mac OS® X, Windows®, IRIX®, IBM® AIX®, and Solaris™ platforms. Film resolution material can be accessed through the facility as data at real-time rates.

SGI® Data Migration Facility (DMF) is a hierarchical storage management (HSM) software solution that automatically migrates data from high-speed disk to nearline disk and tape storage, significantly lowering the cost of capacity and management.

SGI continues to expand the value of its InfiniteStorage solutions to its customers through the integration of 3rd party application toolsets, such as DataFrameworks, Ardendo and Pixel Nation, to better manage their resources-personnel productivity, storage and file system usage and digital content asset management throughout the production pipeline. Many of these applications and their database components are hosted on the SGI® Altix ® family of 64-bit Linux servers with Intel® Itanium® 2 processors.

In addition to the SGI® Professional Services engagements aimed at tackling very large and complex installations for secure digital content management, SGI is beginning to take its product, domain expertise and best practices to deliver small but powerful SGI InfiniteStorage NAS and SAN solutions to reach a larger share of the Media market as well as address the growing Rich-Media production, delivery and archiving requirements in enterprise and government through the SGI channel and in partnership with other system integrators.
Among the post production and media companies that have recently purchased SGI InfiniteStorage solutions are:

* Ascent Media Group, an industry leader in content creation, post-production and distribution of film and television, selected SGI server, storage and networking products and professional services to create a new state-of-the-art facility in Burbank, California. SGI systems are a key part of the digital infrastructure of its data-centric production network solution known as ProdNet, which offers studio clients ultra-secure methods for manufacturing, repurposing and distributing large media assets in huge volumes, with no concession to bandwidth limitations. At the core of AMG’s ProdNet system are three SGI metadata servers based on SGI® Origin® 350 technology, acting as the SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS servers for the storage system. AMG has a total of 20 SGI Origin 350 servers. ProdNet is fully up and running with two SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9500 storage systems and one SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9300 storage system, giving AMG a total 100TB of enterprise class storage in addition to 80TB in local caches around the facility.
* Atlab Australia, a long-time SGI customer and one of the largest independent release printing laboratories in the world, upgraded its capability with the purchase of a 4Gb SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9700 based SAN solution in its Sydney headquarters in November. The SAN solution supports the digital department to digitally refine films and deliver significant workflow improvements and cost savings for Australian and International filmmakers. Atlab started working with SGI nearly six years ago when it implemented SGI CXFS to handle Digital Intermediates-a capability that now exists in its Sydney and Melbourne offices. Overall, the $1.7 million project includes the new TP9700, the original SGI InfiniteStorage TP9300 and SGI® InfiniteStorageTP9100 solutions, an SGI® Origin® 350 server, Silicon Graphics® Tezro® visual workstations, Fibre Channel switches and SGI services and support.
* EFILM LLC, a major digital film laboratory in Hollywood, Calif., and a long-time customer of Silicon Graphics, has purchased a large complement of SGI technology to support its exploding Digital Laboratory business. EFILM purchased an SGI® InfiniteStorage RM660 system to add three real-time data streams to an SGI CXFS shared filesystem SAN. EFILM also purchased 61TB of SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 SATA storage, a Brocade® SilkWorm® 48000 Director for Fibre Channel connectivity, a top-of-the-line StorageTek® SL8500 tape library with a petabyte (PB) of storage, and an SGI® Altix® 350 server system with eight Intel Itanium 2 processors to be used as a tape server. EFILM also has an Altix 350 and two Altix 330 servers for R&D, a 64-processor SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 server for rendering and image processing and hundreds of terabytes of SGI InfiniteStorage.
* iFILM a post-production in Barcelona, last August upgraded its existing SGI InfiniteStorage SAN solution with two storage arrays, the SGI TP9500 RAID storage array and the SGI InfiniteStorage RM6660 built around two metadata servers and 15 client stations. A key selection criteria for iFILM has been the GRIO V2 quality of service (QoS) reservation architecture that allows ensured bandwidth to create, manage and distribute high-resolution content efficiently and cost effectively.
* Janimation, a creative animation, visual effects and design studio in Dallas, Texas, purchased a complete SGI® InfiniteStorage NAS Gateway system for their work in feature films, commercials and video game design. SGI NAS Gateway enables them to use their existing storage systems with InfiniteStorage NAS allowing them to leverage the investment they have already made in existing storage systems. Janimation performed extensive research before testing and purchasing the SGI system, and they are already reporting greatly enhanced workflow and performance due to the speed and throughout of the SGI NAS system.
* Lapospo is a state-of-the art post-production house based in Barcelona operating in the advertising and movie industries. Last summer, for its new facilities they purchased an SGI InfiniteStorage SAN solution that provides a single, centralized filesystem and instant data sharing eliminating data access bottlenecks, ease administration and access as well as a single point of backup. The GRIO V2 quality of service (QoS) reservation architecture allows Lapospo to work in 2K and 4K and to store up to four 2K movies at a time ensuring real-time performance while allowing the facility to optimize the use of available resources.
* Pacific Title & Art Studio recently purchased two SGI InfiniteStorage 6700 systems with 50TB storage to accommodate the need for greater bandwidth performance prompted by the growing demand for 4K digital intermediates by the motion picture industry. A leading film optical house since 1919, Pacific Title generates 8 to 16TB of data per day in 2K and 4K digital cinema mastering. The SGI InfiniteStorage 6700 systems, with real-time streams of 3 GBps, were selected to meet the needs of real-time 4K-which generates data rates in excess of 850MBps-as well as for the 4Gbit Fibre Channel architecture, which the facility plans to implement throughout its two locations in Hollywood, Calif. An early adopter of SGI storage solutions, Pacific Title has an SGI® InfiniteStorage SAN consisting of SGI® Altix® 350 servers, four SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 and two TP9500 storage arrays that use CXFS to link the various SGI visual workstations, numerous Macintosh® workstations, 30 Macintosh render nodes and 50 Linux render nodes.
* Tippett Studio, an Academy Award® winning visual effects facility located in Berkeley, California, recently purchased a 4-processor SGI® Origin® 350 server and several additional SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS shared filesystem licenses to achieve even greater performance on their existing SGI InfiniteStorage SAN. To store and manage the massive amounts of data generated in creating the very complex and very special visual effects for projects including Charlotte’s Web, The Shaggy Dog, and The Santa Clause 3, Tippett Studio uses an SGI InfiniteStorage SAN solution that provides 25TB of storage and can continue to scale to larger data storage and management capabilities. The facility’s SGI SAN is comprised of two SGI TP9500 storage systems, three 8-processor SGI Origin 350 and one SGI® Origin® 2100 as metadata servers, two 16-port Brocade Fibre Channel switches under the control of SGI CXFS, SGI® Performance Co-Pilot™ monitoring system and SGI® FailSafe® high-availability software. Tippett’s film recorder host computers are on the SAN as CXFS clients. Their infrastructure also includes an SGI® Origin® 300 CXFS client that manages their tape robot, an Origin 200 server being used as a backup metadata server and SGI® TP9400 storage.

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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