by Tucker Mindrum

DreamWorks Details Partnership with HP for Mr. Peabody & Sherman

The newest addition to the repertoire of DreamWorks Animation, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, has been made possible due to its partnership with HP. DreamWorks Animations notably utilized both in-house HP products (like HP Z820 towers and HP DreamColor monitors) and the HP Converged Infrastructure (converged storage). Having visited the DreamWorks Animation data center in the Fall of 2012, we are especially interested in the latter.

HP’s converged storage is a suite of products that were utilized in the making of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, but their versatility makes them suitable for many enterprises. DreamWorks used a variety of HP Storage products including 3PAR T400 StoreServ Storage, supplemental V400 Arrays, and HP StoreAll 9730 Storage. DreamWorks utilized (and continues to utilize) a variety of backup products, including HP EVA 6400 Storage, HP XP20000 Storage, HP StoreEver Storage, HP StoreVirtual Storage, and HP StoreOnce B6200 Storage.

HP 3PAR T400 StoreServe Storage and V400 Arrays

StoreServe is praised as a simple and user-friendly disk, hybrid, or flash array, typically used for Tier-1 storage. DreamWorks Animations utilize a follow-the-sun production process, in which teams are kept working in different time zones so that production continues 24/7. Thus, the specialized interface that is available for 3PAR arrays is perfect for keeping data organized and accessible for the additional V400 arrays used by creative teams across the globe. The HP 3PAR StoreServe Storage product line offers a range of storage space options depending on the scenario, and was essential for the primary storage of an estimated 200TB of data generated throughout the production of Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

HP StoreAll 9730 Storage

HP’s NAS features fast storage administration and a wide range of storage options. DreamWorks uses StoreAll 9730 Storage to keep a copy of the completed film available for creative teams. StoreAll Storage features an easy-to-use search function for quickly finding and accessing backed up files. Although StoreAll Storage is used by DreamWorks to store a few large files, this search function makes it suitable for situations in which there are many small files. StoreAll Storage also allows users to easily change the amount of NAS storage space they have over time, starting with what is needed and adding more as the needs grow.

The remaining storage products are being used collectively for the secure backup of production assets and easy access and playback for the film's creative teams. A wide range of storage formats is being used to protect the film while it awaits release (and in perpetuity), including virtual, disk, tape, and cloud storage.

The rest of the essential storage components include:

  • HP EVA 6400 Storage - The HP EVA is a mid-range virtual array used to store virtual copies of the film.
  • HP XP20000 Storage - This disk array keeps the physical backup of the film optimized for effective backup and disaster recovery.
  • HP StoreEver Storage - Since a comprehensive and long-term archive is essential, DreamWorks utilizes the StoreEver tape storage system.
  • HP Virtual Storage - Virtualization of data is essential for this type of production. DreamWorks Animation also rendered 15% of its animation for Mr. Peabody and Sherman using the cloud, making this product another important factor in its production.
  • HP StoreOnce Backup - The main function of this product is to provide extremely fast backups and recoveries, presumably used more for smaller tasks and recoveries. StoreOnce is further optimized as part of the converged storage package.

HP Storage Solutions

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