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Call of Duty animator Axis Animation quashes storage anxiety with EMC Isilon

Tamlin Magee | Aug. 30, 2016
The IT team of a production studio approaching a critical point reached a newfound work-life balance with Isilon and OneFS

"That fine-grained policy application is a much deeper and insightful toolset than is available on other policy systems like Dell's Compellent, where the policies aren't really that fine-grained or clever," Devlin says.

Devlin sums up the needs of a production house like Axis with an anecdote from an EMC conference late last year - while speaking, he asked the room who was generating more or less data, and there was only one person in the audience who was generating more, with a system designed for DNA sequencing and analysis.

"Everybody else in the room was generating significantly less than us, which was a bit of a surprise to me - I thought we were just the norm, but apparently we're not," he says.

There have been a few really concrete tangible business benefits to date. First, there's been a noticeable difference in the IT team's work-life balance: because the primary cluster snapshots every four hours onto the backup cluster, meaning the team can wind back to any four-hour point in time if anything disappears on the primary, Devlin is no longer getting phone calls at home.

"Nobody's really concerned, and any time we do have an issue we can fix it pretty much instantaneously," he says. "Us techies can actually have a life."

"In terms of the impact on the business, we have some fairly stringent clients who will look at our systems as part of their pre-qualification for doing work with us," he says. "In the last year alone, we have doubled our revenue, and we are now doing long-form work where previously we wouldn't have been able to, not only because we didn't have the storage but because our clients wouldn't have necessarily had the comfort that all these things were in place.

"The only thing it can't do for me is if this building blows up, because it's not an internet-facing link, it's a layer 2 link - and at that point I have bigger problems than 'can I access my data'.

"I've got 100 percent confidence in the Isilon care, we've probed it and done disaster recovery tests. The benefit really intrinsically comes out of what we are doing now versus what we were doing about a year and a half ago, in terms of business."

 

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