Used for the initial assembly of the reels for Gnomeo & Juliet, Starz purchased the ExtremeStor-DI servers after discovering that the previous storage solutions did not provide enough IO bandwidth to supply full resolution uncompressed stereo streams of production. The ExtremeStor-DI features PCI-Express x16 video bus support and Nvidia Quadro 6000 SDI by PNY graphic board in the Optical Sandwich configuration, the dual-Quad Core tower-based workstation with optional RAID hardware, capable of 3400 MBps of sustained data throughput with RAID 5 capabilities. These features allowed the Globalstor system to exceed the bandwidth needed to supply the stereo output for the Starz screening room.
"We have three Scratch systems in house, so ASSIMILATE referred us to Globalstor, with whom the company has a long-standing partnership," says Terry Dale, VP Operations for Starz Media Canada, Co. "The folks at ASSIMILATE knew that Gnomeo & Juliet had just gone to stereo production and that we needed a system capable of performing with high enough throughput to be able to do stereo streams."
Prior to purchasing the ExtremeStor-DI servers, Starz sent several Gnomeo & Juliet frames to Globalstor to ensure the server could get the necessary throughput with the files being used for production.
"Everyone at Globalstor was awesome in getting us off the ground," continues Dale. "The team was willing to bend over backwards to make sure that its product was going to deliver what we needed it to deliver. We sent Globalstor the frames; its team ran it no problem and sent us back the results. It was performing way better than anything we’ve ever had so we ended up buying two units."
Released by Touchstone Pictures, Gnomeo & Juliet is an animated film loosely based on the classic Romeo and Juliet stage production by William Shakespeare. Instead of traditional swords and beasts, the film’s main characters – average household garden gnomes – face-off with lawnmowers and pink flamingo garden decorations. The film opened in February 2011 and has been a box office success, earning nearly $150 million world-wide in less than a month.
Starz Animation Toronto’s second ExtremeStor-DI system is currently being used in production of the Starz Network’s short-series, "Camelot," which premieres April 2011.