CASE STUDY

 

Facilis TerraBlock Drives Rapid Turnaround for Minivegas

 

minivegasAmsterdam-based integrated production company Minivegas runs a thriving business, serving ad agencies and corporations around the world with digital, live action, animation and VFX services. Keeping pace with tight client schedules and cultivating a creative environment are key to its continued success, which prompted the company to purchase a Facilis TerraBlock 24EX shared storage system last year. The accessibility, collaboration and performance that TerraBlock has introduced into Minivegas’ workflow have enabled its team to turn around projects faster than ever before.

TerraBlock is the center of Minivegas’ dynamic pipeline; connected via 8Gb Fibre Channel are two Apple® MacPro® workstations that run a combination of software including: Autodesk® Smoke®, Avid® Media Composer®, Apple® Final Cut Pro®, The Foundry Nuke, Blackmagic Design ® DaVinci Resolve and Adobe® Creative Cloud™ (CC). Additionally, the TerraBlock is linked via 1Gb Ethernet to 12 PC workstations with Autodesk’s Maya; The Foundry’s Nuke and Mari; and Adobe CC installed.

The speed of TerraBlock has enabled Minivegas to play back high-res files in real-time and render them directly on shared storage. “No matter how much data we throw at it, or the amount of time we’re working on it, our TerraBlock performs perfectly. We can play back full uncompressed HD DPX sequences in real-time on two of our Smoke systems at the same time without any lag in performance,” said Minivegas Creative Director and Partner Maarten Boon. “Our compositors no longer have to wait for a file to render and be copied to another workstation; they can pick up where they left off on any available machine and start working instantly. It’s saved us several hours.”

TerraBlock has also enhanced project management for Minivegas, helping to streamline overall operations. “From a file management point of view, TerraBlock is amazing,” noted Boon. “We can easily create and delete special partitions as needed for each project, and it eliminates the traditional headaches associated with shared storage.”

While working on an integrated campaign for Wieden+Kennedy, Boon and team were tasked with completing lengthy VFX content in a short timeframe. To accomplish this as quickly and effectively as possible, six compositors worked around the clock online in full HD on the TerraBlock. “A job like that required a large amount of storage, as well as quick and easy file access and sharing. We were blown away by the performance of our TerraBlock on the project; it was fantastic and continues to impress us,” shared Boon.

Looking to the future, Minivegas plans to upgrade from 1GbE to 10GbE and further extend its storage capacity. “As we invest in 10GbE, and more people start using it, we’ll need more storage, and I really like that TerraBlock gives us the scalability to increase our storage capacity without the traditional overhead of buying another system. It’s an amazing unit that has truly become integral to our operations,” concluded Boon.

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Doug Hansel or Véronique Froment
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Bob Charlton
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