Bearcage Streamlines Operations with Facilis TerraBlock SAN

Wildbear Bearcage Case Study ImageBased in Canberra, Australia, award-winning Bearcage (now Wildbear Entertainment)  provides the full gamut of film, video, interactive and television production services to clients in television, film, advertising and government. This year, Bearcage commenced work on The Story of Australia, the first ever Australian co-production with CCTV's documentary channel; completed New Zealand From Above, a new series co-produced with Gebrüder Beetz (Germany) and Making Movies (New Zealand); and produced Side By Side – Women, Peace and Security, its second documentary for the United Nations.

In addition, Bearcage completed 350 other projects – from factual television programs and commercials to government and corporate programming and short films. For each project, the studio relied on an extraordinary roster of in-house talent and 18 workstations running everything from Apple Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. Connected to all 18 workstations is the Facilis TerraBlock 24D, which acts as central storage for all camera footage, designs and editing projects in the queue.

Earlier this year Bearcage upgraded from XSAN to TerraBlock through professional product distributor Blonde Robot and systems provider Future Reality. General Manager Nunzio Gambale completed extensive research before choosing TerraBlock – speaking with Facilis customers and reading industry publications and blogs. He shared, “After all of the research was said and done, it was clear that Facilis offered a standout product, and that their reputation for service and support was head and shoulders above others in the market. I liked the idea that if we had an issue, we’d be able to get a person on the phone or email to work with us to resolve it.”

“Being located 16000 kms from Boston, having the world’s best support and service was a critical part of our investment decision. We wanted to be sure that from install through to everyday operations, we would have access to technical support. Facilis, Blonde Robot and Future Reality have lived up to our expectations,” Gambale added. “The idea of being able to turn on a system, add users and just start working was also appealing. Turns out that’s what we have got.”

Since installing TerraBlock, Bearcage has increased its capacity, speed and the number of users who can access the system. “On the technical side, you can search the marketplace for as long as you like, but there is only one product that can effectively allow both Fiber Channel and Ethernet-based clients to connect to a media store 'out of the box' – TerraBlock,” said Gambale. “We can use our existing Fiber Channel for 'heavy lifting’ and Ethernet for lower cost suites. It gives us that flexibility, which makes it simple to add people.”

Prior to TerraBlock, adding an extra client proved costly because of the studio’s Fiber network topology. “While solely using Fiber Channel is ideal for a studio working with a small number of high-bandwidth clients, it’s cost prohibitive to add lower bandwidth clients. We have a mix of both here, so TerraBlock gives us the best of both worlds,” he shared.

As Bearcage enters one of its busiest years yet, TerraBlock will prove critical to its operations. “With TerraBlock, we can simply add more Ethernet or Fiber clients, which will be key to ensuring that we meet client expectations. The scalability and reliability of the new system will prove invaluable,” Gambale concluded.

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