Creative Freedom through Digital Transformation


What happens when you take a company overflowing with artistic talent and combine it with technology that doesn’t hold them back?

You get a digital transformation most businesses can only dream of. For a leading animation studio, digital transformation is certainly not a dream; it’s an everyday reality. Using today’s most innovative technologies, this film studio is able to unleash the creative genius of their storytellers, artists, and innovators—and produce better films on time and on budget.

Realizing a vision in the most cost-effective way

Making a computer-generated feature film is extremely computer intensive because everything has to be digitally created from nothing. A 90-minute animated film could easily consist of more than 100,000 individual frames and more than 500 million digital files. And depending on the film, image-rendering operations can reach almost 100,000 transactions per second.

The challenge for most studios is to support their artist’s creativity—yet stay within their budget. To achieve that goal, this particular animation studio actively pursued a digital transformation strategy that would ensure speed, power, flexibility, and automation.

Industry experts and technology make the dream a reality

Tackling a digital transformation is difficult because it involves planning a strategic vision for the business and then determining the best IT to support that vision. Although this animation studio had their own IT experts with years of engineering experience, this time they sought out an industry expert to provide additional insights.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had been a strategic partner for many years, so the studio trusted them to make their IT environment as agile as possible. The HPE Pointnext team provided valuable insights that helped the studio rapidly transform across their entire enterprise, modernizing their IT infrastructure and increasing their flexibility using both private and public cloud.

The animation studio also implemented a new composable infrastructure solution to provide the flexibility they needed to meet their peak computational demands, while not investing in additional infrastructure. Composable infrastructure consists of fluid pools of compute, storage, and fabric that can dynamically self-assemble to meet the needs of an application or workload. These resources are defined in software and controlled programmatically through a unified API—code that aligns the infrastructure to the needs of the application.

Composable infrastructure provided cloud-like flexibility and economics to the studio’s on-premises infrastructure. During the day, artists had immediate access to the computational resources they needed to unleash their creativity. And at night, the infrastructure automatically recomposed in seconds to run the computer-generated imagery (CGI) rendering.

Hybrid cloud allows collaboration across the globe

Many studios typically produce numerous films at one time, and this animation studio is no different. Of course, working on several films at once means they need more resources and more collaboration. A hybrid cloud environment solves this challenge. Using resources from studios and employees around the world, they are able to seamlessly collaborate.

During peak compute rendering times, team members access a hybrid cloud infrastructure—a combination of on-site private cloud and off-site managed private cloud. This hybrid cloud environment allows artists and producers at different studios worldwide to share and collaborate in real time.

What’s next? Better visibility, control, and analytics of hybrid IT

As this animation studio continues to seek ways to implement IT resources that encourage creativity while controlling costs, they are looking for better ways to improve visibility, control, and analytics across their entire hybrid infrastructure. And working with HPE, they are finding and testing these new solutions that will help them succeed in their ever-evolving digital transformation goals.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE)  recently announced HPE OneSphere, the industry’s first multi-cloud management solution. Through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal, HPE OneSphere gives customers access to a pool of IT resources that spans the public cloud services they subscribe to, as well as their on-premises environments. Using this new tool, organizations are able to seamlessly compose, operate, and optimize all workloads across on-premises, private, hosted, and public clouds. HPE OneSphere also provides dashboards based on different user roles that offer business analytics. HPE OneSphere is designed for IT operations, developers, and business executives seeking to build clouds, deploy applications, and gain insights faster.

Using HPE OneSphere, businesses worldwide can better optimize resources in a variety of cloud models, radically changing how they consume, compose and analyze their workloads—no matter where they are located.

Don’t let infrastructure hold you back

Digital transformation is key to helping businesses compete successfully in this rapidly changing digital world. HPE is excited to play a vital role in providing the expertise, software, and hardware this studio relies on to continue to produce animated films that entertain and inspire audiences worldwide.

About Gary Thome

Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies including HPE Synergy. HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in their digital transformation. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid IT by checking out the HPE website, HPE OneSphere. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Converged Data Center Infrastructure blog.