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DreamWorks Animation Builds a “Living CG” Lab with Lenovo’s HPC Data Center

Leading technology company Lenovo is supporting DreamWorks’ supercomputing goals for 2020, enabling its CG platform with a highly-advanced data center innovation and fast-cooling capabilities. Earlier this year, DreamWorks decided to upgrade its legacy data center to meet its growing CG animation computing needs, and it looked at Lenovo to exascale its ambitions.

Earlier, Lenovo confirmed SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is utilizing its AIOps and Supercomputing capabilities to come out of IT Survival mode.

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The world would be ruled by supercomputers and highly-interactive Computer Graphics (CG) animation. In the wake of the pandemic, global businesses are leveraging supercomputing applications to restore their faith in Data Science, AI and Machine Learning capabilities. Unlike traditional IT and Cloud businesses, CG and animation companies have a totally different set of computational loading and processing requirements. With new trends emerging from the animation market that is seeing open source gaming and mobile application devops teams taking on giants in the industry, DreamWorks found it sensible to leverage a data center master to scale its heavy computational loading and processing operations.

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Why DreamWorks Chose to Upgrade its Data Center Architecture in the Middle of a Pandemic?

DreamWorks Animation is at the pinnacle of its CG business, and it focused on consolidating its position by utilizing data as a fuel. High-performance computing was on top of the goal sheet even before the COVID-19 set in. Its CG needs are exploding every second — don’t believe me? Here’s what a conventional CG animated project would need:

Time: 4 Years+

Animators: 100+

File Volume: Close to 1 Billion

Number of Computing Hours: Close to 200 Million (equates to 22,000 compute years

When the pandemic set in, things got really challenging even for an established CG company like DreamWorks, which put its engineers and animation teams on remote working mode.

Suddenly, the data center needs exploded — taking 98% of the storage and processing that was available to them. To make any advancements with the current data center would mean halting all future plans and optimizing existing on-premise resources — something DreamWorks executives acknowledged would “have a material impact on achieving our creative and business ambitions.”

With current IT complexities and security needs, it’s fairly easy to pick the best data center service and managed support providers.

As part of the partnership agreement, Lenovo would provide its expertise in designing and installing a state-of-the-art, high-performance computing cluster at the height of a global pandemic. Knowing it is a considerable challenge, DreamWorks trusts “Lenovo’s mastery of problem-solving and navigating the supply chain, coupled with unparalleled collaboration and mutual trust between the two companies, enabled the seemingly impossible project to come off successfully.”

For Lenovo, it’s a big opportunity to showcase its supercomputing capabilities, and working with DreamWorks Animation offers the best platform to diversify its portfolio of data center expertise, services and support.

At the time of this announcement, Kate Swanborg, SVP Technology Communications and Strategic Alliances, of the decision to partner with Lenovo said,

“It has to do with our confidence that not only can they understand our technology environment and help us with our infrastructural roadmap and strategy, but that they have the people that can appreciate our business and our culture.”

Earlier, Lenovo also announced the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR860 V2 and SR850 V2 AI-Ready servers to meet the data center storage, processing and BI / Analytics needs of customers who are targeting digital transformation around HPDA and HPC frameworks.

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