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JAM Media Drives Demanding Animation Pipeline with pixstor

JAM Media Drives Demanding Animation Pipeline with pixstor

JAM Media, multi-award-winning animation house, has invested in a PixStor central storage platform to support its demanding animation pipeline with guaranteed sustained performance – even at 99% capacity.

With operations in Dublin and Belfast, JAM Media creates and produces animated and live action content for the children’s and pre-school audience for an impressive range of clients including: Amazon Studios, BBC, Nickelodeon, RTE, SVT, NRK, YLE, DR, VRT, France Television, WDR, ARD/ZDF, and Dreamworks. The result of its success is a busy and demanding production environment, where it is not uncommon for the 75 staff at its Belfast production studio to be working on three to four different series at a time.

To deliver such a workload, JAM requires fast and stable central storage with no downtime. Frustrated by data failures from previous solutions, it sought recommendations for a new system from the post community and leading Irish reseller Tyrell. That led them to Pixit Media and, after extensive consultation on the design of a solution that could cope with all the pressures of a diverse animation department, the successful installation of a 300TB, fully scalable PixStor software-defined system that guarantees sustained high-performance.

“Other storage systems on the market will only guarantee sustained performance up to 60-70% capacity so you’re paying for 30% of your storage to remain unutilised at all times,” comments Pixit Media’s Andrew Wierzan, VP Global Sales. “PixStor’s filesystem uses a scatter algorithm to homogenise disk performance at any scale, which means we can underwrite the performance of any solution we provide up to 99% capacity.  There’s no need to worry about capacity and bandwidth or projects getting bogged down as your teams demand more. With PixStor you can keep your workflows running at maximum intensity all of the time.”

Scott McDonnell JAM Media

“Pixit Media has an in-depth understanding of VFX pipelines and the team went above and beyond to get the best out of our entire workflow,” comments JAM Media CTO, Scott McDonnell. “Even under immense pressure and when everyone is hammering the system, we now get sustained high-performance and reliable stability from our central storage, which is what we need to deliver projects on time and continue to grow the business.”

PixStor provides a single global namespace that controls all hardware, applications and systems in the workflow – presenting a unified view of all data and serving JAM’s multiple Mac seats, 20 Maya artists, 5 Nuke 2D, 15 After Affects Harmony, and a 35 CPU V-Ray Render-Farm seamlessly.  With an elegant and intuitive web interface, application users can search across all data sets, open and edit files directly at desktop level, with no impact on performance.

Jessy & Nessy is a good example of the sort of demands placed on the system. The 40 x 11-minute series about a curious girl whose magical spectacles give her access to a hidden world inhabited by animated characters debuts on Amazon Prime this year. It is a complex, hybrid production that mixes live-action, puppetry, 2D and 3D animation. The PixStor solution – featuring NetApp E-Series storage hardware and Mellanox networking – reliably supports this demanding pipeline and ensures JAM Media’s animators can focus on the most creative elements of their work – without the frustration of delays and data failure.

“Adopting PixStor storage has been a game-changer for us,” concludes McDonnell. “We are no longer constrained by our infrastructure. Our artists can focus on their craft, not the storage, and that’s increased our productivity and creative output.”

Jessy and Nessy JAM Media

For more information & media enquiries, please contact:
Melanie O’Brien, Director of Marketing, Pixit Media
E: mobrien@pixitmedia.com  M: +44 (0)7375 559 964

About JAM Media: JAM Media, with operations in both Ireland and the United Kingdom, is one of the leading creators and producers of multi-award winning animated and live action content for the children’s and pre-school audience. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality, innovative, story-driven brands across multiple platforms based around engaging characters with humour at its heart. The companywas founded in 2002 by animator friends John Rice, Alan Shannon and Mark Cumberton.Visit www.jammedia.com