Network Appliance Chosen for <i>The Two Towers</i>

Sunnyvale, CA - December 18, 2002 -- Network Appliance, Inc. (Nasdaq:NTAP) has provided Wellington, New Zealand-based Weta Digital Effects powerful NetApp storage solutions used in the making of New Line Cinema's The Two Towers, the sequel to the Academy Award® winning film The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The three-film production is based on J.R.R Tolkien's popular trilogy.

Directed by Peter Jackson, the trilogy represents an unprecedented undertaking-three films made simultaneously over a year and a half of production. The first film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, was released December 19, 2001 to widespread critical acclaim and was the recipient of four Academy Awards.

The entire trilogy has been shot completely in New Zealand and Weta Limited's Weta Digital Effects and Weta Workshop divisions have been responsible for the special effects. To support this vital undertaking, Weta Digital Effects has deployed NetApp storage systems.

"This three-year project called for state-of-the-art storage capability and, especially, scalability and speed of data delivery that we found only NetApp could provide," said Scott Houston, Weta's chief information officer. "We have scanned millions of images for the films and these are being worked on by our 143 graphic artists. The images have to be scanned and stored for manipulation and with a single frame representing anything up to 12 megabytes, we are talking about a lot of storage."

Houston further stated, "Everything we use the NetApp solution for is absolutely mission-critical and the NetApp deployment in our server-centric SGI® and Mac® environment has been a tremendous success."

Michael Burnie, managing director for Network Appliance Australia and New Zealand, noted, "We were delighted to be chosen to supply the storage solution for this fascinating and very high-profile production. Coincidentally, NetApp is also where the data is stored for, which Weta tells us continues to be among the most visited Web sites of all time."

Burnie praised Infinity Solutions, his company's New Zealand distributor, for its strong support in the winning of the business and the installation of the NetApp storage systems. He stated, "They are great to work with and I look forward to our two organizations continuing to cooperate in this way."

Weta was founded in 1993. Weta Workshop produced creature designs, miniatures, armor, prosthetics, and interactive animatronics for the shoot while Weta Digital Effects is providing innovative digital effects for compositing with live action footage. Together, the two divisions have produced fantastical characters, creatures, and environments for Tolkien's fabled Middle Earth.

Cinemagoers will have seen Weta's work in the disturbing makeup effects for Once Were Warriors, while television viewers will know the company from the Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess series.

About Network Appliance

Network Appliance is a world leader in unified network storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner solutions that continue to drive the evolution of storage. Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at

Press Contact:

Jaime Le
Network Appliance, Inc.
(408) 822-3761