NetApp Helps King Kong Roar

Sunnyvale, Calif. - December 14, 2005 -- Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced its role bringing Universal Pictures' King Kong to life. NetApp worked with Weta Digital Ltd to store visual effects data on powerful NetApp enterprise storage solutions. Weta Digital produced thousands of awe-inspiring visual effects shots in recreating this iconic classic, requiring a simplified storage architecture for heightened reliability and scalability.

Weta Digital, based in Wellington, New Zealand, used a combination of NetApp fabric-attached storage (FAS) systems, NetApp NearStore® systems for data archival, and a NetApp IP SAN storage solution. The sophisticated solution provided Weta Digital with high-performance, reliable, and cost-effective storage to accelerate the delivery of its digital effects.

Enterprise storage continues to play an increasingly critical role as digital and special effects evolve at an accelerated pace with each new blockbuster. NetApp storage is simplifying the management of the high-throughput, time-constrained, and data-intensive computer animation applications. Powered by NetApp Data ONTAP® software and the functionality of NetApp Snapshot™ technologies, NetApp provides Weta Digital with enhanced data protection, data mirroring, and data restoration for digital effects data that has been perfected over time-providing protection, availability, and security to that data.

"NetApp consistently provides us with the scalability, speed, and short delivery lead time required to meet the predetermined movie release date we're working toward," said Milton Ngan, chief technology officer at Weta Digital. "Managing costs and budget is also critical to our process. NetApp helped us increase our operational efficiencies by providing IP SAN technologies that helped to better control costs."

Milton continued, "In this business it's not an option to have a production bottleneck. It's crippling if we don't have access to data. NetApp was the natural choice because we knew it could handle the highly data-intensive applications required for creating King Kong."

Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance, understands this requirement. "The entertainment industry is probably one of the more visibly competitive and demanding when it comes to innovation. Digital effects leaders like Weta must be entirely focused on producing the digital 'masterpiece' that is expected of them. Their time and creative energy cannot be hampered by dealing with management or scalability issues. NetApp is trusted in the entertainment world because of the simplicity, performance, and reliability we provide-thanks in large part to distributors, such as Infinity Solutions in this case. We are proud to once again have supported Weta in creating this brilliantly intense 2005 King Kong experience."

Rogers praised Infinity Solutions, a NetApp New Zealand distributor, for its support winning and installing the NetApp solution. Close collaboration between Infinity and NetApp provided Weta with the enterprise-class support required to run its business.

In December 2004 Weta was awarded the NetApp Innovator of the Year prize (visit here for details: The annual NetApp Innovation Awards honor customers who have achieved positive business and/or community results using NetApp solutions, demonstrated creativity and conceptual leadership in storage and/or caching best practices, and embody the NetApp "can do" and "create a model company" spirit. The NetApp Innovation Awards distinguish themselves in the industry by adding outside expertise and a critical, unbiased assessment of real-world NetApp deployments at customer sites by a prestigious third-party panel of judges.

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