NetApp® Data ONTAP® GX Renders High Performance Computing Results for Image Engine

Sunnyvale, Calif. - January 9, 2008 -- NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced that Image Engine, an Emmy award-winning visual effects producer, has turned to NetApp to set new standards for high-definition digital media workflow based on NetApp Data ONTAP GX. Data ONTAP GX systems are fully integrated, multinode solutions designed to meet the needs of the most demanding applications in high-performance computing and digital media workflows, providing customers with significant network performance improvement and cost savings.

Image Engine, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has more than 13 years of experience providing digital visual effects for television programs such as Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. With a history of television effects accomplishments, Image Engine established a film division and has found continued success providing effects for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Slither, Blades of Glory, and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. However, this move to film, as well as continued work in high-definition television, led to new challenges in data rendering and storage management. Technological limitations in the company's production pipeline also bred artistic challenges.

"We really noticed that the technology that had been adequate for standard definition TV was no longer adequate for film," said Peter Muyzers, chief operating officer at Image Engine. "With film, HD resolution, and the increased storage requirements involved, you have to measure how fast you want to pull a frame off a central server and present it to an artist's desktop. Speed is usually tied to an increased cost, but Data ONTAP GX successfully satisfied our needs for both performance and cost-effectiveness."

Image Engine upgraded its 3TB NetApp FAS940 storage system with a 26TB, four-node FAS3050 cluster running Data ONTAP GX, immediately realizing the needed performance increases. Best of all, the higher performance level was consistent regardless of application, number of users, storage capacity, or network configuration. This led to not only happier administrators, but also happier artists in an industry reliant on creativity and greater productivity.

"Since it has been in operation, the NetApp Data ONTAP GX system has really lived up to its promise of sustained aggregate speed for everyone at Image Engine," said Jason Navarro, IT lead at Image Engine. "It doesn't slow down for anyone, regardless of whether one, five, or 50 people are connected to it. While we were working on the Fantastic Four project, the Data ONTAP GX cluster was probably taxed to the highest level and performed extremely well even when demand spiked."

With the company's growth, Image Engine plans to expand its capabilities and data storage and management needs are sure to grow with them. NetApp Data ONTAP GX is inherently flexible and allows specific expansion as it is needed. NetApp controller heads and disk shelves can be added independently, rather than requiring upgrades to both at the same time, allowing for less expensive, incremental upgrades. Built-in technology such as NetApp FlexVol® enables Image Engine to dynamically allocate storage across aggregates without interrupting workflow or production, allowing for smooth transitions and upgrades.

"Data ONTAP GX was designed for exactly this kind of environment where high performance, reliability, and flexibility mean everything," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions Marketing at NetApp. "NetApp is pleased to have the technology that empowered the Image Engine design teams and artists to deliver these exciting special-effects for movies and TV."

The Data ONTAP GX operating system is optimized to meet the extreme performance requirements of high-performance computing and digital media content applications running on large Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows® computer clusters, while delivering unmatched management simplicity and reliability. Data ONTAP GX provides scale-out storage that supports petabytes of capacity and gigabytes per second of aggregate throughput. For more information about NetApp Data ONTAP GX, visit

About NetApp
NetApp is a leading provider of innovative data management solutions that simplify the complexity of storing, managing, protecting, and retaining enterprise data. Market leaders around the world choose NetApp to help them reduce cost, minimize risk, and adapt to change. For solutions that deliver unmatched simplicity and value, visit us on the Web at

About Image Engine
Image Engine, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was formed in 1994 with the express purpose of providing outstanding computer generated visual effects. The company has evolved into an award winning visual effects studio working successfully in the complex production environments of television series, movies of the week and feature films. Image Engine is staffed by international visual effects talent and an R&D department of the highest caliber. Film projects are completed using state-of-the-art hardware, software and proprietary tools. For more information, visit Image Engine on the Web at

Press Contact:
Nathan Phillips
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