View 4K/8K effects and animation in real-time by eliminating storage bottlenecks.
State-of-the-art animation studios, digital design houses and post-production facilities struggle to complete projects on time because full-motion rendering and real-time collaboration are affected by storage bottlenecks. Additionally, financial and resource budgets have to factor in data storage as a costly line item.

Today the data for each frame of 4K and 8K video can range from 50MB to 100MB or more. 24 frames-per-second (fps) is still the standard for film and television playback but considered the minimum speed needed to capture realistic motion. The popularity of 3D, games and alternate playback platforms require development processes to accommodate speeds of 30fps, 48fps and 60fps or greater.

SSDs can struggle reading and writing the data needed for these workflows where the availability of multiple ultra-high-resolution streams, the ability to capture motion data and feed real-time rendering software is crucial.

In these environments SSDs also suffer from a lack of resiliency, wearing out quickly from constant reads and writes. Storage drives thus need frequent replacement adding over $100k to the budget of a single large project. This is before the labor costs associated with monitoring and managing the health of the storage system.

They need to find a block storage solution that is faster than flash storage, shareable and easy to manage. Ideally, this storage would be resilient, needing a far less costly replacement program. It should quickly integrate into existing storage systems so as not to interrupt ongoing projects.
The Obstacle
Even though storage technology has advanced since the rise of digital production, it has not kept up with the rest of the digital production chain and is therefore still considered the weakest link.

The puppets, artwork, meta-data and other files used to create an animated movie can make up as much as 256 terabytes of data. Studios might have hundreds of artists and engineers simultaneously accessing this pool of data on any given day. This places immense stress on storage systems, forcing standard flash storage to operate at the peak of its specifications at all times.

Real-time rendering of super-detailed characters with greater polygon counts, larger and more detailed sets and scenery, and complex lighting effects quickly taxes the speed of flash-based storage.

Most storage vendors have little understanding of these applications and the particular challenges to these environments. Fortunately, ATTO Technology are experts in storage ecosystems that support animation, media and design applications and we have solved storage-related problems for a multifold of high-profile customers over the past 33 years.
The Solution
The key to storage bottleneck problems is managing latency. Since the storage hardware itself is among the main culprits of latency, the solution begins with ultra-fast storage hardware.

The storage hardware is placed as high up the storage hierarchy as possible, so files are close to where they are needed for processing yet remain shareable. Finally, the storage network is optimized for high-performance with the smallest attainable latency overhead.

SiliconDisk is a scalable, state-of-the-art RAM-based storage appliance that delivers faster performance than flash-based SSD storage solutions, and with much lower latency. Data is instantly stored and retrieved with incredible speed, mitigating the read and write latency that leads to inefficiencies in daily operations.

Because SiliconDisk sits on the network, data is available to all users simultaneously without unnecessary read and write operations slowing down overall network performance. The persistent RAM-based SiliconDisk would be a cost-effective solution because it maintains its reliability even with an almost infinite number of drive writes per day – something that would degrade traditional storage in short order.

Solving the network issues is fairly straightforward using RDMA Ethernet protocols to raise QoS (Quality of Service) and eliminate network latency. ATTO recommends using the NVMe-oF (NVMe over Fabrics) protocol, a relatively new technology that is starting to be used in latency-sensitive applications, like animation, to provide the needed performance. This would bring typical network latency down to less than 10 microseconds, a 100x improvement over the more than 1-millisecond latency common to traditional network architectures.
The Outcome
An investment in SiliconDisk storage might seem high at the outset but this solution would quickly make back that investment and more.

Because of the microsecond latency achievable with this new architecture, completing tasks would take a fraction of the time that it used to. Any studio adopting this solution would be able to complete more work per day, allowing them to add more clients which would quickly reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) and provide a higher than expected ROI.

SiliconDisk would solve stuttering issues when working with multiple ultra-high-resolution assets, smooth streaming of 4K and 8K files, reliably capture motion data and allow real-time rendering of high-fps content.

It would meet and exceed all data shareability requirements, able to share uncompressed files without appreciable latency delays. It would reduce overall service expenses, eliminating server downtime and lower the cost of labor to manage storage systems.

Finally, since SiliconDisk does not wear out, the cost of drive replacements for production could all but be eliminated.
Ready to Try SiliconDisk?
If you’re ready to try ATTO SiliconDisk, we are happy to oblige. Fill out the form below or contact us directly at +1-716-691-1999 to begin the free evaluation process.