by Scott Shimomura, Director, SAN Product Marketing, Brocade

With a portfolio of major motion pictures including Spiderman 3D, Alice in Wonderland, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, Legend3D’s digital media technology and visual effects are, shall we say ─ legendary. The company is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA with a production studio in India and a new executive review studio forthcoming in Hollywood, CA.

Legend3D SAN Responsibilities

The nature of Legend3D’s work requires moving large 2D-to-3D conversion data files at high speeds across long distances to ensure that the company’s content creators have reliable and immediate access. It is critical that data be transferred in real-time to allow for efficient creative collaboration between filmmakers and Legend 3D team members at individual workstations in multiple geographic locations.

The Need for a Purpose-Built SAN Solution

As Legend3D grew to become the largest U.S.-based 3D conversion studio in the industry, it became increasingly necessary for the company to find a storage solution able to keep pace with its rising number of new projects and allow production teams to keep on schedule. The company realized the network attached storage (NAS) they had in place was incapable of meeting their requirements for an active directory, unable to provide adequate access to the domain controller, and insufficient for long distance data transfers.

In search of a storage area network (SAN) solution that could deliver optimal speed, security and performance, Legend3D ultimately turned to Fibre Channel.

Listen to Jack Greene, system supervisor, Legend3D talk about how the need for shared storage and sustained performance in a short, informative video on the Fibre Channel Industry Association’s (FCIA’s) Knowledge Vault.

Business Results

Legend3D now utilizes Fibre Channel SANs in their main data center in Carlsbad as the underlying backbone of its production environment, and will soon rely on Fibre Channel to connect the data centers of their Carlsbad and Hollywood campuses upon the latter’s completion.

The impact of Fibre Channel upon Legend3D has been pronounced. Fibre Channel’s speed affords filmmakers and creative production teams the advantage of real-time editing, improving quality and expediting workflow to keep Legend3D a step ahead of its competitors.

In a profession that depends upon access to movie files at 4K data rates– where a single second of high-definition video can require as much as 1.5GB of storage– Fibre Channel not only consistently delivers the reliable data access and exceptional speed Legend3D demands, but enables the company to work on up to three full-length feature films and multiple commercials at the same time.

The highly scalable nature of Fibre Channel has allowed Legend3D to adapt fluidly to growth, minimizing the risk of interruption and vastly simplifying management. Most importantly however, Fibre Channel has been fundamental in helping Legend3D achieve the unified production workflow that has enabled the company to employ unparalleled special effects and animation techniques to deliver amazing visual experiences.

A Closing Note on Fibre Channel

In considering the benefits above, one begins to understand why Legend3D, along with 90 percent of Fortune 1000 data centers, trust Fibre Channel for their critical storage needs. These enterprises realize that data connectivity doesn’t stop at performance and must include reliability, scalability, and virtualization capabilities among others such as data integrity, operational simplicity, and manageability.

A modified version of this Legend3D case study can be found in FCIA’s Knowledge Vault here.