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Rhythm & Hues

Special effects firm Rhythm & Hues, which develops computer generated images for Hollywood movies, expects to improve its operational efficiency by $200,000 a year after replacing an ADIC tape library with an SL500 device from Sun. (See StorageTek Slings SL500.)

The Los Angeles-based studio, which won an Oscar for its work on Babe, was placing more strain on the 60-Tbyte ADIC EMass system than it could handle, according to Mark Brown, Rhythm & Hues' vice president of technology. "It was getting to the point where it couldn't handle our data throughput," he told Byte & Switch. "It would deadlock on occasions because we were putting so much data through it."

The end result, according to Brown, was that Rhythm & Hues' 500-strong team of digital artists would be left twiddling their thumbs waiting for critical files. "Our digital artists are fairly highly paid, so if they are sitting around waiting for something they need, that's money we're burning," he says.

Speed is the name of the game for Rhythm & Hues. "It took four minutes to pull a nine year old show out of the SL500 tape library," explains the exec, adding that the ADIC library would have taken up to 20 hours to retrieve the same information.

On average, Brown estimates, artists can now access files from the 120-Tbyte SL500 in just two minutes, compared to an hour on the ADIC library, significantly improving operational efficiency. "We will probably save, in the first year, around $150,000 to $200,000," he says, explaining that artists' time will now be much better spent.

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