August 4, 2009


9 ( is based on Acker's Academy Award-nominated short film of the same name and uses a cutting-edge animation style. The film centers around a world in which machines have turned on mankind, decimating the population. A small group of creations - voice by Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Crispin Glover, and Jennifer Connelly - work to salvage the legacy of civilization.

BluArc's Titan was used by the studio, which happened to have three CGI features in production simultaneously.

"9, in particular, has characters — specifically the machines and the seamstress — that generate enormous data sets during rendering," explains Terry Dale, VP of operations, for Starz Animation Toronto. "The BlueArc Titan storage system gave us the performance we needed, the reliability we required and enabled us to complete our production on 9 without disruption."

The studio's renderfarm operated 24/7 and handled an average of 10,000 jobs each day. Each frame was comprised of ten to 200 layers of computer graphics.

Starz relied on a cluster of three Titan 3000 storage units, which currently store a total of 330 terabytes of data. The BlueArc solution provides the capacity for current and future needs without compromise to performance. Titan also reduces artist wait times for source files by providing smooth, simultaneous user access to shared datasets.

The Titan storage system is backed by BlueArc's file system, Silicon FS, which drives the entire architectural platform forward. The file system is the foundation that enables greater performance and scalability for the entire platform. Harnessing the power of SiliconFS, Titan allows a single file system to grow up to 256 terabytes and delivers throughput of up to 20 gigabits per second.