Nov 08

Accelerating Time to Business Value With Oracle ZFS

Recently Oracle held Oracle OpenWorld over in San Francisco, USA,  for those who do not know what that is (perhaps a small group of you). Oracle OpenWorld is our big annual event for business decision-makers, IT management, and line-of-business end users that showcases new Oracle product features and other news.

It also gives our customers, partners and employees the chance to hear directly from the Oracle Executive team and product teams on company direction and product strategy.

Although I did not attend personally, I was still excited and proud to find out that one of our customers, Weta Digital from my hometown in Wellington, New Zealand was making the trip over to San Francisco to speak on stage about their ground-breaking VFX business and how Oracle ZFS provides incredible latency and disk performance to keep up with their intense rendering operations.

Weta Digital

So who is Weta?

Weta Digital is a world class visual effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand.  If you have not heard of them before, then maybe you might of seen some of the cutting edge visual effects they have produced on blockbuster movies such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy and King Kong, and to top it off, they have five Visual Effects Oscars to their credit to validate their world class status.

But producing the magic to bring these blockbusters to life is a time consuming process, and in the movie world time is crucial. The Media and Entertainment industry giants place incredible demands on Weta to meet tight production milestones or else their movie slips. And this can cost the giants…. big.

So how can does Weta Digital gain more time back? Processing large movie files requires a powerful storage solution to deal with the intense digital rendering requirements needed in the post production stage of the movie.



Large block size for tuning

The ZFS storage appliance gives Weta Digital the ability to use a 1MB block to enhance the streaming media writes coming into the appliance, by writing these larger records, large files such as media files are broken up into big parts and written extremely quickly.

DRAM ArchitectureDRAM tier architecture

If you read my last blog post, you would remember that the DRAM cache format handles up to 90% of all IO being thrown at the ZFS.  And with DRAM performing up to 1000 times faster than flash, you can understand how incredible amounts of IOPS is achieved out of the appliance.




SMP capable

Multi core performance, all cores working simultaneously to deliver data and directory services that Weta consume, these could be running the compression engine service to deliver a better return on the investment in storage, or calculating the optimal way on how to serve the data out to the client.

The combination of the ZFS high-speed DRAM centric architecture, tuneable record size and SMP architecture are what allows Weta to achieve the performance, flexible required for the media workloads they are throwing at the appliance.


ROITranslating this back into business speak 

What this means is that, with a faster response time and rendering operation completion time, this will ultimately gives time back to the Weta rendering team to continue work. With thousands of servers in their rendering farm, this allows Weta to deliver superior visual effects for blockbuster movies on time.

Watch the video below to hear from Kathy Gruzas, the CIO of Weta Digital talk about what this means for her business and her team.