Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

How a Hollywood Animation Studio Handles Backup

Every business, no matter how big or small, should make it a top IT priority to back up their data. Data is the blood of the majority of modern businesses. Can you imagine how your company would cope if all your data was suddenly wiped out? Devices that store data are bound to fail at some point and it’s not worth taking any risks. Data downtime can cause huge impacts on productivity and finances, so it’s paramount that an investment is made into a strong backup plan.

No-one is exempt from having to back up their data. Rainmaker Entertainment is an animation studio based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are perhaps best known for their feature-length production ‘Escape From Planet Earth’, but have also worked on a vast number of direct-to-DVD films. The firm are currently working on two films based off Sony video game properties: Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper.

Rainmaker Entertainment employees hundreds of employees and they are all working hard every day to complete their films. This involves modelling, animating, lighting, and more. As you can imagine, this is a workflow that involves a lot of data being stored and flying around constantly. 3D data model files that make up the structure of an animated film are so huge due to how many different components make them up, including details such as shadows and textures.

These files are always active, being moved into production and being stored every week into repositories. If Rainmaker Entertainment were to lose their data then it’d be utterly disastrous – they’d literally lose the product they’re working towards selling. It’s not hard to see why backup is such an important step in their process.

There’s a story that’s quite famous now that involves animation giant Pixar. Back when they were working on Pixar, someone accidentally ran a command that started destroying data for Toy Story 2. Their backups had gone bad, but luckily an employee had a version of the data on their drive at home. It sounds over-the-top, but for animation studios it’s their lifeblood.

For Rainmaker Entertainment, terabytes of data are flying around and constant access is required. The problem with backing up huge amounts of data is that the backup must be completed within a set time so that the process can begin again for the following day’s set of data. Some businesses can run into problems with this simply because of the vast amount of data that needs backing up.

Rainmaker found that their monthly backups were taking so long that they could damage time spent on production. They found that splitting the archive into four weekly backup units kept everything on track and more manageable. The process is incremental, ensuring there is a full backup available at the end of the month.

TechRepublic believe that lessons can be learned from animation studios and how they handle backups. They state that the backup plan needs to be created in unison with business needs so that it doesn’t interfere with daily systems. They also say that there needs to be a strong enough infrastructure to support huge amounts of data being sent continually.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!