June 16, 2012, 7:20 AM — Hollywood movies inspire us with wondrous sights and well-crafted dialogue. The jokes in The Avengers blend seamlessly into the bright blue skies and intense battle scenes, while the fantasy realm in Snow White and the Huntsman feels like something from a twisted dream.
As you can imagine, these movies were built on the backs of a vast IT infrastructure. Fortunately, many of the lessons learned from movies apply quite easily to financial institutions, real estate firms and application development shops. The trick? Taking only what applies to your own organization. The experiences of three companies with ties to the entertainment industry--Technicolor, Livestream and Nice Shoes--should give CIOs some food for thought.
Technicolor: Connecting Data Centers with 10 Gb Lines
Technicolor, one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood, is a color processing company that operates six data centers all over the world, including one in Los Angeles. Some of these data centers provide a typical set of services, including back-office integration, e-mail and SAP, and accounting. Not surprisingly, though, the creative services needs of the organization-- processing films for the most well-known studios like Dreamworks Animation-- place high demands on IT, according to Technicolor CIO Ginny Davis.
"We have a production network that ties all of our sites together," she says. "One person might be working in London on a movie and need to move content in real-time to LA. When a director is working on a new movie, if we are not successful, they can run to a smaller boutique company."
Davis says the backbone for Technicolor's data centers includes eight 10 Gb lines that are used to push content from storage to production. She says the company has agreements with multiple telecom providers to make sure content can be moved freely and relies on storage-on-demand technology to ramp up quickly for the needs of a particular movie. For example, the company might start working on a 3D movie that suddenly has immense data storage requirements.