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DreamWorks Frees Animators and Developers from Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud and DevOps


About 15 years ago, when DreamWorks Animation made an early foray into what would come to be called the cloud, it made the move with trucks. Big rigs would haul servers from Southern California to Northern California, where – with the help of HP - data would be turned into blockbusters like “Shrek” and “Shark Tale.”

Some two-dozen movies later, the technology has grown more powerful by many orders of magnitude and DreamWorks Animation has transformed fully to a multi-cloud, hybrid IT infrastructure. HPE remains a key technology partner for the studio, which releases a film every six months and has seven movies in production at any given time. No trucks required.

You might think a major Hollywood studio, a pioneer in digital animation with nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, would have extraordinary technology needs. And it’s true that making animated films – or videos for rides – requires huge quantities of storage and blistering compute power, but if you look past the numbers, it’s obvious that what DreamWorks Animation needed from its cloud partners are the same things that every enterprise needs to succeed today.

Recently I interviewed Jeff Wike, head of technology for DreamWorks Animation. Jeff and team had an early vision for a hybrid cloud that could win over animators and developers and “flex” easily for IT, delivering on the following tenets:

  • Zero downtime… software-led resiliency
  • Open source everywhere… for faster innovation – “everything you see on the screen is created on the computer”
  • Security… built-in threat detection – “people who want to do bad things to your environment… losing control of network or compute resources is a business threat”
  • Monitoring and automation… massive event logging end-to-end
  • DevOps… radical culture shift – “guys that used to plug things in are learning Python”

Check out the video and see how DreamWorks Animation embraced the tenets of cloud early on with a full value stack of software and hardware capabilities from HPE (Helion, Arcsite, Vertica…), unleashing animators and developers to create and innovate, propelling DreamWorks Animation success and profitability… one great hit after another. 



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Jan 30-31, 2018
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