Thought-Leading Educational Institute Responsible for “Big Hero 6” Design Team Selects DDN to Accelerate Hundreds of Concurrent Content Creation and Render Projects

Santa Clara, Calif. — April 13, 2015


News Facts

  • Ringling College of Art and Design, one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the nation, relies on DDN® Storage SFA® high-performance storage as the foundation of a powerful, unified content creation and storage platform. Offering a broad set of fine arts and design majors, students are empowered to push the boundaries of computer-generated graphics to create more visually compelling content.
  • With a better than 2:1 computer-to-student ratio, Ringling College’s 1,300 undergraduates take advantage of high-performance computing (HPC) clusters coupled with DDN storage to streamline the entire content lifecycle of their creative projects, encompassing advertising, computer animation, digital filmmaking, game design and more.
  • At any time, Ringling College renders tens of thousands of frames while concurrently handling hundreds of other projects, which generates 1.6 PBs of storage and requires a robust, highly reliable, large-scale data management infrastructure to support digital content creation and collaboration.
  • To deliver truly transparent access to project data, the college deployed a pair of DDN SFA systems with the ZFS file system, enabling students to store digital content in individual home spaces they could readily access, regardless of platform or location.
  • Now, with its powerful storage and compute environment, the school can render 2.8 million frames in one week, which would have taken 89 years to complete on a high-end workstation.
  • With DDN’s industry-leading IOPS and bandwidth performance, students can easily and quickly create, share, collaborate on and archive all of their project files; the entire process of ingesting, editing, transcoding, processing, distributing and storing data is handled seamlessly and without interruption or student intervention.
  • Ringling College alumni have taken advantage of their world-class, technically advanced education to amass major awards; a graduate led the creative team for Big Hero 6, the 2015 Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature Film; another directed Feast, the 2015 Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film.
  • DDN Storage powers more than half of the world’s top media companies, with its unmatched performance and ability to handle more ultra-HD streams than any other solution.

Tweet this: @RinglingCollege accelerates 100s of concurrent content creation projects with 1.6PB of @DDN_limitless #storage

DDN Delivers Unmatched Performance to Meet Next-Generation Media Production Needs

  • DDN’s massively scalable storage will help Ringling College stay ahead of 4K migration challenges.
  • Moreover, DDN provides tight integration with Ringling’s variety of commercial workflow applications, including Pixar RenderMan, Adobe After Effects, Maxon Cinema 4D, Chaos Group V-Ray and Foundry Nook.
  • To safeguard against system disruptions, the school also takes advantage of DDN’s built-in redundancy and high-availability features, including real-time data integrity and error correction.

Supporting Quotes

Dr. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design

  • “DDN plays an extremely important role in our environment. We don’t believe in jump drives or portable hard drives. It’s really rewarding to see what our IT team has been able to do with our high-performance DDN storage that lets any student get on any machine at any time and be creative.”

Mahmoud Pegah, director of technology at Ringling College of Art and Design

  • “It made perfect sense to go with DDN storage for the sheer value of its solution for our campus. Not only did DDN deliver the best price-performance, we were confident the company’s Storage Fusion Architecture could scale in both capacity and IOPS to accelerate our collaborate workflows.”

Supporting Resources

About DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world leader in massively scalable storage. Our data storage and processing solutions and professional services enable content-rich and high growth IT environments to achieve the highest levels of systems scalability, efficiency and simplicity. DDN enables enterprises to extract value and deliver business results from their information. Our customers include the world’s leading online content and social networking providers, high performance cloud and grid computing, life sciences, media production, and security and intelligence organizations. Deployed in thousands of mission critical environments worldwide, DDN’s solutions have been designed, engineered and proven in the world’s most scalable data centers to ensure competitive business advantage for today’s information powered enterprise. For more information, go to or call 1-800-837-2298.

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