The Kingston SSDs delivered a number of benefits to Dale's business.
Increased performance leads to happier clients
"With the SSD-based edit system, we've seen a content load speed that is 30 to 40 per cent faster than the systems we used previously," states Dale.
The enhanced performance accelerated the company's review-revise-review cycle, which allowed specialists to review special effects more quickly and get them back into the artists' hands to revise. Once done, the artists would forward the revised content to be reviewed and the cycle would begin again.
"By compressing our review cycles, we met the very tight production schedule for the Spiderman project," recalls Dale. "Completing more review cycles allowed us to develop an even better product too."
The SSDs yielded several important qualitative benefits as well.
"The employees really enjoyed using the SSD-based system compared to the spindle-disk-based systems," explains Dale. "Their work flowed more smoothly because they weren't waiting on the technology. So they were able to focus on the art—the part they enjoy the most—versus the technology."
Economical solution saves money
According to Dale: "Budget-wise, using Kingston SSDs has been great because I was able to create a small system which outperformed a much larger, much more expensive spindle-based system."
Dale also expects the smaller replacement to improve data centre environmental performance. "Our smaller, three-disk SSD system uses a lot less power than the 24- and 50-disk-based systems we have. So over the course of a year or two, we're going to save money on power."
Smaller mobile solution boosts productivity
The Kingston SSDs allowed Dale to field a smaller solution than its spindle-based predecessors. The three-SSD-drive system, for example, replaced the 24- and 50-spindle drive systems that would have been needed to meet Spiderman's 2K stereo playback specification.
The system's compact size allows employees to wheel it around the facility for use. "What that means is that a group of artists can look at shots as and when they need to instead of having to book time in one of our big screening rooms [that are tethered to spindle-based systems]."
Reliable SSDs yield high endurance cycles to reduce downtime
"Our production team has pounded on the Kingston SSD system every single day and we haven't has a single failure to date," says Dale. "Previously, if a spindle-based drive failed in a big way, we'd lose production time by having to rebuild the array. That's money lost fiddling with drives when we should have been producing something for a client."
SSDs deliver benefits to other areas of the business
Buoyed by the success of the Kingston SSDs, Dale's team looked to improve the performance of other production systems. First on the list was Arc's gigantic production database.
"The Kingston SSDs were an ideal solution because of their read speed," recalls Dale. "That's especially important for our database where we can have hundreds of users requesting data very, very quickly."
After installing the SSDs, Dale found that the drives "Considerably sped up the access to that database, which all of our artists touch. Now we're looking to apply this technology across our business to improve performance further."