Making the Dream Work: NetApp Renews its Multi-Year Strategic Partnership with DreamWorks Animation

By Alex Passett, Editor  |  July 12, 2023

The cloud is a managed service, but it doesn’t manage itself. That’s why spearheading cloud-related challenges with a trusted provider is extremely important. Said provider can take charge of cloud management and provide expert CloudOps services for built-in protection, simplified automation, and continuous optimization in the increasingly complex multicloud world that we operate in.

The long-story-short of it? CloudOps gives businesses “more of the cloud, lower costs, and less complexity,” according to the cloud-led, cloud data-centric company NetApp.

That’s why, as of this week, NetApp is officially renewing its strategic alliance and co-engineering partnership with renowned film and TV studio, DreamWorks Animation.

So, what’s being spearheaded here? What strategic aspects of this partnership are the top takeaways for DreamWorks? What other details can be gleaned from this news?

As of their agreement’s renewal, NetApp will stay on as DreamWorks’ preferred cloud data services provider, and the studio itself will continue to evolve its experiences as a hybrid cloud environment. The benefits from said renewal include:

  • Improved performance using NetApp AFF in DreamWorks' high-performance computing environment and the ability to tier data more efficiently using NetApp StorageGrid
  • Increased agility by extending applications to the cloud using Azure NetApp Files and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, while extending geographic reach to support distributed resources
  • Decreased latency and a reduced datacenter footprint with NetApp ONTAP systems utilizing NetApp All Flash Arrays for energy and rackspace efficiency

Per NetApp CMO Gabrielle Boko:

“We've worked in lockstep with DreamWorks Animation to enable the studio's digital transformation journey and accelerate its growth with NetApp's product portfolio and the innovations resulting from our co-engineering efforts. NetApp's own All Flash Array solutions were the foundation of the hybrid storage required to manage the studio’s complex data requirements, and it simplified DreamWorks’ workflows for the gigantic character model of Ruby Gillman. This way, the animators could focus on creativity, rather than capacity management and any technical hang-ups.”

For context, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken is the latest from DreamWorks Animation. NetApp supported the studio with its ever-increasing production demands through that project, and will continue doing so via cutting-edge cloud solutions and intense workflow optimizations.

“We’ve been a NetApp customer for quite a long time,” commented Bill Ballew, CTO at DreamWorks Animation. “Then, in 2018, we moved from being more than an engaged customer; we became a valued partner that helped bring the best of both companies’ resources together to hit the gas on our digital transformation.”

“And unlike other businesses,” Ballew added, “DreamWorks’ end product is completely composed of data. In fact, we generate up to a petabyte of it for each film, and there’s no satisfactory way for us to bring the imaginative storytelling of our animated films to life without the world-class data management and cloud services NetApp consistently provides.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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