Media Powerhouse Tippett Studio

Learn how Tippett Studio manages animation and visual effects data at scale with Igneous.


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Tippett Studio

Location: Berkeley, CA

Industry: Media & Entertainment

Employees: 150

Goals: Modernize legacy data protection solution to meet SLA's without performance impacts

Products UsedIgneous DataProtect

Why Igneous?

  • Improved studio's capabilities to take on more data-intensive, high-fidelity projects with cutting edge production pipelines
  • Provides automated and scalable data protection and archive for petabytes of VFX data including texture maps, Houdini volumes, and rendered images in OpenEXR files
  • Reduce operational and systems management costs with as-a-service delivery

The Challenge: 

Legacy backup and tape fail to make the final cut 

Tippett’s legacy backup solution, a combination of Commvault, Oracle ZFS, and a Spectra Logic tape library, had been buckling under the studio’s data growth in recent years. The tape-based solution was also causing a strain on their primary systems making it difficult for the IT team to meet SLAs for both clients and internal production teams.

Due to tape drives failing, they were often operating at only 50% of their tape drive capacity and were at risk of losing artist data. Eventually, the situation reached a point where the cost-benefit analysis was in favor of investing in a more scalable solution.

“The main driving factor was for me was that our tape library, which we’ve had since before we started working here 11, 12 years ago, was not keeping up with the times. Our data needs to keep growing. The tape library is expensive to maintain and the TCO wasn’t what we wanted it to be. As drives failed, that became even more problematic and I knew that we needed to move toward a disc-to-disc backup scenario,” said Mike Root, Director of Technology at Tippett.

Igneous was more developed, more advanced than any other product solution we looked at.
Sanjay Das
Partner & Chief Operating Officer at Tippett Studio

The Solution:

As-a-Service backup and archive designed for scale

As the standards for media and the technological capabilities of production shops increase, Tippett—a studio at the very cutting-edge of media innovation—needs to be able to support higher and higher resolution and frame rate demands.

Igneous addresses an urgent and gaping void in their infrastructure that was projected to get much worse as the media and entertainment landscape shifts towards more and more data-intensive productions.

"We don't have a dedicated technology team or an I.T. team per se. So I have to lean heavily on people that I trust, on partners that I know can deliver, [Igneous] was more developed, more advanced than any other product solution we looked at," said Sanjay Das, Partner & Chief Operating Officer at Tippett. 

My interpretation of success is, nobody has escalated anything to me yet. It's an elegantly, outstandingly simple solution.
Sanjay Das
Partner & COO, Tippett Studio

The Result

Unstructured Data Management enables new business goals

Success for Tippett is sweet and simple. It means a backup system that works smoothly and exactly as planned, enabling the team to meet the needs of their end users.

"If we can restore people's data and it all works, then mission accomplished," said Root.

Even better, success means time freed up for IT to work on bigger projects beyond troubleshooting their backup system, managing tapes, and quelling artists grumbles about the performance of their storage services.

"My interpretation of success is, nobody has escalated anything to me yet. It's an elegantly, outstanding simple solution," said Das.


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