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Discreet Announces Collaboration with DataDirect and SGI

To bring new high-performance shared storage technology to market (August 11, 2004)

As demand for high-performance collaborative environments continues to grow in the digital content creation industry, Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. is developing a next-generation shared storage solution with DataDirect Networks and longtime partner Silicon Graphics.

The new high-performance Storage Area Network (SAN) is being developed to address the growing demand for more cost effective, real-time solutions capable of handling multi-user collaboration for 2K and 4K film projects, as well as high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) programming. This technology will help post facilities manage the increasing complexity of post-production projects, and will also provide the necessary bandwidth to support the growing popularity of the digital intermediate process in feature film production.

"There is an incredible opportunity for a cost-effective, high-quality solution that can handle SD, HD and digital film collaboration in real-time," said Martin Vann, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Discreet. "Post-production companies lack a competitive, open solution that can handle uncompressed HD and film collaboration. Together, DataDirect Networks, SGI and Discreet are in a unique position to deliver the most cost-effective, high-performance SAN on the market."

The new technology will be based on DataDirect Networks' shared storage systems and the SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS. DataDirect Networks is the leading provider of high performance storage networking appliances, with over 10 Petabytes of virtualized storage in use around the world. The SGI CXFS filesystem is the highest performing file system on the market, scalable to multiple real-time data-streams at both HDTV and 2K (2048x1556) film resolutions.

Marc Petit, vice president of research and development at Discreet, said, "By combining the strengths of the industry's highest performing technologies into a single solution we can offer our clients higher levels of performance, reliability and efficiency across all operating systems including IRIX, Linux, Windows and OS X."

Paul Bloch, president of DataDirect Networks, commented, "Film and video post-production companies and broadcasters are rapidly migrating to data environments and looking for more effective collaborative storage solutions. Discreet and SGI are ideally suited to maximize the performance and quality benefits of our storage technologies. It's a powerful combination and one that will be of significant benefit to all our mutual clients."

DataDirect Networks' Silicon Storage Appliances are the world's highest performance networked storage systems and the most cost efficient solutions for High Performance Computing and Rich Media applications, capable of delivering up to 1.5 GBytes/sec of raw sustained throughput.

Gabriel Broner, senior vice president and general manager, Storage and Software Group, SGI, said, "We are delighted to work with Discreet on optimizing CXFS for the Media market and we are pleased to see the best shared file system coupled with DataDirect Networks storage. We think this will give Discreet a clear advantage in the marketplace. These easy-to-configure SAN solutions can begin small and scale to the large demands, as found for example in Hollywood."

SGI CXFS shared filesystem provides instant data sharing with no network mounts and no data copies. The result is all the total cost of ownership benefits of SAN consolidation plus a significant increase in overall performance, productivity and return on investment. CXFS supports the widest range of operating systems including Windows, OS X, IRIX and Linux. CXFS is the filesystem of SGI's massively scalable InfiniteStorage shared storage solutions also sold by Discreet and through on-going joint-sales efforts between Discreet and SGI to provide more comprehensive SAN solutions through SGI Professional Services.

Attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2004 conference in Los Angeles, August 10-12, can see a technology demonstration of the SAN at Discreet Booth #1700. Pricing and availability have not been announced. The product is expected to ship this year.

About Discreet
Discreet empowers media professionals to realise the visual experience and transform their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Discreet's award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, colour grading and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive, and design visualisation. Discreet is based in Montréal, Québec and is a division of Autodesk, Inc, the world's leading design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company. Product and corporate information:

About DataDirect Networks, Inc.
DataDirect Networks is the world's leading provider of networked storage and clusters for HPC and Rich Media. Providing SAN, SAN/NAS convergence, and cluster solutions for Government, Research Labs, Defense, Life sciences, Broadcasting, Digital Production, Oil and Gas industries. For more information, contact DataDirect Networks at (818) 700-7600 or visit

About SGI
Silicon Graphics | The Source of Innovation and Discovery(tm)
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is the world's leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at


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Related Keywords:Discreet, DataDirect, SGI, storage, Autodesk, DataDirect Networks, Silicon Graphics, Storage Area Network, digital intermediate, Martin Vann, SAN, InfiniteStorage, CXFS, InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem, Marc Petit, Paul Bloch, Silicon Storage Appliances, Gabriel Broner, SIGGRAPH,


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