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Topform Studio Adopts Tiger Techs MetaSAN/MetaLAN

Hardware-agnostic file sharing software to optimize storage management needs (March 29, 2005)

Tiger Technology GmbH, an established Swiss-based storage area networking (SAN) management software solutions provider, today announced that Topform Studio, a Bulgaria-based post-production company specializing in visual effects for film and television, has integrated Tiger Technology's MetaSAN/MetaLAN SAN management software into their network architecture -- enabling Topform's visual effects artists to share data transparently between cross-platform workstations and avoid bottlenecks while simultaneously benefiting from traffic load balancing and data master fail-over. MetaSAN/MetaLAN enables multiple users to share access to common data files in workgroups where heavy bandwidth requirements are the norm by delivering a unique approach to arbitrating data that substantially enhances performance and reliability.

Topform is currently providing more than six minutes of special effects for the film "Scorpius Gigantus" and leveraging MetaSAN/MetaLAN extensively for the production work. The film, executive produced by the legendary Roger Corman and distributed by his company New Concorde, is scheduled for release on the Sci-Fi channel this summer. "Scorpius Gigantus" tells the tale of 12-foot long, intelligent, bullet-resistant, six-legged creatures capable of upper brain function strategy and intent on killing anyone in their path, and a geneticist determined to stop them.

Alex Rizov, FX Supervisor at Topform Studio credits MetaSAN/MetaLAN with enabling significant improvements in workflow and collaboration over the course of the project, noting: "With MetaSAN/MetaLAN in place, every artist has instant access to data by simply clicking on the local hard drive in `My Computer' -- and all this without having to perform sophisticated network administration. We've seen huge improvements in our daily backup process, something that used to be very time consuming in the past."

Topform's work on "Scorpius Gigantus" marked MetaSAN/MetaLAN's debut at the facility and it proved to be an invaluable resource in helping meet tight production schedules. It was also the facility's first project filmed entirely on Sony CineAlta HD. Apple's Final Cut was used for editing, which resulted in the need to access more than 8,000 data items.

Rizov further explained: "Having a solid SAN management solution in place helped us to avoid the ?standard offline/online process and keep a single online copy of the footage during the entire post-production cycle. Additionally, Tiger Technology's companion product MetaLAN was especially useful in allowing different artists to work simultaneously on the same shot. For example, we had an artist working at one station handling 3D animation in Softimage XSI while a second artist was using Discreet combustion to rotoscope and mask using the same HD footage and sending intermediate renders to the render farm machines connected with MetaLAN to the same storage.

"The advantage of using Tiger Technology's MetaSAN/MetaLAN over built-in LAN sharing was in the fail-over and bandwidth load balancing on the metadata controller side. Historically, in LAN sharing scenarios, a single failure on the server could cause a break in the whole workflow or we'd have to copy the original data onto all the locations requiring access to the same footage. By applying MetaLAN we effectively reduced data copy and management operations by several times in addition to doubling the aggregate bandwidth."

"Topform Studio exemplifies the heavy bandwidth workflow realities facing today's extremely fast-paced, cross-platform production environments and the challenges that technical and creative professionals face in managing and storing digital assets," said Alexander Lefterov, co-founder, vice president of technology and CTO, Tiger Technology. "We are delighted that the network infrastructure integration of our MetaSAN and MetaLAN file sharing software at the studio -- implemented during the post-production stage of its current feature film project -- has proved to be an efficient solution for managing storage requirements and improving overall workflow."

About MetaSAN/MetaLAN
MetaSAN is a comprehensive, time-proven, high-speed file sharing SAN management software solution that sets new standards for workgroup collaboration. MetaSAN enables multiple users to share access to common data files in workgroups where heavy bandwidth requirements are the norm by delivering a unique approach to arbitrating data that can fuel the most creative environments, in addition to greatly reducing the cost of managing mission-critical resources. Targeted to the needs of digital content creation professionals involved with the creation or modification of animation, digital intermediates, audio, graphics, satellite imagery, video clips, etc., as part of the production process, the software also meets the needs of a wide range of enterprise users in other markets, including imaging, digital prepress and corporate/government.

MetaSAN 2.0 is fully compatible with leading standard applications, including Adobe Digital Video Collection and Apple Final Cut Pro. In addition, the Avid Unity MediaFile virtualization feature enables efficient collaboration among multiple users of Avid software. MetaSAN also supports leading vendors of SAN technology, including Atto, IBM, Emulex, LSI, Qlogic and Seagate. Tiger Technology also offers a companion product, MetaLAN, which connects the enterprise LAN with high-speed SAN to bring many of the SAN benefits to the LAN.

About Topform Studio
Topform Studio, Inc., located in Sofia, Bulgaria, was founded in 1999 to provide post-production, computer graphics and visual effects services for feature films and commercial projects. Frequently contracted by producers from all over Europe and the U.S., the company has emerged over the past five years as a leading provider of HD digital intermediate services in Bulgaria and neighboring countries. Topform is also recognized for its motion graphics, titles design and independent feature film work. Clients include MSNBC, HBO, TV2 and others.

Further information on Topform Studio can be found at

About Tiger Technology
Founded in 2003, Tiger Technology GmbH, is a privately held company based in Zurich, delivering new technologies and OEM solutions in the field of storage area networking. The company's flagship product MetaSAN builds upon years of SAN-related expertise and development to bring digital content creation and enterprise professionals involved with handling large bandwidth files a unique, cross-platform, hardware-agnostic, high-speed file sharing SAN management solution that sets new standards for workgroup collaboration and reliability.

For further information on Tiger Technology please visit


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Related Keywords:Topform Studio, MetaSAN/MetaLAN, file sharing, Tiger Technology, storage area networking, SAN, visual effects, Scorpius Gigantus, Roger Corman, New Concorde, Alex Rizov, Sony, CineAlta HD, Apple, Final Cut, Softimage, XSI, Discreet, rotoscope, Alexander Lefterov, MetaSAN, MetaLAN, Avid, Unity MediaFile,

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