May 26, 2015

Customer spotlight: Scanline VFX creates stunning visual effects with high-density infrastructure

Ansley Kilgore

los angeles data centerAs an international media and entertainment company, Scanline VFX provides full-service visual effects for feature films and commercials. The company began in Munich and has expanded to three locations worldwide, including Vancouver and Los Angeles. Scanline VFX is well known for its proprietary software that enables creation of lifelike fluid effects, and the company was nominated for an Academy of Motion Pictures award in 2008 for its work on Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.”

The process of producing and editing visual effects involves a massive amount of digital content and data. With large numbers of renders and simulations constantly taking place, as well as the need to expand their workforce on a moment’s notice, Scanline VFX requires a secure, redundant and scalable infrastructure. To support the needs of their clients and create better workflow, Scanline VFX sought to establish one centralized location for all their servers and equipment, and make their network and systems accessible to their worldwide employee base.


Creating visual effects for high-profile movie and TV projects requires tight security for systems and networks. Scanline VFX needed to ensure a secure environment while also providing controlled access for its more than 400 employees to remote into the server without compromising the safety of the network. Scanline VFX can rely on remote hands management from Internap for round-the-clock assistance with access control.


With all their employees relying on access to the server to do their jobs, power blips or outages are not an option for Scanline VFX. To prevent lost productivity, the company set up render farms in Internap’s Los Angeles data center, a fully redundant facility. Data centers designed with concurrent maintainability eliminate single points of failure, and ensure that if a component goes offline, a backup component will still be able to function and prevent service interruptions. As a result, Scanline VFX’s environment remains up and running even in the event of a power outage. In addition, the company is backing up petabytes of data to Internap data centers as an extra step to ensure business continuity.


As Scanline VFX takes on more projects, it needs the ability to add more employees and increase capacity on a moment’s notice. With large volumes of digital content and high CPU usage, the process of scaling infrastructure requires more power than a traditional colocation footprint. Data centers designed for high power densities can provide additional power as business needs grow in the future. In addition to scalable density, Scanline VFX also needs access to clean power, because electrical pollution and power surges can have a negative impact on sensitive electrical equipment.

As a result of moving their infrastructure to Internap, Scanline VFX has been able to achieve the security that comes with true redundancy for their environment. The ability to scale allows the company to expand its footprint with little notice to meet the demands of their clients. “We’re in the business of making VFX for films; we’re not in the business of managing our data centers and dealing with AC requests and power issues and creating redundancies,” said Scott Miller, Studio Manager for Scanline VFX.

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Ansley Kilgore

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