Shared networking eases IT load for Australian film industry

Production companies using network to exchange large digital files

Cinenet director Tony Clark.

Cinenet director Tony Clark.

Adelaide-based network service provider Cinenet is helping its film and TV customers share very large digital files across a national high-speed network.

The company was established to provide a shared infrastructure for studios, producers, editing facilities, visual effects providers, sound facilities and DVD producers to create and exchange large digital assets.

Cinenet director Tony Clark told Computerworld Australia that in order to improve this service for customers, it recently began working with Brocade.

The company’s core network nodes in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are based around Brocade MLX series routers which connect to data centres in Australia using high speed optical fibre network links.

Clark said it selected the vendor’s routers and switches due to the high level of utilisation the network has to cope with. For example, the 10 Gigabit ethernet links are used at capacity for many hours.

A number of Australian productions including The Great Gatsby and The Voice have used the network to transfer digital files.

“Each frame in a digital production can easily require 2GB of source material, so the total data volumes are massive,” he said. “We have customers who will move 250GB data packages every night to a partner in another country.”

He added that a finished digital print is approximately 250GB in size so distributing it to 500 cinemas across Australia is still a huge undertaking.

“This is why we, and most of the industry, rely heavily on our Brocade network infrastructure to keep things going.”

According to Clark, 80 per cent of productions in the Australian film and TV space will use its network.

Cinenet is now connecting customers to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centre in Sydney through its high-band virtual private local area network (LAN) service.

The LAN can transfer data to the AWS facility at one-fifth the cost of Amazon’s Internet data transfer charges.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Tags networking hardwarebrocadeCinenetNetworkingfilm production

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