Eclair Laboratoires Speeds Collaborative Real-Time HD Digital Film Mastering by 3x with SGI Technology

SGI InfiniteStorage SAN and SGI Altix Server Accelerate Intense Data Workflow

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 18 // -- To meet the overwhelming demands associated with real-time high definition (HD) processing, Eclair Laboratoires, the leading digital film mastering facility in France, supplemented their existing 100TB-plus SGI(R) InfiniteStorage CXFS(TM) storage area network (SAN) with a complete storage and server workflow solution from SGI (NASDAQ:SGIC). With the SGI solution fully implemented, Eclair Laboratoires now has an extremely dynamic and fluid environment that easily handles the intense real-time data processing and very large data management requirements associated with high-definition (HD).

"We wanted to work on the same film at the same time as the special effects and the digital color calibration, without saturating the network," said Philippe Mouton, IT director, Digital Department, Eclair Laboratoires. "We have a dozen Unix workstations connected to different Linux and Windows servers that are operating 24 hours a day simultaneously on the same scenes. A full-length feature film uses between 3TB and 10TB storage, and each frame is 8-12MB. We deployed a SGI CXFS SAN, which overcomes one of the biggest flaws in networking: it allows files to be shared simultaneously without copying; it works with multiple operating systems; and fibre channel accelerates access to the data. By placing our film scanner on the SAN we gained a very important time-savings because it is no longer necessary to borrow various bridges to transfer data from the scanner to do special effects or color correction. We found that with the SGI system we are able to work on three times as many films in the same period of time. We began building the digital facility with SGI over five years ago and we continue to grow with SGI because only SGI's scalable architecture and CXFS offer all these efficiencies in the workflow."

Established in 1907 in Epinay, France, Eclair Laboratoires continues to develop film and shoot and produce 35mm negatives in their laboratories and studios. The digital services include digital mastering and processing, digital assembly of feature films, high-resolution scanning and recording, and visual effects, as well as film restoration. SGI servers run the Kodak Cineon scanner, a variety of Autodesk Discreet software, and Eclair's proprietary software, ColorUS.

Almost from the launch of their digital services department Eclair has been using SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS shared filesystem to power their workflow. As demand for digital intermediates has grown as rapidly in Europe as it has in the United States, Eclair Laboratoires has easily added SGI(R) InfiniteStorage TP9300 and TP9500 systems and additional servers to the original installation.

"The new storage is dedicated to digital architecture around the SGI CXFS SAN which allows us to take full advantage of our ColorUS digital system that is capable of digitizing and performing digital color calibration in real time from 2K sources," said Philippe Mouton. "The SGI InfiniteStorage 6700 has been configured to hold four digitizing stations running simultaneously in 2K. We hope very soon to offer our clients a working tour that will enable them to visualize their images in scan resolution on a digital 2K projector, as well as showing the flexibility of centralized storage where all scanned pictures are at their disposal and available in high enough resolution to prepare a digital master."

Eclair Laboratoires' latest purchase is an SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 6700 system with 48TB, an SGI(R) Altix(R) 350 server with 10 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors and 40GB RAM, and additional SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS software licenses.

"With more than 150TB of images to manipulate per year -- and that number is growing rapidly -- Eclair Laboratoires continues to strengthen their digital cinema mastering workflow with the most robust and reliable storage and servers available from SGI," said Louise Ledeen, Market Segment Manager, Digital Content Management and Media, SGI. "Digital intermediate facilities around the world use SGI's scalable architecture as their client base demands the creative freedom now possible through the digital mastering process. Eclair Laboratoires is one of those unique facilities where the power of SGI's most advanced technology is eclipsed only by the talent of their creative staff. SGI InfiniteStorage systems and SGI Altix servers help make the process highly interactive by providing the bandwidth and speed to deliver huge volumes of data in HD and 2K in real-time -- accelerating the creative process and ultimately leading to a healthy and rapid ROI."

About Eclair

Eclair Group is the leading post-production house and laboratory in France. It has a large spectrum of activities, from studios to photochemical activities, digital intermediate, television post-production, sound post- production and special effects. Eclair Group recently created Eclair Digital Cinema, a new venture dedicated to D-Cinema. Eclair Group includes two main subsidiaries, Eclair Laboratoires and Teletota, and is in the process of acquiring GTC, the third largest player in the French post-production industry. Eclair can be found on the Web at

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