Storage Wars – The Force Awakens

storage-wars-a-and-eI’m allowed some Star Wars geekery occasionally!

With the imminent launch of the latest Star Wars movie I turned to thinking about the generation of images used in movies. We think less and less  about the computer generated images we see in movies, but are simply accepting of them as part of the action, even though the Wow factor is still there.

We know that those buildings are not really destroyed;  the Golden Gate Bridge has not really been devastated 20 times in movies recently, so we know its Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), but have we ever thought about the technology required to create these sequences?

Most important in this process is the role of the storage environment; it’s imperative to be able to process images quickly and to be able to render images in a timeframe to minimise cost and production time.

This is one of the places that Flash-based storage arrays really shine; the ability to deliver output in a rapid fashion means that my Star Wars user experience happens in 2015, and not in several more years’ time.

Remember, the original Disney cartoons took several years to make but now several can be produced every year, Flash storage solutions are one of the key factors behind this.

Now, performance isn’t always everything, but in the film industry it can be.

Whilst I genuinely have no preference for technology vendors, occasionally there are just some things you just have to highlight. One of these has been our recent testing of the HP StoreServ 20850 storage array. Having recently achieved world record results in the SPC-2 tests the 20850 became an obvious candidate for Computacenter to evaluate whether the claims could be substantiated in a real world scenario.

The performance of this array has been blindingly fast, and is one of the few which actually matches the vendor’s claims in terms of performance. Having tested several vendors’ solutions, the HP 20850 has stood with the best of them in terms of both price and performance.  Combining this with improved manageability makes the HP 20850 a compelling solution for customers across a wide range of applications, and supports customers in their move to the silicon datacentre.

The HP StoreServ represents a return to form for one of the major players in the storage industry, and is available for Customer Demonstration with a variety of either simulated workloads, or customer-specific tests utilising actual data, in the Computacenter Solution Centre based in Hatfield.


To (almost) quote Darth Vader; ‘HP StoreServ 20850- The Force is Strong with This One’

About Bill McGloin

Bill is Computacenter's Chief Technologist for Information

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