St. Louis, Missouri, April 12, 2004 — From the introduction of Steamboat Willie to the release of Animatrix, animation has made substantial strides in quality over the past 76 years. Over that time span, cartoons have evolved from an entertainment alternative produced primarily for children to an industry targeting a much broader audience. As the animation industry has grown, producers have looked to technological improvements to help meet the increasing demands – and the technology has not disappointed.

For animation studios like ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime in the United States, success would be far more difficult without a fast, responsive storage network and software applications that can adapt to greater demands. Enter the A/V SAN PRO™ shared storage network from Studio Network Solutions (SNS) and its versatile shared storage software – SANmp™. This multi-platform volume management software enables workstations with different operating systems to concurrently access and share information on a workgroup Storage Area Network (SAN).

“A/V SAN PRO is a critical part of our production process,” stated Mark Williams, Chief Technology Officer for ADV Films. “In a non-linear assembly line, the storage network gets you out of situations where you have to load and unload projects from individual workstations. If you have access to the project from multiple workstations, you can streamline the process. SANmp allows us to do this. We use our SAN for both video and audio production. It gives us a way to combine our environments. We can work on a project’s audio on the network while also working on its video. Then we can bring the two off the network together.”

Due to the sheer volume of animated films released by ADV — including Hello Kitty and Friends, Robotech, Legend of Crystania, and Golden Boy — the platform’s ability to handle an extreme workload is essential. When investing in a system, production facilities and post houses have to feel confident that they will not outgrow it.

“One of the really strong features of A/V SAN PRO is its scalability,” Williams explained. “Some of the other systems have limitations that A/V SAN PRO goes beyond. It sits at a sweet spot of price and scalability — compared to proprietary storage network systems, the cost per gigabyte is pretty attractive. It allows us to do more than we could do before at an incremental price.”

Among the many great features found in SANmp are the ability to configure, manage, share and access resources on both Fibre Channel and iSCSI networks, set user privileges at the partition level and dynamically share one or more RAID sets. For most, like ADV Films, the overwhelming benefit will be the ability to integrate Mac OS and Windows workstations, regardless of the application software they choose.

With the progress made in the animation industry over the past three quarters of a century, there is no telling what tomorrow’s animated shorts and features hold for viewers. The one certainty is that technological advancements, such as SNS’ A/V SAN PRO and SANmp, will help lead the way.

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.