Networking solutions provider Brocade is powering up Light Chaser Animation Studios, a startup computer graphics animation company based in Beijing, which has deployed a new high-performance fabric-based network from Brocade to support its animation production business.

Light Chaser was founded last year by Gary Wang, the founder and former CEO of the country's most popular video-sharing Web site, Tudou.com. Its goal is to produce world-class animated movies and capitalize on the opportunities in China's rapidly growing movie market, which expanded by 28 percent last year and is widely expected to overtake the US in market size by 2020.

According to a statement by Brocade, the new network links storage and computing resources at Light Chaser's data centre with artists' workstations at Light Chaser's main office in a seamless Ethernet fabric that delivers the wire-speed, low-latency performance required for 3D animation production.

"At the moment there's a distinct lack of high-quality CG animation content being produced in China, so we're aiming to fill that gap by creating world-class animated movies," said Ye Yuan, Head of Technology of Light Chaser Animation Studios. "Doing so requires world-class animation talent and world-class technology, which is where the new network from Brocade comes in."

The Chinese startup has deployed the latest and most cutting-edge technology to support studio operations. This includes 900 terabytes of network-attached storage (NAS), a 400-server render farm and 200 animation workstations.

"Tying these all together to create an efficiently functioning whole that gives us maximum performance, however, required a seamless network that could handle our highly demanding workload, as each frame in a digital production file is now a few gigabytes," said Yuan.

The Brocade solution was a unified Ethernet fabric built around the Brocade VDX family of Ethernet switches, the company said in its statement. Within the data centre, Brocade VDX 6710 Switches have been deployed as top-of-rack (TOR) switches to provide wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) connectivity to the 400 multiprocessor, multicore servers that provide the computing power for Light Chaser's video rendering.

"The beauty of this design is that it creates a single Ethernet fabric that spans Light Chaser's two sites, delivering high capacity and low-latency connectivity across its entire IT infrastructure," said Sam Lo, regional director for China, Brocade. "It is also ridiculously easy to manage since, as a single virtual device, configuration information is shared between all the Brocade VDX switches in the fabric. It is very much a plug-and-play network. When Light Chaser needs more network capacity to support additional servers or workstations, it can simply add another switch into the fabric cluster."