Data Centers and Avatar
Avatar is turning out to be one of the highest-grossing movies ever, and people are really crazy about it. I’ve read that some viewers are even experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts because of how much more attractive the world in the movie is than the world we live in.
It’s unsurprising then that those gorgeous visuals come from Weta Digital in New Zealand, the well-known visual effects company responsible for the aesthetic genius of the Lord of the Rings movies. Weta performs its magic using an unusual kind of data center for the data-intensive creation process, with such specifications as 4,000 servers in a 10,000 square foot facility, and 104 TB of RAM. Weta Digital has said that each minute of Avatar is made up of 17.28 GB of data.
It’s always interesting to see how data centers fit into novelty markets like movies and video games, and Avatar’s success after three years of intense production work at Weta is an example of this kind of unorthodox purpose for them.
Weta Digital is also interesting in terms of cooling – they use water-cooled racks as well as naturally chill New Zealand air, and they keep their data center up at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Check out ComputerWorld’s article for more information.
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