Harnessing the best of local expertise and the latest in advanced engineering technology, Weta Digital has completed their purpose-built, extreme density data center.
Designed and built to cope with current and future technological demands, the unique, space and energy efficient facility is unlike any other in world, maximizing frame rendering capabilities but also balancing the investment in floor space, power, cooling, and associated technology. Weta Digital will be the first in the world to use HP's new Double Density server blades, which uniquely combine two independent servers in a single blade.
"The increased density of the blades allows us to add a significantly higher number of processors into a confined physical footprint while still managing within tight power consumption and cooling requirements," said Adam Shand, acting CTO, Weta Digital.
The need for extreme density also posed unique design challenges, but these were overcome by having the right engineering and technology partners involved in the project.
"One of our most important decisions was to invest in water-cooled racks from Rittal, which allows us to precisely control the amount of cooling that a specific rack requires. The tangible benefit is that we can manage our energy costs at a very granular level," said Shand. "Instead of the traditional and less responsive method of eliminating hot spots around cooling, these racks self-regulate the amount of cooling they require in real time, adjusting the waterflow and fan speeds as required We have a very efficient facility that utilizes 'free cooling' due to the weather conditions we experience from our roof mounted chillers for a large portion of the year."
"Technology is a major contributor to the visual effects business," said Weta Digital's General Manager, Tom Greally, "When designing our new facility we wanted to ensure that we invested in a facility that could scale with our aspirations, and keep pace with the rapidly changing pace of technology. To be at the forefront of the visual effects industry, and to attract the best talent we need world leading facilities for our artists. The expandable capacity of the data centre sees our artists supported by faster and more powerful technology, allowing them to push the boundaries and continue to make visually impressive movies."