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Supermicro Heralds the Future of Animation and VFX Production

Marketing Consultant Robert Moore shares his insights on how new high-performance, high-efficiency, NVIDIA GPU-based Supermicro servers optimized for NVIDIA Omniverse™ Enterprise, are enabling new paradigms of distributed, collaborative entertainment content production. 

As a leading provider of high-performance/high-efficiency servers, server management software, and storage systems, Supermicro is integral to the cutting-edge work being done in a wide variety of markets, from enterprise data centers and artificial intelligence, to 5G and edge computing. Moreover, unlike many of its competitors, Supermicro doesn’t provide a general-purpose, one-size-fits-all machine, but is known for optimizing its solutions across a myriad of different workloads. While many server providers try to restrict  their supply chain efforts by reducing the number of products they offer, Supermicro has gone in the other direction, making sure that they have an extensive portfolio in every market  they serve.

Media and Entertainment is no exception, and Supermicro, in partnership with NVIDIA and its Omniverse Enterprise platform, has been expanding its reach in the world of animation, VFX production, and related creative enterprises. While the filmmaking community hasn’t yet embraced the groundbreaking possibilities offered by the new technologies to the extent of such industries as, say, robotics or autonomous vehicle design, the tide is definitely shifting as more creatives begin to recognize the advantages inherent in the new paradigms.

Perhaps no single factor has done more to ramp up interest within the creative community in the kind of solutions offered by Supermicro and NVIDIA than the advent of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“A surprising thing came to fruition with the pandemic and that was the need for the M&E industry to be able to create content remotely from dispersed, geographically remote locations,” says Robert Moore, Marketing Consultant at Supermicro. “And Omniverse provides the ability to do that 3D collaboration instantaneously among many users in different locations at the same time.”

Moore cites the example of one client – an animation studio that is “one of the biggest in the industry” – that uses numerous workstations, with individual artists working together with Omniverse, integrated with a number of server platforms for rendering and content delivery.

Asked whether, in his experience, the studios that adopted the distributed model during the height of the pandemic are sticking with it, or if he sees many returning to in-person work, Moore says that it’s a mixed bag.

“We do see a lot of commitment to distributed platforms, largely thanks to the fact that Omniverse running on Supermicro platforms can help accommodate needed production workflows,” he observes. “We also see a lot coming back into the studio and using the systems there for collaboration, rendering and content creation. And then we see a hybrid of those two, where they're coming back to the studio, but also offering the option to work remotely. That way it's easy for our customers to attract and retain good employees, because they can offer that flexible work environment.”

In addition to providing optimized solutions for every customer’s workloads, Supermicro also distinguishes itself from its competitors in three key areas:

Time to market

“By working closely with providers, we’re able to bring new products to market extremely quickly,” says Moore, citing such recent innovations as the new Intel Xeon and AMD Epic processors. “And we partner with NVIDIA on their software and important note on that within NVIDIA, their new NVIDIA AI Enterprise software is included when you buy a Supermicro server with one of the NVIDIA H100 PCIe GPUs.


Supermicro builds in highly sophisticated security capabilities and technologies, which, especially when working with a remote distributed workforce in M&E, is essential. “We're actually able to build in cryptographic hash and embed that into the silicon in the BMC, which then will validate the security of the entire platform, over 4 million lines of firmware, within the server,” Moore explains, “which is compliant with NIST 800-193”. “Additionally, because we build almost every one of our products in our San Jose facility in California, we have a second security feature of attestation through our supply chain. We’re able to attest and validate that our servers are not tampered with from the time they leave our factory, to the time they arrive at the end-user customer.”

Energy efficiency and cost-competitiveness

In addition to offering its products at prices that are often lower than those charged by its competitors for comparable systems, Supermicro also prides itself on the environment-friendliness of its solutions. “One of our hallmarks that we have been proud of for many years is our energy efficiency and our ability to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint by offering really green solutions,” says Moore. “And we do that through a number of things, including a variety of both air-cooled and liquid-cooled systems that lower the cost and lower the carbon footprint for our customers. These commitments really put us in a leadership position throughout the IT industry.”

As far as where he sees things going in the future, Moore is confident that the Media & Entertainment industry will increasingly gravitate toward the enhanced performance and possibilities for remote production offered by such solutions as NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise.

“Ever since the pandemic, there’s been a growing need for content creation and content delivery,” Moore says. “And we find more and more customers needing to access M&E applications. And so, we’ve been focusing on that, we've optimized for it. We are one of the leaders, if not the leading server provider, for NVIDIA certified systems, and our partnership with NVIDIA is particularly close. When I started six months ago, we had the most NVIDIA certified systems of any server manufacturer. We dedicated ourselves to that because we knew our customers in Media & Entertainment needed the capabilities of the GPUs from NVIDIA, as well as Omniverse software, to be really ultra-competitive in their industry.”

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.