New Holland Creative
We’ve designed our entire workflow around a ‘punch above our weight’ mentality, which basically means to achieve more than people thought was possible from a team of our size. With its excellent performance, feature-set and price point, the Synology DS1815+ fits into this approach perfectly. Clinton Downs, CG Design Director
Established in 2015, New Holland Creative is a design-driven studio with a strong emphasis on high-end CG animation and located in trendy Paddington, Sydney. Their work spans many mediums including print, TV commercial, cinema, feature film, digital and branding. New Holland is a boutique sized team who loves to deliver more than people thought possible.
- Baku Solidarity Games -The talented team at Artists in Motion engaged New Holland to create a CG visual spectacular for the opening ceremony of this world-class event broadcast to over 1.3 billion global audience.
- FOXTEL Now Launch - New Holland cooperated with ALT VFX to present a dynamic CF for the Australian internet television service.
In late 2015, during the formation of the company, one of the important tasks facing New Holland Creative was to implement an optimal NAS that meets their workflow and IT needs moving forward. As the design studio operates in the digital medium, every single file, image, and design would need to be stored on the NAS, the data generated every day ranging from tens to hundreds of gigabytes. Undoubtedly, the NAS would need be a high-capacity data storage vault. In addition, the ideal NAS would also need to serve as the central file server of the studio – the heart of all production workloads, capable of handling intensive reading and writing of large project data from multiple client servers. As such, a powerful all-in-one NAS server was sought after to manage the studio's data needs in terms of storage and performance, and not break the bank.
Aware of Synology's intuitive interface and its myriads of add-on packages available on the operating system DiskStation Manager (DSM), New Holland's task was simplified: now it's only about selecting the right server from Synology's family of NAS models to do the job. The evaluation led them to DiskStation DS1815+, a powerful and highly-scalable 8-bay tower NAS that offers all required features, including FTP service, web service, cloud backup features, and RAID protection. New Holland has also explored other features that come as bonuses to their deployment, among others is Docker, a lightweight software virtualization solution.
Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) for optimal storage configuration
The primary role of the NAS is to store data safely. For data protection, a RAID system is a must, but understanding different RAIDs and choosing an optimal type could be difficult and time consuming. To easily configure the right RAID for its DS1815+, New Holland adopted for Synology Hybrid RAID, an automated RAID management system that allows users to easily set up and manage RAID system, expand storage, and maximize storage availability. Currently, New Holland's running DS1815+ has over 10 terabytes of online SHR storage, with two-disk redundancy to provide the studio peace of mind even when two of the running drives fail.
Link Aggregation and FTP server for boosted productivity
New Holland's typical workflow begins with storing source material from clients on the NAS. Depending on the nature of the creative project, this material can be live action sequences, 3D models, or Illustrator files varying from a few megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. After receiving the material, the studio then commences the design phase, where 2D prototypes of the project are generated. At this stage, the project materials are still within the megabyte range and are usually only accessed by one single person.
The real challenges come as the production proceeds to the execution stage of CG animation. To ‘light' the CG world, large storage capability of the NAS is highly required, since the process involves data of numerous types, some of which being as large as terabytes, such as fluid simulation data. Furthermore, it is also the stage when the NAS handles intensive read and write tasks as the in-house GPU farm renders the scenes in the CG world. Thanks to the four Ethernet ports on the DS1518+, the studio can increase bandwidth of the NAS with Link Aggregation to support concurrent reads from the NAS by multiple rendering servers with satisfactory speed. For certain projects where more rendering power is demanded, cloud computing power will be utilized to complete the task. With the built-in FTP service on the DS1815+, New Holland is able to handle file I/O access between their local rendering nodes and the nodes in the cloud, further increasing automation in their workflow.
Multi-destination backup with Cloud Sync and Hyper Backup
A creative studio cannot afford any loss of its digital assets. To ensure data availability, New Holland implements multiple backup strategies. With Cloud Sync, an add-on package available on the NAS, New Holland schedules daily data sync to Google Drive as public cloud based backup. In addition, the studio also creates a nearline offsite copy via an external hard drive with Hyper Backup, a powerful backup tool running on the NAS that supports multiple destinations such as local shared folder, rsync server, another NAS, external devices and more.
Versatile all-in-one NAS for multiple purposes
In addition to file service, FTP service and backup features, the DS1815+ offers a lot more to fulfill the studio's various operation demands, among which are Intranet, web server as testing platform for the official website, IP surveillance camera and monitoring management with Surveillance Station, and Docker containers for occasional non-standard tasks such as database storage. As commented by Clinton Downs, CG Design Director, the studio's entire workflow surrounds a ‘punch above our weight' mentality, and "with its excellent performance, feature-set and price point, the Synology DS1815+ fits into this approach perfectly."
- Cloud Sync
- Hyper Backup
- FTP server
- Web Station
- Surveillance Station
- Synology Hybrid RAID
- Link Aggregation