“To handle its growing storage needs, South Park this past season began moving away from a direct-attached disk backup and a tape library that often took more than a day to back up data. Instead, the show’s producers are changing over to a faster tape library system and disk systems that later this month will blossom into a full storage area network (SAN),” Lucas Mearian reports for Computerworld. “J.J. Franzen, technology supervisor at South Park Studios in Los Angeles, said the show was simply running out of storage space on its digital linear tape (DLT) library and direct-attached disk storage from Ciprico Inc., in Plymouth, Minn. So in May, a new linear tape open (LTO)-2 tape library from Exabyte Corp. in Boulder, Colo. and three Xserve RAID disk arrays from Apple Computer Inc. were installed.”

“Franzen said South Park can now perform up to four incremental backups a day versus one a day with the old system, and can do one full-backup a week as opposed to doing it once a month. In the event of disaster, South Park would only lose four hours of changes to the show’s content versus an entire day’s data – which would destroy the tight production schedule that leads up the weekly broadcast, Franzen said,” Mearian reports. “Franzen said he chose Apple hardware based on a ‘gut’ feeling that its technology would be good, and so far he has not been disappointed. Franzen said he now expects to add two more Xserve arrays for a total of 15TB of storage… Xserve arrays use 7,200-rpm advanced technology attached (ATA) drives. Each box scales to 7TB and includes 2Gbit/sec Fibre Channel ports for a price tag that starts at $5,999 for 1TB of raw storage.”

Full article here.

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