Pixar switches from Sun to Intel

“Pixar Animation Studios, which brought the world Monsters Inc. and Toy Story, is switching from Sun Microsystems to Intel, as the melodrama in the server market heats up. The Emeryville, Calif.-based film studio is replacing servers from Sun in its render farm–a bank of servers that fuses artists’ images into finished film frames–with eight new blade servers from Rackspace. In all, the blade system contains 1,024 Intel 2.8GHz Xeon processors, and it runs the open-source Linux operating system. Pixar installed the Rackspace system over the previous six months and will use it to develop its next film, The Incredibles, which will likely hit theaters in 2004.

The Pixar deal comes amid a spate of shuttle diplomacy taking place between Intel and Apple Computer. Both Pixar and Apple share the same CEO, Steve Jobs. At Macworld in January, Intel President Paul Otellini sat in the front row for Steve Jobs’ keynote as a VIP guest of Apple. Jobs also gave Otellini a tour of the show floor. Later in January, Jobs delivered the morning keynote address at Intel’s annual sales conference in Las Vegas. ‘Andy (Grove) always tries to bring someone in from the outside,’ said an Intel representative. ‘Andy has always thought of Steve as being a quite a creative force in the industry.’ The Intel chairman and Apple’s CEO are, in fact, old friends. Still, “I’m sure one of the reasons he did it was for the shock value,” the representative said,” reports Michael Kanellos for CNET. Full article here.

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