Overview

Weka Enables Artists to Seamlessly Collaborate Globally

Founded in 2020, Preymaker is a groundbreaking creative and technology studio with an expertise across all areas of content creation, media and I.P. Preymaker made the conscious decision to be 100% cloud-based, which served it well when the COVID pandemic made it difficult to work in an environment with on-premises infrastructure. Preymaker crafts content for leading brands and studios, engaging artists all over the world, from Los Angeles to New York, London, France, Sweden, and South Africa. With a distributed team like this, the cloud is an ideal platform, as artist workstations can be spun up and down depending on capabilities and project demands.

quotes

“The ability to just hit ‘play’ in front of a customer and display uncompressed rendered content from shared file storage without a hiccup has been a pipe dream within the industry for a long time—and being able to do that from centralized data on Weka is a huge win for us.

WekaIO’s automated S3 tiering just made large amounts of my day—having to manage and shuffle data—just completely evaporate, so that was an absolute game-changer for me. From a management and technical labor standpoint, Weka is a single-person vehicle.”

Alan McSeveney, Head of Technology, Preymaker

Challenge

The Preymaker team produces a wide variety of content with many different tools and timelines. Projects can include episodic television, which can have a one-year turnaround, to TV commercials, which can have a three-month turnaround, to online or digital assets, which can have as little as a one-week turnaround. With this variety of projects and sizes, it is near impossible to predict IT demands.

Preymaker employs a large portfolio of applications, including Houdini, Unreal, Nuke, open-source Blender, Maya and Flame, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Da Vinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design. Preymaker artists from all over the world use virtual workstations that run on Linux or Windows operating systems, connected to the cloud using Teradici remote access solutions.

Preymaker’s mission was to establish an agile, global- artist-focused studio, and they required a highly performant cloud-based solution that allowed both Windows and Linux users to share the same data set. WekaFS™ Limitless Data Platform on AWS was the clear choice because it allows Preymaker artists to collaborate within the same namespace from their many locations without the need to copy data among different services, while also supporting the high resolutions and high bit-depth throughput if needed.

THE NEW SOLUTION HAD TO MEET SEVERAL KEY CRITERIA:

Ability to share data between Mac and Windows users

Performance throughput to keep up with high frame rates and high bit-depth workflows

Ability to share data across different applications

Better predictability and control over storage costs

The Solution

PREYMAKER FOUND IT ALL WITH WekaFSTM

Preymaker was impressed with WekaFS and its ability to share data across Linux and Windows applications in
a workflow within AWS, allowing Preymaker artists to collaborate withing the same namespace–from anywhere
in the world. To ensure that WekaFS could keep up with Preymaker’s demanding workloads, Preymaker
benchmarked Weka’s performance against a wide variety of cloud offerings, both native and third party. Preymaker
ran an assortment of tests to verify that Weka could support their high frame rate and high bit-depth throughput
requirements, which couldn’t be met economically with any other solutions they tested.

“Through testing, WekaIO turned out to be the perfect solution,” said Alan McSeveney, Head of Technology
at Preymaker. “WekaIO’s ability to just hit ‘play’ for example, in front of a customer and display uncompressed content from the cloud without a hiccup has been a pipe dream within the industry for a long time—and being able to do that from centralized data on WekaFS is a huge win for us.”

Benefits and Return On Investment

Simplicity

Compelling Economics and Predictable Costs

Auto Scaling on Demand

Huge improvement in artist productivity

Automatic, namespace expansion to S3 lowers storage costs

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