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Ringling College Accelerates Creativity with DDN

For 84 years, the Ringling College of Art and Design has been cultivating the creative spirit in students from around the world with our Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in 11 disciplines. Our alumni are heavily recruited by major art and design studios and companies, such as Disney, DreamWorks, Hallmark, Apple, Sony and Target. With a better than 2:1 computer-to-student ratio, we are recognized as a leader in the use of technology in the arts.

To help our 1,300 students maximize their creative output, we wanted a unified storage platform that would work well with our high-performance computing (HPC) clusters. The challenge was finding technically advanced yet robust storage that was reliable, scalable, efficient and easy to use. We knew industry-leading capacity and performance would be required to keep pace with the demands of high resolution, digital file-based workflows, especially as students began migrating to 4K image resolution.

We tested a series of leading storage platforms. As high availability was an essential criterion, our IT team evaluated each contender’s redundancy capabilities and reviewed price-performance ratios to determine the best overall fit. In the final analysis, we chose DataDirect Networks (DDN). DDN’s Storage Fusion Architecture (SFA) allowed us to scale in both capacity and IOPS. We deployed DDN’s SFA10K and 12K storage platforms to meet our needs for performance, density and scalability. With DDN, students have access to all their digital files without delay, so they can concentrate on the creative elements that make their projects great.

Mahmoud Pegah is chief information officer at Ringling College of Art and Design.