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Media and Entertainment

Why Rendering Bogs Down on Scale-Out NAS

Introducing ActivStor Ultra to the M&E Community

The Premier Storage Solution for Linux Render Farms and Linux-based VFX Production Pipelines

Data-intensive VFX pipelines demand powerful processing of complex assets with a mix of high-resolution live plates, complex rendered 3D geometry, and simulation effects like smoke and water. If your storage can’t keep up, deadlines suffer.

To date, scale-out NAS storage systems have been the storage of choice for Linux render farms. But they often leave render wranglers and administrators at their wits’ end when faced with rendering deadlines while watching their scale-out NAS bog down due to the exponentially increasing inter-node data transfer under load inherent in their design as they scale (see adjacent video).

Many render farm architects have looked at parallel file systems to eliminate scale-out NAS bottlenecks but have been put off by their notorious complexity, unreliability, and poor support. Panasas is unique in that it provides the rendering performance and scalability that only a parallel file system can deliver – thus eliminating rendering bottlenecks – but with the simplicity, reliability, and mission-critical support associated with enterprise scale-out NAS.

With Panasas, VFX studios can deploy render farm storage quickly, manage it effortlessly, scale on demand, and accelerate rendering times to meet the most aggressive deadlines.

Best Storage for Linux-based VFX Production Pipelines

Unleash VFX creativity while optimizing render farm performance. Optimized for Maya, Houdini, Arnold, Gaffer, and Nuke on Linux, Panasas lets you render visual effects faster, predictably, and reliably, every time.

Reduced Wall-Clock Time

Slash rendering times and process more rendering jobs with parallel storage performance for high-bandwidth, aggregate compute farm workloads. Performance and capacity scale linearly to keep up with your most demanding rendering projects.


With the lowest total cost of ownership of any render farm storage solution, Panasas combines the industry’s leading price/performance with easy manageability.


Panasas delivers a turnkey appliance that goes from dock to rendering in one day. Experience set-it-and-forget-it storage management with a render farm storage system that doesn’t require tuning and retuning to maintain peak performance.


Fully automated online failure recovery protects your media assets. Network-distributed erasure coding and fully parallel rebuilds recover nodes quickly. Background data scrubbing ensures data integrity.


Balance mixed-file rendering workloads across all storage nodes, optimizing your entire infrastructure and improving time-to-results.


Panasas delivers mission-critical, high-quality support and rapid, single-vendor problem resolution to ensure uptime to meet tight rendering schedules.

"Every six to 12 months, it seems that render practices and technologies change, increasing our file sizes. Panasas storage provides the stability and high-speed processing necessary to finish even the most complex projects in a timely way."

Todd Fechter
Professor at ATEC at the University of Texas at Dallas

View Case Study

“When we engaged with Panasas, we had recently tripled our employee count in a single month, while simultaneously finalizing the build-out of our new facility and network infrastructure, all while working on a 700-shot feature film project. Panasas not only delivered the scalable performance we required during this critical period, but also delivered an exceptionally high level of support and expertise. This allowed us to add artists at the rapid pace we needed, with an easy-to-work with solution that didn’t require fine-tuning to maintain and improve our workflow and capacity in an uninterrupted fashion."

Jonathan Harb
Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Whiskytree

Performance Without Frustration

Leading media and entertainment companies rely on Panasas to deliver scalable, flexible, high-performance storage – that’s easy to use – for their most data-intensive rendering of blockbuster movies, commercials, advertising, architecture, games, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content.