DNEG's transformation: Redefining VFX through cloud native technology

Collaboration with Red Hat helps DNEG remain at the forefront of the VFX industry with agile, scalable solutions

clock • 3 min read
Ian Abbott

Ian Abbott

DNEG, a powerhouse in visual entertainment services, boasting seven Academy Award wins for "Best VFX", has embarked on a groundbreaking journey of modernisation, fueled by collaboration with Red Hat.

This partnership aims to revolutionise DNEG's global operations through the adoption of cloud-native technologies, ushering in unprecedented scalability, productivity gains, and risk mitigation.
At the heart of DNEG's transformation lies its commitment to innovation and excellence.

As the creative force behind iconic productions like Stranger Things and Oppenheimer, DNEG recognised the imperative to stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry. Red Hat's cloud native technologies presented a transformative opportunity to accelerate software innovation and enhance artist productivity on a global scale.

Central to this endeavor was the need to transcend traditional barriers to deployment. With Red Hat's expertise, DNEG empowered its developers to deliver updates swiftly and seamlessly, unshackling them from rigid release cycles.

The transition has been remarkable, with deployment times slashed from hours to mere minutes, marking a paradigm shift in operational efficiency.

DNEG's competitive edge lies in its expansive network of engineers and artists, whose collaborative efforts drive the company's renowned work. However, rapid growth posed challenges, particularly in managing escalating metadata volumes and compute demands. To address these complexities, DNEG embraced microservices and containerisation with Red Hat OpenShift, laying the foundation for a scalable, globally distributed infrastructure.

A pivotal milestone in this journey was the development of Pipe Query, a cutting-edge metadata interrogation API designed to provide standardised access to DNEG's database. Red Hat OpenShift streamlined the deployment and management of microservices, fostering stability, agility, and enhanced flexibility across the organisation.

Security remained paramount throughout the transition, with Red Hat's comprehensive solution fortifying DNEG's content control and deployment processes. The integration of Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines and OpenShift GitOps bolstered DevOps capabilities, enabling advanced workflows for continuous integration and deployment.

As DNEG continues to evolve, its partnership with Red Hat stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities of technology-driven innovation in the visual entertainment industry.
Looking ahead, DNEG is poised to leverage Red Hat OpenShift for further optimisation. By onboarding critical software services like asset provisioning and file transfer systems, DNEG aims to streamline data management and harness the full potential of its creative workflow. Additionally, with Red Hat's support, DNEG is primed to tackle high compute demands for machine learning workloads, ensuring seamless adaptation to industry trends.

In collaboration with Red Hat, DNEG has embarked on a transformative journey towards cloud-native innovation. The scalability, productivity enhancements, and risk mitigation afforded by Red Hat's solutions have empowered DNEG to navigate the complexities of the VFX landscape with confidence.

Furthermore, this partnership has fostered a culture of continuous improvement within DNEG, with a relentless pursuit of excellence at its core. The company's commitment to innovation extends beyond technological advancements, encompassing talent development, creative exploration, and sustainable practices.

In the dynamic realm of visual effects, staying ahead requires more than just technical prowess; it demands adaptability, resilience, and a forward-thinking mindset. Through its collaboration with Red Hat, DNEG has not only embraced these qualities but has also emerged as a trailblazer, setting new standards for innovation and excellence in the VFX industry.

Beyond the realm of technology, DNEG's transformation underscores the profound impact of collaboration and partnership in driving meaningful change. By leveraging the expertise and resources of Red Hat, DNEG has unlocked new possibilities, accelerated growth, and fortified its position as a global leader in visual entertainment services.

As DNEG continues to push the boundaries of creativity and technological innovation, its partnership with Red Hat serves as a beacon of inspiration for the industry at large. Together, they are rewriting the script for success in the fast-paced world of visual effects, proving that with vision, determination, and the right partners, anything is possible.

 Ian Abbott is a software architect at DNEG

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