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Blue Sky Studios Deploys Sun Solution For Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Film

Blue Sky Gains Speed, Simplicity and Savings with Sun's Open Network Systems

(PresseBox) (Santa Clara, ) Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced that Blue Sky Studios, a wholly-owned unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, deployed Sun Blade servers and Sun Ultra workstations for the rendering of its new animated feature Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, giving them four times better performance than their previous solution. Blue Sky purchased the Sun Blade X6250 server modules via Sun's Try and Buy program, which allows users to evaluate Sun systems in their own environment for 60 days at no cost and no risk with full technical support, and then buy the systems for up to 40 percent off list price.

Blue Sky deployed a Sun Constellation System consisting of 10 Sun Blade 6048 chassis with a total of 480 Sun Blade X6250 server modules, each powered by two Intel Xeon processor 5400 series; 120 Sun Ultra 24 workstations powered by the Intel Core 2 processor; and Sun's Enterprise Installation Services. After full implementation, Blue Sky reaped performance that was four times faster than their previous solution, allowing them to render digital frames faster and create more frames in less time. The new solution also enabled Blue Sky to improve technology support and increase design team productivity, giving the studio's designers powerful new design tools to create images for films in significantly less time.

"Sun's collaboration with Blue Sky for this animated feature film was built on our innovative open network systems approach and our understanding of the HPC market, especially in a challenging economy," said Lisa Sieker, vice president of marketing, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. "The Sun Blade servers and Sun Ultra workstations deliver a compelling combination of performance and power efficiency that helped us beat out competitive offers."

Blue Sky needed to expand its computing capacity for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs to accommodate a tight production schedule and render more digital content in a shorter time frame. The company also wanted to produce an in-house stereo 3-D version of the film, which required higher-performance processing.

The studio also required a server with a compact design, efficient power and cooling, and competitive price/performance. Using the Sun Try and Buy program, Blue Sky chose Sun hardware after evaluating competing server solutions by HP and Angstrom.

"Sun has a strong reputation for engineering, and it shows when you work with these products," said Carl Ludwig, Chief Technical Officer, Blue Sky Studios. "Technology like this, priced as well as it is, brings a lot of value to our company and what we do."

For more information on Sun's blades portfolio, including the Sun Blade X6250 server module, please visit: For more information on the Sun Ultra 24 workstation, please visit:

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SPEC and the benchmark names SPECint and SPECfp are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Results from this announcement and, as of 06/22/09. 1) Sun Blade 6048 chassis with Sun Blade X6440 server modules ( 48 nodes with 4 chips / 16 cores / 16 threads each, OpenSolaris 2008.11, Studio 12 update 1) - 8840 SPECint_rate_base2006, 6500 SPECfp_rate_base2006

2) Sun Blade X6275 server module ( 2 chips / 8 cores / 16 threads, OpenSolaris 2009.06, Studio 12 update 1) - 37.4 SPECint2006, 50.8 SPECfp2006