Montreal, Canada-based L’Atelier Animation, hits storage limits on high-demand workflows. Finds a turn-key, flexible solution in Qumulo for storage scalability.


L’Atelier Animation is a high-end animation and storytelling producer internationally recognized for films and television series such as FIreheart, Ballerina (Leap!), and Robozuna. As their work evolved and team grew, ’Atelier juggled multiple data-intense projects that caused competing storage demands. With more than 800 terabytes under management, the team wanted to decrease the amount of time dedicated to storage data management and redirect those hours toward innovation. The legacy storage solution L’Atelier Animation had in place couldn’t support their demanding workflows. 

“During crunch time we can have around 650 computers continuously requesting terabytes of data for weeks at a time. Our old system just couldn’t provide that kind of data fast and efficiently,” explained Aubert Mercier-Vachon, IT Director for L’Atelier. “Different departments had different data requirements, so during peak demand times, some departments had very good speeds. Others were limited to a crawl.” 

Network file storage that flexibly scales with production needs

This stalled work and production posed bigger business challenges including possible missed deadlines, customer dissatisfaction, and more. Seeking an alternative, Aubert and his team repeatedly heard positive references to Qumulo from other vendors and suppliers. Qumulo’s human-friendly, more relaxed sales approach was a draw, and L’Atelier found a better fit with their culture. In addition, the team was impressed by the fast implementation time with Qumulo. Having a network file storage system that flexibly scales with production needs and activity meant Qumulo was up and running in less than 10 hours, could easily handle competing workflows, file access, and would not hit capacity. 

With Qumulo, the L’Atelier team can access whatever files they need without any interruption or freezing. This is all while having more computers than ever before (750) pulling data from the cluster.

 “Qumulo can take everything we throw at it and we’re extremely happy by the performance it gives us.”

Recently, L’Atelier was close to filling their cluster and running out of space. With their old system, it would have been a disaster case scenario with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of downtime. Qumulo’s scalable system now gives them peace of mind, knowing they can “press a button” at any time, add storage, and be done, all without disruption to the business is unbeatable.

Freedom of choice to support a distributed workforce or move to the cloud

When planning for new contracts that create more files and strain storage, Aubert and his team knew having Qumulo in place meant they could easily handle any fluctuating storage demands. Whether the company remains at 150 users or expands to 250 at several worldwide locations in the future, “Qumulo will support at 100 percent.” Qumulo provides freedom of choice to support a distributed workforce or move to the cloud so L’Atelier can spin up communal instances if or when needed. This capability allowed the team to avoid data latency issues that were previously a major concern, especially when dealing with a distributed workforce in Thailand, nearly 12,000 kilometers away from headquarters.

Real-time visibility and Insight into data

Customer support and transparency with Qumulo ensures there are no unanswered questions for the L’Atelier team or technical issues that create production hiccups. Before they couldn’t determine storage culprits, but today the team is able to see performance stats in real-time via the Qumulo dashboard. The team is now able to quickly and effectively troubleshoot any issues within the system. With Qumulo they have better visibility across their storage instances and the ability to identify who is using it. Knowledge is power, and L’Atelier is now able to better plan rather than needlessly jumping to purchase more storage or replace a drive. 

Aubert concluded that “Before Qumulo, I never had this level of support or the safe feeling I currently do.”