Weta Digital’s decision to install 150 IBM Intellistation workstations is more of a move towards Linux than a move away from SGI, Weta CTO Scott Houston says.
The new IBM machines will run on Linux, while Weta’s existing SGI workstations run Maya and Shake software on Irix, SGI’s proprietary version of Unix.
“Most of our artists will have dual workstations, and while some of the SGI ones will be replaced it signifies a move to Linux, not a wholesale shift from SGI.”
SGI remains a valued partner, says Houston, who was SGI’s New Zealand regional manager before stepping into the Weta role after longtime CTO Jon Labrie left last month.
Houston says Weta is happy with the support it has from the Linux community. In a prepared statement from IBM, Labrie is quoted as saying “the financial reasons for moving to Linux are compelling”.
Computerworld could not contact Labrie for further comment.
Weta’s involvement with Linux goes back two years, when it was introduced on the company’s servers. The IBM 6580-WEA Intellistations are expected to be in place by the end of the year.