August 15, 2012

Pixar Versions Everything with Virtualized Perforce

Version Control

pixar logo

How does Pixar keep track of the millions of files that go into a movie like Toy Story 3? Why, with Perforce, of course!

Combining the flexibility of virtualization with the power of Perforce hits the sweet spot that’s needed to manage and support deployments at Pixar-scale, which is the subject of a recent blog post: “Pixar uses Perforce P4D on VMware vSphere for Versioning Everything”.

Although Perforce has often traditionally been deployed on “bare metal” setups, the industry has clearly embraced the additional flexibility and convenience of virtualized environments like that provided by VMWare’s vSphere. It’s gratifying to note that performance tests reported in the article point to a modest 5% to 15% overhead in the virtualization layer.

While it’s comforting to know that out-of-the-box Perforce performs well in a virtualized environment even for Pixar’s massive installation, we are never content to sit on our laurels. Deep in the tunnels and passageways beneath the Perfortress, I hear rumblings of innovation that may lay a new foundation for the years ahead.

What’s important today, however, is while Perforce is leading with the vision of Version everything, companies like Pixar have already turned the vision into reality. So the next time you see a Pixar movie, take a minute to consider the mountain of technology and innovation behind the pretty face of that future classic.