DreamWorks Animation Creates a Collaborative Culture with an HPE Aruba Mobile-First Network

Aruba announced that Glendale, California based DreamWorks Animation (a division of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group), creator of  Academy Award ® winning CG animated feature films, Emmy®-award-winning television series and specials, and live entertainment properties for audiences around the world, has retooled its entire campus network to create a mobile, collaborative environment using HPE Aruba solutions.

Understanding the importance of a robust wireless foundation to their collaborative culture, DreamWorks Animation decided to outfit its entire 11-acre campus with seamless connectivity to support employees everywhere onsite and in remote offices. Supporting the company’s mix of corporate-issued and employee-owned mobile devices was also vital. The studio was upgrading from 60 percent to ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage.

“It’s culturally expected that inspiration and productivity extend outside of our offices,” said Keith McKay, DreamWorks Animation’s Network Operations Supervisor. “In a creative industry like ours, a mobile workplace allows us to work collaboratively anywhere, rather than be tied to a specific location. Recently, we set an initiative to upgrade the network and cover our entire campus with highly-effective wireless connectivity.”

DreamWorks Animation turned to HPE Aruba, implementing Aruba 7200 Series Mobility Controllers with Aruba 802.11ac Wave 2 320 Series Access Points for the majority of the organization’s indoor spaces, supplemented by Aruba 205 Series APs for remote offices. DreamWorks Animation also deployed the Aruba 270 Series APs for outdoor coverage. The studio received support from Golden Star Technology (GST) for the warehouse storage. The outdoor spaces across the campus are commonly used for both informal and formal meetings, so having Wi-Fi that performs just as well outdoors as it does indoors was crucial for the company.

As part of the network upgrade, DreamWorks Animation also wanted to replace some legacy switches and conducted an evaluation before selecting the Aruba 3810 and 5400R switches as the standard for edge connectivity. A key factor in the studio’s decision was the 5400R’s ability to respond to the security needs of DreamWorks Animation’s Information Security department when paired with the Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager, to provide the same high levels of security to both the wired and wireless networks.

ClearPass was a key component for DreamWorks Animation in enabling the implementation of secure, role-based access across the corporate network and remote offices. With large volumes of mobile devices connected simultaneously, enabling context-aware policy management that automatically grants or denies users access privileges based on business and security rules, was a huge benefit for the company.

DreamWorks Animation is also using Aruba AirWave with Clarity to give the IT team visibility into potential network connectivity issues before they happen. Aruba AppRF provides information regarding the usage and performance of mobile and web applications, so the studio can make quick decisions for prioritizing business-critical apps when needed. Finally, the Aruba Network Protector SDN Application helps DreamWorks Animation automate network assessment and real-time security across the SDN-enabled network.

With the new HPE Aruba infrastructure in place, accompanying their existing slate of HPE servers, storage and data center solutions, DreamWorks Animation is confident that they can meet the needs of their creative community of users and better support the company’s business goals.

“HPE’s innovative solutions, including leading-edge technologies from Aruba, are core components in our infrastructure strategy,” McKay said. “They are a trusted partner, helping us accelerate our key initiatives successfully.