NetApp customer and SFX powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic (ILM - but not that ILM) has won an award as the 2006 InfoWorld 100 winner for innovation in the multimedia category.

George Lucas' ILM is most famous for its computer generated imagery effects in the Star Wars movies and as also done work for the latest Harry Potter movie and Pirates of the Caribbean: The curse of the Black Pearl, Eregon and many more.

Its rendering farm uses NetApp hardware and Data ONTAP GX to store the vast number of huge CGI files needed for these movies. With companies like Isilon and BlueArc making headway in movie CGI applications NetApp was very appreciative of the award.

Elisa Steele, the company's marketing VP, said: "We are proud of the contributions we made to ILM in all of their film work and are very happy that the IT team at ILM was honored with the InfoWorld 100 Award. ILM proves how NetApp storage systems can help customers simplify management of massive amounts of data even in an environment where high performance is paramount. We hope ILM’s use of NetApp storage to make some of the world’s most visually stunning films inspires other great companies to push their own data infrastructures to the next level."

An impressive point in the release about ILM's award was this: ILM used the global namespace capabilities in Data ONTAP GX to cluster and migrate its entire data center and rendering infrastructure to its new headquarters in San Francisco. This was done while still in production and without a moment of downtime.

That's a great customer reference for NetApp.