The animators behind South Park have bought their lovably offensive cartoon characters a new techno-toy - three Xserve RAID arrays.

The new Xserves are part of a new set-up to store materials used in the classic animated series, and reflect a move away from mainly tape storage libraries toward a faster combined tape and disk storage system.

The new system includes a tape library from Exabyte, three Xserve RAID disk arrays and Atempo's Time Navigator system, Computerworld informs. The animation studio intends adding two more Xserves in future.

The system lets South Park's animators initiate "up to four incremental backups a day versus one a day with the old system", the report explains. A full back-up can take place weekly, rather than monthly - the last full back-up took two weeks to complete using the old system.

"In the event of disaster, South Park would only lose four hours of changes to the show's content versus an entire day's data," the report explains.

South Park Studios technology supervisot JJ Franzen chose the Apple solution, "based on a 'gut' feeling that its technology would be good, and so far he has not been disappointed," he told Computerworld.