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Virtualization for Media & Entertainment

by david.nunes

Virtualization for Media & Entertainment

Today, mid-size studios and visual effects facilities are expanding across the world to take advantage of a global workforce and various economic incentives. This presents a variety of opportunities and challenges, not the least of which is how to keep data in one place (or as few places as possible) while supporting widespread creative talent. Even small independent agencies would prefer to work from remote locations or hire freelancers from wherever they happen to be located.

There are tremendous benefits that come with this centralized strategy, including simpler system management, increased data security, and lessening or altogether removing the difficulty and expense of transferring all the data sets from one system to another. And, as Meri Weingarten of the USC School of Cinematic Arts once said, “People like to be in a people environment, and computers like to be in a computer environment”. Well said.

Then there is the promise of virtualization – the ability to have multiple users share the CPU, memory, GPU, and storage of a given system to optimize usage. After all, there are times in a day, during http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs112/1101967817273/img/325.jpgmeetings for example, when people are not using their workstation to its full potential. Wouldn’t it be great to easily allocate those   resources to users who are using the system at that time? Or throwing all the available horsepower to one artist when it’s crunch time? (One of our customers calls this “the 4:15 effect”, in the sense that the client is coming in at 5 o’clock and it’s 4:15 and the project isn’t done yet). There are a lot of advantages to having everything in one place and being able to deliver the content and the computer horsepower to users remotely.

But there are challenges.

The first is that if the data (be it a scene, set of assets, video files, etc.) is in one place in a datacenter and not on the local workstation, how exactly can the artist work on those files? One option is to move the workstation power to the data center, and remote the output to the artist working from any location. In this case, the data stream needs to be compressed. It’s just not possible to send uncompressed, high- resolution content at 60fps through a common network. Some users can work with compressed images, while others can’t. For instance, if you’re trying to find that video file of the Queen’s inauguration for b-roll or doing 3D modeling and building assets to be rendered later, compressed video streams will work great. But if you are trying to do the finishing and color correction for Game of Thrones or the new Rihanna video, you need to have perfect color accuracy – something only possible on a local professional workstation with professional graphics.

The best approach for most customers creating or editing digital content is a mixed workflow. This approach lets many employees take advantage of on-premises or cloud-based solutions, while others need local workstations to get the performance

and color accuracy only possible on a local machine. And then there are solutions emerging that will seamlessly blend both a local and cloud-based workflow.

At SIGGRAPH, NVIDIA will be showing all of these capabilities and more. We’ll also be introducing several new products specifically designed to accelerate media workflows and leverage the best of local, cloud, and mobile capabilities. You’re invited to meet with our product experts to discuss the right solutions for your business.

We’ll show powerful new NVIDIA Quadro solutions with our partners Dell, HP and Lenovo. And with Quadro at the center of the workflow, we’ll demonstrate seamless connectivity to the Cloud to deliver GPU-rendering capabilities more than 100 times more powerful than anything available in a single workstation. We’ll also showcase state-of-the-art virtualized graphics systems delivering GPU-accelerated applications and desktops to users on essentially any PC or mobile device with NVIDIA GRID.

NVIDIA is a Gold Sponsor of our annual SIGGRAPH Press Luncheon, this year JPR and the panel will debate Virtualization comes to the entertainment industry … or not

The annual SIGGRAPH luncheon hosted by Jon Peddie Research for press and analysts provides a forum to discuss ideas like these. JPR’s luncheon is a popular event with spirited discussion, new product news, and great giveways. You can REGISTER HERE or RSVP to robert@jonpeddie.com.

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