Computer Graphics World

November/December 2014

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16 cgw n o v e m b e r . d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 4 he cloud. It's an IT term that's quickly grown to ubiquity, but it's a concept as nebulous as the for- mation that inspires the name. The term is either widely misused or so broad that it's ac- ceptable to reference just about anything that leverages the network as a "cloud solution." But, looking past the hype and marketing speak, the advent of the cloud truly does hold unique new benefi ts, ranging from the nice-to-have to the game-changing. And its merits are as applicable in the area of digital media and entertainment (DME) as any other. Ironically, at its essence, the cloud is not a new computing model at all, but rather a renais- sance of the industry's original model. It enables a range of usage models and services, but all exploit the advantages of a centralized computing topology, where the bulk of both data and computations exist in one place, accessible by many. You don't have to know how it gets the job done, nor should you typically care where it's get- ting it done. You just need eff ec- tive access and, hopefully, the trust that it gets done accurate- ly, securely, and reliably. It could be public or private, it could be outsourced to a third-party pro- vider like Amazon or Google, or it could be built and maintained in-house to serve various clients within the enterprise. So, what can the cloud do for DME professionals? It can pro- vide a means to outsource the most compute-intensive chores to a resource capable of deliver- ing faster, higher-quality results than a deskside machine. It can provide the means to manage modern digital content projects, A LOOK AT AN EMERGING TRIO OF CLOUD SOLUTIONS SERVING DIGITAL MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION TODAY. DIGITAL FORECAST: CLOUDY CLOUD COMPUTING IS TAKING HOLD IN DME ON A NUMBER OF FRONTS BY ALEX HERRERA T

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