Computer Graphics World

July / August 2015

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54 cgw j u ly . a u g u s t 2 0 1 5 irtualization is a fine buzzword, but it means different things to different people. It can include remote access to resources, enabling of thin clients for workstation work, real-time collaboration, and streaming applications. There are still plenty of concerns about how this will work in practice. The entertainment industry, for instance, is worried about secu- rity but recognizes the advan- tages that can be realized from virtualization. Jon Peddie Research (JPR) conducted a study on virtual- ization in the graphics industry, to gauge interest in the fast- rising technology. As part of the study, existing users of various forms of professional graphics soware were surveyed. Of the 2,700 respondents, 93 percent said they were either "very interested," "interested," or "already doing it." As JPR Pres- ident Jon Peddie points out, that is "an absolutely astro- nomical percentage of positive responses." What about the seven percent who did not express interest in virtualization? The great majority cited lack of IT resources and support staff as the primary reason they have shied away from virtualiza- tion. Of those citing a positive opinion, 54 percent said they thought virtualization would "improve productivity," while 32 percent said they thought virtu- alization would "save money." JPR estimates that the virtualization market will generate $1.8 billion in sales by 2018, and that may be a conservative estimate. V I R T U A L I Z A T I O N I N T H E S T U D I O One visual effects powerhouse that uses virtualization and remote computing is Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), now part of the Disney family following the acquisition of most companies owned by George Lucas. In fact, Disney also uses virtualization and remote computing. For a recent project, ILM needed graphic artists and animators in the San Francisco Bay Area but could not find enough to meet their demand. So, ILM rented a building in Los Angeles, installed zero-client computer stations, and hired LA-based artists supported by the IT infrastruc- ture in the Bay Area facility. "We worry about efficiency," says ILM's Kevin Clark. He notes how the company's efficient use of IT resources made joining the Disney family easier than might have been expected. Lincoln Wallen, chief technical officer at DreamWorks Anima- tion, says the studio approaches IT from a "Compute-as-a-Ser- vice and Data-as-a-Service mindset: Scaling, productivity, and savings are a fact for us." DreamWorks uses many soware products it creates in- house. "Now we can architect soware with virtualization in mind," Wallen says. He notes that DreamWorks' animation projects are getting more complicated, "but now they are also cheaper to make." The studio puts a strong focus on SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE V SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE THE GRAPHICS INDUSTRY LOOKS FAVORABLY ON VIRTUALIZATION AS A WAY TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND LESSEN COSTS BY JON PEDDIE

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