Graphics Revolution Coming to the Cloud

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Mike Vizard writes that a graphics revolution is coming to the cloud:

Gupta says it’s only a matter of time before providers of high performance computing (HPC) systems in the cloud harness that power for processing analytics applications. In fact, when it comes to visualization, Gupta says BI applications in general are behind the times. For example, Autodesk is already showing how 3D applications can harness processing in the cloud. In addition, Gupta says we should also expect to see a lot of video transcoding handled in the cloud as well as the need for on-demand video graphics for Web and gaming applications growing.

I personally think YouTube was the herald of this revolution. With broadband, uploading multi-gigabyte files to the cloud is now practical, and companies like Elemental Technologies are changing the game with massively parallel video encoding.



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  1. Does that mean Intel Sandy Bridge’s QuickSync is useless?

  2. YouTube data is cached all over the web in ISPs and Akamai-like services, so access bandwidth you see is often only over the last few kilometers or so, not the entire path between the server and your computer. (Also, consumer upload bandwidth is often a fraction of download bandwidth.) I don’t think any compute clouds have distributed their servers into the local ISPs… yet, maybe someday.

    HPC clouds would be much more energy intensive than caching videos, so they are less likely to distribute servers everywhere. To get bandwidth to an HPC cloud, businesses may wish to locate offices very near HPC centers.