The Record Issue 13: Summer 2019

97 V I EWPO I NT  MED I A & ENT E R TA I NMENT Collaborative creativity I AN MA I N : T E RAD I C I Secure, high-performance and scalable virtual workstations enable studios to tap into a global pool of on-demand creative talent P rolific, on-demand and instant – in theNetflix age, these are basic consumer expectations for media and entertainment (M&E) content, driving companies to produce and release ever- more content, more quickly. To do that, companies are looking to onboard high-class artistic talent quickly and provide workstations that deliver an exceptional user experience and the highest perfor- mance, whether working remotely or onsite. In this environment, the rise of virtual studios is enabling companies to accommodate geographic flexibility, leverage lower-cost regions and tax incentives, and retain talent outside of central locations. But the industry faces unique challenges. The extreme-value intellectual property M&E compa- nies deal with is subject to attack from ideologi- cally motivated actors or pirate merchandising. To minimise threats, production studios, the Content Delivery & Security Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Trusted Partner Network put stringent controls on studio security policies to protect access to intellectual property. Unless implemented correctly, allowing collaboration on content increases the security risk. Massive file sizes and data repositories present more hurdles. Transferring files from an artist endpoint to a processing resource such as a ren- der farm, or to another endpoint such as a review station, hinders the ability to iterate quickly on content and increases security risks. The opti- mum solution is a secure content network with direct high-performance network access to ren- der farms and virtualised workstations. Teradici Cloud Access Software meets the strict security demands imposed on post-production studios, while offering centralised workstation architectures in any Microsoft Azure region worldwide. This enables studios to provide crea- tive professionals the latest CPU, GPU and cloud render technologies, allowing them to work with emerging standards and new media formats at high frame rates with the same user experience as if they were working locally. London-based VFX and animation studio Jellyfish Pictures, for example, is pioneering virtual studios supported by solutions including Teradici Cloud Access Software. Built on PCoIP technol- ogy, the software allows the studio to extend its environment to Microsoft Azure, enabling ulti- mate workforce flexibility when supporting new projects or reallocating resources for existing ones. By leveraging large cloud render farms and the latest tools on the latest processors, M&E companies can develop more immersive con- tent at faster turnover rates. They can build virtual studios in attractive cities to compete with long-established ones, without the capi- tal expenditure overheads, real-estate burden and legacy low-performance infrastructure of on-premises datacentres. The most impact- ful sign of change will be the ability to take on new projects by rapidly onboarding talent from anywhere, without concerns over costly and time-consuming infrastructure expansion. IanMain is technical marketing principal at Teradici