HPC provider ‘Steam Engine’ has been making waves recently, with only 3 months under its belt, and most impressively they’ve even managed to rope in some big clients like Rising Sun Pictures who used their resources for the new Harry Potter film. Of course, paramount when talking about ‘cloud computing’ is security.
“We obviously have concerns about security and we need to be satisfied by what’s offered. We wouldn’t use computers from this random place that we couldn’t see or inspect. Our clients are incredibly security concerned, given the sensitive nature of films in production and the sizable investment at stake,” Clark said.
Fortunately, they overcame security concerns
Stefan Gillard, Steam Engine’s commercial director, said that its HPC model is ideal for film development given that the data is stored in the tier-three-rated Global Switch facility, secured deep within the Harbour MSP datacentre in Sydney.
How do they manage all this computing horsepower?
Rising Sun Pictures runs 300 nodes in its render farm during the day, with an extra 150 available to it at night, as well as the extra grunt provided by Steam Engine, meaning that render jobs go quicker with fewer errors.
“We have a batch computer management system. You give it jobs and finds the best place to run them on our own computers and we then bolt nodes onto our existing render farm. Our program will push data onto the rented nodes as required,” Clark said.
Be sure to read the full article, it’s got lots of great detail on the storage scenario and how they managed to justify the cost.
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