Cloud News & Insights

E-Learning and the Asian Market

Experts predict that the Asian e-leaning market will grow tremendously before the decade is over. This poses a significant opportunity for cloud technology, often an essential component in providing e-learning services. While the worldwide market for e-learning platforms and related products are increasing globally, trends indicate the the majority of growth in this sector will occur in the Asian market. In 2011 the industry reached a historical high of $35 billion dollars and predictions indicate that it will grow ten billion more in the next three years, and further still in the next decade.

The Asian market is especially attractive for companies providing e-learning products

E-learning can be applied to all educational levels and demands, ranging from training in a corporate environment to kindergarten to graduate school. Asia in particular has embraced e-learning, especially for its potential in language acquisition.

The initial adoption of e-learning in the region can be attributed to the high demand for native English speaking teachers. However, as the technology has advanced, e-learning has been adapted for all kinds of uses. Surprisingly, even though Japan is one of the most technologically developed nations in the Asian region, there is little demand for e-learning outside of language courses.

Where in Asia has e-learning been most successful?

There is no question that South Korea is the regional leader (and arguably, the worldwide leader) when it comes to e-learning programs. This is because the technology sector in South Korea is particularly well-developed and the nation enjoys some of the world’s fasted Internet connection speeds. Most colleges in the country have courses that are taught online and there are nearly two dozen colleges that have their whole curriculum online.

India and China have also been major factors in the growth of the e-learning market in the region, mainly due to the development of world-class universities and efforts to make education accessible to every citizen.  Meanwhile, Thailand has been an important driving force behind e-learning programs for K–9 levels and made the news recently as a government plan to give five million children in elementary schools throughout the country tablet computers has kindled interest in e-learning methods there.

Technological development does not necessarily translate into more e-learning initiatives

While it is true that a lack of the technological infrastructure necessary for these kinds of programs makes it impossible to develop effective e-learning projects, some of the most developed countries in the world like the United States and Japan lag behind countries with a bigger need for these products when it comes to e-learning. It is important to keep this in mind when viewing the potential growth of the e-learning market. While studies predict a growth of about ten percent in the American market, Asian countries are expected to increase their demand for e-learning services by about 25%.

E-learning and the cloud

The development of cloud technology is one of the main drivers behind the e-learning boom of recent years. As VoIP and video conferencing technologies improve, the demand for the cloud will also increase. The e-learning market is a significant opportunity for the growth of cloud adoption in the region. It is important to note that the main drivers for growth in Asia in the next few years will be centered on academia and on English teaching services.

Economic development and globalization could lead to an increase in corporate training programs. Some experts have also predicted many educational institutions shifting completely to the web as technology develops, although that is probably still at least a decade away.

One of the most obvious and yet most important elements of cloud technology that enables e-learning is the multi-location feature of cloud providers, allowing fast and easy access from wherever you are in the world. To give you an example, GMO Cloud has data centers in the United States and Asia Pacific that will allow users to access data easily in these areas; the same areas where we see some of the fastest growing e-learning activities in the whole world.

About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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Why Japan Continues to Use In-House Capabilities For 3D Rendering and Research

While Japan continues to see major advances in 3D computer graphic rendering, it has surprised many that this user base in not moving aggressively to the cloud. Research carried out by industry experts and by IT companies themselves has delivered important insights as to why this is so. It is hoped that when policy makers understand the nature of the problem fully, solutions will be found.

To begin with, it goes without saying that all the usual advantages of cloud computing also apply to the 3D market if it were to use general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU) in the cloud. Industries with a proven demand for high powered 3D processing include the construction and design sector, educational institutions, the animation industry, commercial message production, and the gaming industry to name just a few.

Surprisingly, many of these still rely on in-house servers and IT staff to manage their graphics programming needs. And over the last two years, industries of this kind have made annual capital investments for on-premise GPGPU equipment in excess of ¥50,000,000. Much of these capital expenditures could have easily been shifted to the GPGPU cloud resulting in substantial savings. A large number of universities and major scientific institutions in Japan have made very major investments in on-premise GPGPU equipment as well.

The key question here is why are these companies not using the GPGPU cloud?

After some research, the reasons become clear. There are both technical and cultural reasons for the reluctance to shift.

Technical reasons

3D data tends to be huge in size. 150 TB is not an unusual volume. Many would-be users are afraid that the available bandwidth would not support this kind of data, and even the first time upload of 150 TB will take a very long time. Working with this kind of data on their network, they fear, will be very slow. There is also worry that crucial company secrets could be lost. If you are designing a new jet engine, you will naturally be very reluctant to place a design for the latest turbine blade or combustion chamber in the cloud.

Since companies have already invested in GPGPU class machines, they would like to continue to exploit these fully as well.

Cultural Reasons

The cultural reasons for continuing to use on-premise systems are also very clear.

Many research institutions are able to get very large grants for academic purposes by claiming very special needs that cannot be met by a general purpose cloud. Even something such as a monthly billing of cloud services is being resisted by the clerical staff in the accounts departments that resent the additional work.

Actual users are really not concerned about where their computing power comes from. They do not care if it comes from the cloud or from their own servers so long as there are no performance issues.

The solution

It is well known and accepted that the cloud gives you far greater power than in-house servers could. A cloud-based Tesla M2075 processor has 56 times the cores of a Xeon processor and is three times as fast yet it consumes only twice the power. Perhaps the decision makers in the companies are not being educated adequately about facts such as these. That there are major advantages of the move to the cloud which cannot be denied, but obviously, the huge capital expenditure that has already been made will have to be used first.

To give you a better idea of how the computing power of the cloud can be maximized – especially in 3D rendering – GMO Cloud presents an illustration that can sum up the usage of the technology through high availability systems.

Government entities can also realize the advantages and alter the grants and research funding to gently nudge institutions to greater use of the cloud. If security can be ensured and proven to be as strong as in-house systems can provide, this will make a big difference in the adoption.

About the Guest Author:

Sanjay SrivastavaSanjay Srivastava has been active in computing infrastructure and has participated in major projects on cloud computing, networking, VoIP and in creation of applications running over distributed databases. Due to a military background, his focus has always been on stability and availability of infrastructure. Sanjay was the Director of Information Technology in a major enterprise and managed the transition from legacy software to fully networked operations using private cloud infrastructure. He now writes extensively on cloud computing and networking and is about to move to his farm in Central India where he plans to use cloud computing and modern technology to improve the lives of rural folk in India.

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Cloud-based 3D Rendering Farms and the Japanese Market

Large-scale 3D rendering of computer-generated imagery and video is one of the fields where cloud technology has allowed smaller companies to level the playing field. Just a few years ago, the capacity to render high quality computer-generated images and video was severely restricted due to the requirement for costly data centers and server maintenance. Fortunately, cloud-based 3D rendering has allowed companies to outsource the processing power needed for these kinds of jobs. In this article we will take a look at some aspects of the 3D rendering market in Japan, as well as possible opportunities for cloud technology service providers.

What Japanese industries require 3D rendering services today?

When talking about 3D rendering, most immediately think of the entertainment industry. There is no question that animation production, film production, and game development all have significant demand for computer generated video and imaging requiring 3D rendering. However, these kinds of businesses will often handle their rendering needs in-house using their own server rooms, sometimes because of the need to avoid any kind of leak. Fortunately for 3D rendering providers, there are numerous other industries and institutions in Japan that consistently require the services of 3D rendering companies. For example, industrial, manufacturing, architectural, graphic, and other types of design will almost always require 3D rendering. The construction market will also often require 3D rendering for many projects. Other potential clients for 3D rendering firms include educational and research institutions and government departments.

What Japanese companies are looking for when they outsource 3D rendering

Ideally, 3D rendering should be able to provide realistic video without artificiality or incongruity. Achieving this requires tremendous computing power that can be difficult to maintain and is prohibitively expensive. Because of this, most Japanese companies with a demand for 3D rendering services will require organizations that can process heavy/large media with high precision.

The demand for small 3D rendering jobs is practically non-existent because it is usually cheaper and more practical to handle such jobs in-house rather than send it to a third-party provider.

3D rendering is often in demand for the virtual testing of products and scenarios at research institutions in order to carry out calculations more accurately when working with a model or mock-up.

What is holding back the adoption of the cloud for 3D rendering in Japanese businesses?

There are several concerns that have made Japanese companies reluctant to adopt the cloud for 3D rendering. However, we have seen technological advances that gradually have helped overcome these concerns. The main problems involve the long waiting time for the data transfers involved.

Security is also a concern for many companies and, even with the stringent security measures used by most cloud services providers today, the stigma against saving sensitive company data outside of the company’s physical premises still exists. Perhaps the most important reason for the slow adoption of cloud-based 3D rendering in Japan, in comparison to American or European markets, is that the impact on costs is not nearly as dramatic as with other fields. While the cloud does make development easier and more inexpensive, the need for in-house server maintenance and operations makes its impact less noticeable.

How 3D rendering providers can do better in the Japanese market

There are several measures that can make the cloud more attractive for Japanese businesses looking to contract the services of a 3D rendering provider. One of the most important of these is establishing priority high-capacity pipelines in order to cut down transfer times. Providing direct, high-speed connections to clients can significantly affect costumer satisfaction and demand.

Even though cloud technology has grown more and more secure, it is just as important to ensure that the client understands just how secure modern encryption and back-up systems have become. Making sure that the client is aware of the safety and privacy of their data should be a priority when forging new business relationships in the region.

On a side note, one of the advantages that GMO Cloud can offer to Japanese companies is “home-court advantage.” This is not, however, the only big differentiator that the company can offer to rendering companies. To find out more, check out the Network and Data Center Specifications of GMO Cloud to better understand how the company is well suited to serve organizations that require large-scale data processing.

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About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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This Week in the Cloud [February 22, 2013]

In case you missed it, here are a few notable stories posted on our GMO Cloud blog this past week. As always, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter updates here.

Why the Cloud is Great for Gaming

One of the latest trends in the gaming industry is the shift towards the cloud. While there is a lot of hype surrounding the term ‘Cloud’, practically every industry has significantly benefited from joining the cloud revolution, and the gaming industry is no exception.

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Application Development in the Cloud: Going Beyond Infrastructure as a Service

The cloud is changing the expectations of both those who use it to run businesses and those who use it as a development platform. We mentioned several times that software developers love the freedom that a cloud environment gives them because they can simulate any…

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Why the Asia Pacific is Eyeing the Hybrid Cloud

globe-asian-map-clouds-200x131IT infrastructure in the Asia Pacific market is steadily becoming overloaded. This is due to rapid growth in the region’s economy which has increased overall workload and demand that infrastructure. While Asia’s economic growth is obviously a good thing…

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3 Things You Need to Know Before Using the Cloud for Your Business


There is no question that cloud computing brings huge advantages to practically any business. There’s no need to ever buy a server and upgrading software is a breeze. In fact, there are many tech companies worth millions that do not have a single data center or server closet.

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Why the Asia Pacific is Eyeing the Hybrid Cloud

IT infrastructure in the Asia Pacific market is steadily becoming overloaded. This is due to rapid growth in the region’s economy which has increased overall workload and demand that infrastructure. While Asia’s economic growth is obviously a good thing, traditional IT seems to be having a hard time keeping up in practically all sectors of the economy. Of course, the cloud is often an ideal solution, since it allows companies to establish scalable infrastructures. However, many decision makers resist the idea of replacing or upgrading their already existing (and often costly) infrastructure in order to invest in what they see as a gamble. Fortunately, there is a solution: the hybrid cloud model.

Cloud computing is already gaining momentum in the Asia Pacific market

Surveys of the region have noticed that cloud computing in the Asia Pacific region is quickly gaining a large market share. In fact, it seems that at least a third of existing IT departments surveyed plan to move to the cloud within the next year. The main reason why many IT decision makers are moving to the cloud is because its availability has increased in the recent months. The flexibility of the cloud and ease of disaster recovery are also important reasons.

It is important to note that disaster recovery is one of the most important concerns for IT decision makers in the Asia Pacific. There are very competitive markets in the region and a clogged pipeline, significant downtime, or other common technical issues can have important effects on a company’s bottom line and future growth. Because of this, companies are quickly turning to IT solutions that will allow them to keep pace with their competitors in terms of growth, while maintaining reliability and disaster recovery capabilities. One of these companies, GMO Cloud, constantly looks for ways on developing solutions in helping companies rid of these failovers. A high availability solution comes into play as most disadvantages mentioned are addressed in this type of strategy.

As a result, surveys indicate that 2013 will be a very important year for cloud service providers in the Asia Pacific market, and today we are already seeing cloud technology vendors swoop in to claim their stake in the market.

Why hybrid clouds are Asia’s next big thing

Nearly two thirds of IT decision makers polled in the survey above indicated that they plan on evaluating or implementing (or are currently using) a hybrid of existing data centers and remote servers owned by a cloud service provider. What is the main attraction of the hybrid cloud model for these companies? It is seen as an effective way to bridging the gap in IT infrastructure that exists because of a lack of resources or access to technology. The two main advantages of hybrid cloud infrastructure is that they 1) allow a huge amount of customization on the client side while 2) are more flexible than traditional IT or an entirely cloud-based approach.

One of the main concerns for decision makers in the Asia Pacific region is effective network virtualization, especially in terms of being able to reallocate unused bandwidth and increase reliability and performance. Business needs are changing. The increased mobility of today’s technology and the demand for customized IT, coupled with the rapid growth in the region’s economy means that traditional infrastructures simply cannot keep up without help from third party servers. Hybrid clouds give companies the best of both worlds, the security of traditional IT with the scalability, customization options, and flexibility of the cloud.

A stellar reputation

One of the reasons why demand for hybrid clouds has increased in the Asia region is the good reputation of the model. Companies already investing in cloud technology have reported very high levels of satisfaction and significant returns on investment, prompting competitors and other businesses in the region to implement these technologies themselves. Existing cloud service vendors with data centers and network virtualization should jump on the opportunity available in this market. Multiple sectors can benefit from an increased access to hybrid clouds, ranging from IT-related industries to companies in the financial or entertainment sectors.

Be Part of Our Cloud Conversation

Our articles are written to provide you with tools and information to meet your IT and cloud solution needs. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed

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