Cloud News & Insights

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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Bringing Business Intelligence to the Cloud

BI, or business intelligence, is perhaps the fastest growing sector in the cloud computing space. There is a reason for this. In some ways, cloud architecture is ideal for collating, analyzing and experimenting with data. Data warehousing is perfectly suited for a cloud environment.

BI is the fastest growing sector in cloud computing

According to an article in Forbes, cloud-based BI and analytics will see an 84% compound annual growth rate over the next two years. The reason for this is obvious: Implementing BI solutions has always been very expensive. As a result, only large enterprises could afford to have full suites of data warehousing and BI. With cloud computing, the cost has come down considerably, allowing even small enterprises to explore BI.

The advantages of moving BI to the cloud

The most notable advantage of moving BI to the cloud is the ease of deployment. There is no need to provision hardware and servers, so the cost of implementation automatically goes down. Similarly there is no need to worry about scalability. One can now start a full-fledged BI program, test online with live data and close the program after achieving the desired objectives. The laaS offering permits structuring your BI and analytics without restrictions. In fact, one can implement, execute and complete a BI program in less than a week. This is one of the most important reasons why cloud-based solutions will continue to hold the interest of BI professionals.

Another advantage that I see in cloud-based BI solutions is the freedom which analysts can now enjoy. Until now, IT management has always focused on production and bottom line. Competition for resources with operations usually means that BI takes backseat. But no longer. The BI team can now go ahead and execute their programs without hindering operations. The processing power required to acquire, process and transform raw data into usable intelligence can be formidable. With cloud-based BI solutions, one can now command incredibly high, on-demand processing power.

One of the reasons for the significant decrease in implementation costs is because of the pay-per-use model. For instance, looking at GMO Cloud’s pricing model which not only offers a basic plan but also has additional resource pricing, an organization no longer needs to worry about purchasing resources that they might not need, and can focus only on those that are actually being used.

Experimenting with the cloud

Although more and more organizations are moving to the cloud, there are still some common apprehensions, like security, which have kept companies from committing entirely. In such instances, it is ideal for them to start exploring BI functions. Many CTOs would not allow BI to interfere with their production activities and there is a distinct compartmentalization between production and the development environment. Moving the development and BI functions to the cloud therefore makes sense.

Once the technical team becomes well-versed with the usage and power of cloud computing, then the entire operation can be migrated with confidence.

The cost of data warehousing

BI means loads and loads of data – both historical and current. The cost of storage for such big data can cause much worry among business managers. Cloud-based data storage can mitigate these issues. Another advantage I see here is the archiving of data. And with cloud storage one can achieve both objectives at a reasonable cost.


There are some matches which are made in heaven. The match between BI and the cloud is one such relationship. There is every reason to believe that the next couple of years will witness an exponential growth in use of cloud computing for BI and analytics.

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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:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur,  geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one.  He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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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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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 of dollars that do not have a single data center or server closet. This is particularly true in the fast-growing Asian cloud market. But for all its benefits, the cloud isn’t magical – and many of its supposed disadvantages arise from when users lack some basic information. These are the three main factors to consider before implementing the cloud for your business.

This may spring from the democratization that comes with the cloud. Although the technology provides end users with access to powerful tools, it also means that general users without technical skills are often charged with decisions without a clear understanding of what cloud technology can and cannot do. It is important to note that this can cost a company a lot of money in the long run.

I’d like to look at some misconceptions many users have about cloud technology, in the interests of illustrating what you need to know before implementing cloud technology initiatives in your business.

Specify how data is deleted/purged from the system.

One of the most common uses for cloud technology is to back up critical data and help companies guard against a potential disaster. Most cloud vendors can provide these services at a low cost and have optimized their technology to ensure that data will always be saved at a secure location and that it can be recovered quickly and effectively. However, making sure that data is deleted or purged properly is not high on the list of concerns for most cloud technology vendors. While this is great if you need to access older data that was lost or deleted by mistake, it can be a security concern. Take for example, GMO Cloud, they along with their cloud infrastructure services, they offer a plausible security solution that protects data from breaches, downtime, loss or any disaster.

Remember, when you delete a record that is stored on the cloud, you have no guarantee that every single version of that record has been deleted as well. This can be a problem if your company ever goes through a legal process with opposing forensic experts going through data that was thought to have been purged from the system. To prevent this from happening, it is important to make sure that you have a clear policy regarding data deletion from the cloud and that management of sensitive data is handled specifically.

Dedicate staff to handle data in the cloud.

Many companies make the mistake of putting all of their data in the hands of a cloud vendor and not hiring IT staff at all. After all, paying for the service ensures that your data is handled by a professional. However, companies should always have an analyst or administrator on hand to manage such data, thus removing many of the problems regularly encountered.

The role of the dedicated staff member would be to simply determine what goes to the cloud and what doesn’t. This person would also be in charge of organizing the data into logical directory trees and divisions with smart naming conventions, handling cross-system data operations, and establishing clear guidelines for back-ups and any other cloud operations. Even if one of the main reasons you have implemented cloud technology is to save on staff, you will always want someone reserved for this role. Establish a dedicated position or rotate existing staff into the job on a regular basis.

Manage your cloud as you would manage IT.

Although the higher ups in a business will tout cloud technology as a cost saving measure that solves an IT overhead problem, the fact is that the cloud is only effective if you manage it as an external IT component. This allows a company to take full advantage of the cloud’s unique capabilities, such as creating custom code, integrating with other data sources, and creating customized reports, dashboards, and other components.

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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