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Google courts Hollywood creative community with Los Angeles cloud datacentre region

Google is making a concerted effort to win over the media and entertainment industry with its cloud offerings by pairing the opening of a new datacentre region with services tailored towards Hollywood creatives

Google is opening a cloud region in Los Angeles as part of a concerted effort to court businesses operating in the media and entertainment industries.

The internet search giant outlined its plans in a blog post co-authored by Dominic Preuss, director of product management at Google, and Jeff Kember, who works as a technical director focused on the media industry in its Office of the CTO division.

The pair said cloud is increasingly becoming the deployment destination of choice for organisations specialising in visual effects (VFX) and animation because of how hungry for compute resources these processes are, which is why it has decided to open a cloud region close to Hollywood.

“Productions with a lot of visual effects can require cutting-edge technology and massive, global teams of artists and animators. With technical requirements only increasing in complexity, media and entertainment companies are continuously looking for ways to scale their resources and delight audiences – and many are moving to the cloud to do it,” they wrote.

When the region goes live in July 2018, it will bring the number of US-based cloud datacentre hubs the company operates up to five, and it already appears to have several reference customers cued up to use it.

These include visual effects company, The Mill, which specialises in the of adverts and music videos.

“A lot of our short form projects pop up unexpectedly, so having extra capacity in region can help us quickly capitalise on these opportunities,” said Tom Taylor, head of engineering at The Mill.

“We’re also expanding internationally, and hiring more artists abroad, and we’ve found that Google Cloud has the best combination of global reach, high performance and cost to help us achieve our ambitions.”

Bafta award-winning creative effects studio Framestore – which has offices in the London, Montreal, Los Angeles and York – said it also expect to reap the benefits of the region’s opening.

“Using Google Cloud for visual effects rendering enables our team to be fast, flexible and to work on multiple large projects simultaneously without fear of resource starvation,” said Steve MacPherson, CTO of VFX at Framestore.

“Cloud is at the heart of our IT strategy and Google provides us with the rendering power to create Oscar-winning graphics in post-production work.”

As a supplement to its cloud region, the company is also rolling out a number of services aimed specifically at helping VFX teams collaborate on projects and more easily manage data-heavy rendering tasks.

They include managed Network Attached Storage (NAS) service, Google Cloud Filestore, which is for use by application and workflows that need to run across fleets of machines with access to a shared file system.

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