Cloud Workflows Are Finally Here

Thursday, 24 October 2019

How we interact with the cloud has always been tricky to say the least. But no more. Where once this was a convoluted mishmash of ideas – with everyone testing and learning on the job – we’re now able to make an elegant cloud/remote pipeline function. No longer are we bound to merely some level of success or failure, utilising fire and forget cloud render providers, and watching ever longer transfer times only to see your output returned incorrect.

Cloud Workflows Are Finally Here

Today we really have got a handle on what an ideal cloud workflow can look like for companies and how much they want to expose/integrate themselves with remote workflows or private clouds.

More and more, we are seeing companies working together remotely or utilising a wider freelance audience, and changing what they can achieve by using talent from anywhere in the world.

Company workflows are evolving from moving data via Google Drive or Dropbox, trying to work around the limitations of fair use policies, to a remote desktop workflow. The transformation means businesses can leave data in one place, enabling external users to access a remote workstation or use the whole available pipeline. 

With this new workflow we do not have the issues of shifting ever larger datasets from one user to the next and have no more concerns of that data falling into the wrong hands. It allows large amounts of remote users all accessing a single pipeline to take advantage of the infrastructure that you have to offer: render farm, storage, and proprietary tools that you would not normally share with external companies.

Some businesses have begun outsourcing specialist work on collaborative projects. Cloud workflows enable animation companies to take on heavy VFX projects and and focus on the animation part of the process while they outsource the 3D modelling and rendering elements. Games companies are also using outsourced workflows for asset generation – never having to worry about their assets leaving their facility.

The use of cloud and private cloud has become much more obvious and takes advantage of the location of your infrastructure. On premises infrastructure can be opened up via remote workstations to freelancers and external companies, while the next level up (colocation) utilises a data centre’s capabilities in connectivity to leverage an improved experience over the limitations of the internet connection in your building. This is the rise of the full hybrid solution.

The 3rd stage of dealing with the big three cloud providers (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) offers unlimited render, offsite backup, disaster recovery, and remote workstations to enable even greater flexibility over even greater distances. Now, conceivably, you can leverage a worldwide workforce.

We have successfully tackled all of these workflows from building-to-building internal expansion, all the way to a hybrid workflow with one of the big three.

This becomes just an execution of data movement between your local/co-located infrastructure and cloud provider of choice. And for this there are numerous approaches that can be taken.