Canadian IT solutions integrator Scalar Decisions  has announced the launch of their RenderCloud project, which will see a number of British Columbia digital media studios move to a high-performance cloud computing model to render their digital productions, availing of Scalar’s centralized IT facilities at the Centre for Digital Media  on the Great Northern Way Campus  in Vancouver.
RenderCloud is a farm of high-performance servers manufactured by technical computing company SGI and supported by an ultra-fast 10GB Ethernet built on Brocade networking technology. The project, which is the first of its kind in Canada, will allow studios to not only pay for server technology on an “as-needed” cost-per-day model, but also to connect and collaborate on projects by leveraging the high-speed network interconnectivity. The project is set to scale to over 1500 servers by the middle of this year and will allow BC film studios to compete with US counterparts through reduced budgets and increased performance.
Darren Sharpe, General Manager of Scalar’s Western Division, said, “As an experienced managed services provider, Scalar is proud to bring this service to the digital media studios of BC and beyond. This innovative project is the culmination of over a year of infrastructure design by our most experienced architects, and we look forward to delivering more value-add services to the digital media community in the coming months.”
The RenderCloud project received input from a number of key stakeholders throughout its development. BC studios Rainmaker , Image Engine  and Digital Domain  were the first to sign up for the project and will have the added advantage of being able to sub-lease their resources to other studios as required. The actual server farm is located at the Centre for Digital Media on Great Northern Way Campus, an emerging digital media district in Vancouver.
“RenderCloud – which sits next to the Centre for Digital Media and the future home of Emily Carr University— is a key piece of infrastructure in our redevelopment plan to build Vancouver’s digital district. Whether it’s the digital and creative businesses, academic institutions or the artists’ studios and galleries that call this Vancouver neighborhood home, Great Northern Way Campus is the ideal location for a visual effects and animation processing centre tapping into B.C. power and internet grids,” said Matthew Carter, president, Great Northern Way Campus.
“RenderCloud will help all of us to keep Vancouver firmly positioned as the epicentre for production whether that’s feature films’ special effects, animation, or gaming,” said Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer of Rainmaker Entertainment, who serves as the spokesperson for the Vancouver Studio Group. “The opening of RenderCloud makes us competitive with such cities as London and New Zealand, and puts Vancouver into consideration for the next generation of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings productions.”