In 1961, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper declaring productivity as the primary driving force of economic growth. Around the same time Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, wrote on what became known as Moore’s Law, outlining the probability of significant, bi-yearly advancements in microchip technology. Fifty years later, when addressed in tandem, productivity requirements and emerging technologies contribute more than ever to our success.


Specialized Mobile Workforces


IDC predicted a 37% increase in the global mobile workforce from 1 Billion in 2012 to an estimated 1.3 Billion by 2015. While this trend is welcome news to companies saving money and increasing productivity by adopting remote working and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, it remains a struggle for others.


Today’s media and entertainment projects demand higher resolution and require more file formats deliverables. The demanding requirements to meet compressed release schedules have increased the need for collaboration.   The specialized technology needs of individual animators, video editors, graphic designers and other creative personnel can hinder the ease of collaboration, especially when the creatives and/or those reviewing and approving their projects, work remotely. Workstations for these employees require more CPU cores, additional storage, custom graphics configurations and extra bandwidth to expedite large file transfers making the infrastructure even more costly.


Get what you need, when, where and how you need it


The global talent shortage is big news lately. Even the US Government has issued a plan to help tech companies solve this problem. The overwhelming demand for talent means employees for whom relocation is a deal-breaker, are now accessible to companies that are equipped to accommodate mobility


How to accommodate these exacting requirements is the question.


It’s time to think outside the “box”.  Forget workstations, there’s a better idea. How about a desktop environment running inside a cloud service provider, with only visual output, mouse and keyboard input encrypted and sent over the high speed secure network? A combination of best-in-class technologies has evolved to economically do just that.


SoftLayer’s bare metal or virtual server compute, and block or file storage services combined with NVIDIA GRID graphics processors, and Citrix XenDesktop, address the time critical, specific creative needs of digital media professionals and their employers.  This combination of technology offers a virtual desktop interface (VDI) for graphics and compute intensive workloads.


With this solution, local copies of shared files are a thing of the past and important content remains secure inside SoftLayer’s worldwide data centers. This solution service allows access to fully interactive graphics and video, without latency, to designers on any device, no matter where they are.


Security, Productivity and Cost Reduction


Inherent to the solution is a reduction in need for multiple copies of content data among collaborators, which significantly reduces downtime during file transfers as well as security risks of data loss or theft. If a device is lost or stolen, the work in progress is protected in the SoftLayer cloud.


With BYOD, employees use devices they prefer, to access files which are shared across multiple users in a virtual desktop environment. This simple, economical approach allocates hardware resources as needed across users and reduces spend on graphical workstation hardware.   In this scenario,  different NVIDIA profiles help determine how much GPU performance is required for a specific application workflow.    You use your application and OS licenses, but it always makes sense to contact the application provider to understand their licensing rules.


The beauty of this new production environment, is that you can scale or decrease infrastructure resources based on the type and number of projects your company is working on, and which applications are required to do the job.  Planning, rolling out and migrating to this solution is easy to scale as individual workstations are retired.  Adding more talent to workgroups and gaining access to the reconfigured platform is simple, making it easy to meet any unforeseen project needs.


Interested in learning more? View a rebroadcast of our recent webinar.