Few organizations, regardless of industry vertical, were truly equipped to suddenly enable and secure large numbers of remote workers in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to overcoming the same logistical issues that other industries were facing, media and entertainment (M&E) and gaming companies had to rapidly migrate enormous volumes of file data and highly specialized, mission-critical applications to the cloud, then ensure that content teams could collaborate on them simultaneously, just as they would on-site.
While the sudden cloud migrations that COVID-19 have forced on the M&E and gaming industries are challenging, organizations that migrate to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) enjoy enhanced innovation, cost savings, massive scalability, and the ability to quickly pivot as consumer demands and business needs change.
Here are just a few of the ways in which GCP helps M&E and gaming companies modernize their content production, enhance audience experiences, and build a fast, secure, and flexible cloud-based content pipeline.
1. Move creative workflows to the cloud
Creative workflows typically performed on high-performance hardware in the office are moving to the cloud. Google Cloud, with its high-performance GPU accelerated instances, can run these workflows; coupled with Google technology partners Teradici and BeBop, this can deliver a low latency, frame-accurate, high-performance experience to content creators and editors allowing them to work remotely and enabling M&E companies to scale rapidly and cost effectively.
Google Cloud’s global network delivers cloud-based content collaboration and distribution at planet scale, whether that’s access to assets during creation and editing or delivery for distribution.
GCP’s Video Intelligence API and Vision API utilize pre-trained machine learning models to automatically tag media assets with metadata as part of creative workflows, allowing them to be searched quickly, easily, and cost-effectively. Have a project that needs custom labels? Automate the training of your own custom machine learning models with AutoML Video Intelligence and Auto ML Vision.
2. Scale rendering farms to meet tight deadlines
Rendering 2D or 3D elements for film, television, or online games consumes massive amounts of time, computing power, and cash. Organizations have substantial investments in on-prem hardware, infrastructure, highly specialized software, and dedicated IT teams to deploy and maintain it, yet it’s not always enough. On-prem render farms can’t scale, resulting in production delays when they reach 100% utilization.
Zync Render, GCP’s cloud-hosted rendering platform, lets creators send rendering workloads to the cloud as needed. Taking full advantage of the multitude of GPU offerings available on GCP, Zync offers creators even better performance than they can typically achieve on-prem so that projects are completed on time and within or even under budget. Zync’s native plugins allow artists to work with familiar tools such as Maya, Houdini FX, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max and Nuke. Zync users have tallied more than 50 million core rendering hours rendering everything from feature films to brand design elements.
3. Simplify global game server management
Most game developers rely on dedicated servers to host multiplayer games, but delivering world-class performance and ultra-low latency to demanding global audiences is an enormous challenge. A cloud backend is an absolute necessity for indie developers and major game studios alike.
Google Cloud Game Servers is a managed service that removes the complexity from managing multi-cluster game server fleets at global scale, freeing developers to concentrate on creating awesome games instead of managing server backends. Built atop two open-source technologies, the Agones game server and the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, Game Servers lets studios avoid vendor lock-in while enjoying infinite flexibility to build the exact game experiences they envision. Game Servers automatically scales to meet daily peaks, game events, content drops and customer growth.
Game Servers currently supports clusters that run on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), with support for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments coming soon. Studios can try Game Servers free until the end of 2020; users will incur charges only for the underlying use of Kubernetes clusters.
4. Protect valuable digital assets and ensure compliance
From digital IP theft and data breaches to DDoS attacks and account takeovers (ATOs), media, entertainment, and gaming companies are major targets for cybercrime. GCP provides organizations with a wide variety of cybersecurity, data governance, and reporting tools to help prevent cyberattacks and simplify compliance, including:
- Cloud Security Command Center, which gives administrators the centralized visibility and control they need to manage sensitive data and service accounts permissions, conduct asset discovery and inventory, detect threats, identify and resolve security misconfigurations and compliance violations, and identify and fix web application vulnerabilities.
- BeyondCorp Remote Access, which enables remote workers to access internal web apps on virtually any device, from any location, directly from their web browser, without the need for a VPN. Organizations can deploy BeyondCorp Remote Access in only a few hours and with minimal changes to their existing network architecture, security controls, or application configurations.
- Cloud Armor, which provides L3/L4 DDoS defense, IP allow/deny capabilities for applications or services behind the Cloud HTTP/S load balancer, and predefined rules to mitigate OWASP Top 10 risks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection (SQLi). Hybrid and multi cloud support ensure that applications are defended, and Layer 7 security policies enforced across the enterprise.
- Cloud DLP, which helps organizations locate and manage PII and other sensitive data to prevent data loss and meet compliance requirements. Cloud DLP works with both text and images and allows users to scan or redact streaming text and image content in real time from data workloads in GCP, other clouds, or on-prem infrastructure.
GCP enables media, entertainment, and game studios to create cloud-based content pipelines without compromising on speed, flexibility, or security, while providing both remote and in-office workers with better, more responsive tools.