MDeC launches Rendering facility at MAC3; Render@ RM3 per node/Hour

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 6 June, 2010 - 14:13

MDeC partnered with IBM to develop a rendering cloud infrastructure comprising IBM's innovative hardware, software, and cloud computing and consulting services.

Boasting computing prowess of some 120 high performance servers, coupled with the latest IBM rendering software and an animation cloud with high throughput broadband connections, the Rendering Farm is acclaimed to be the most advanced in the country, and the first public animation cloud centre in ASEAN.

The MAC3 Rendering Farm is part of the MSC Malaysia Animation and Creative Content Centre or MAC3, a strategic division established by MDeC with a mandate to drive the development of the nation's digital creative industry. At a refundable registration deposit of RM 200 the rendering facility can be used at the cost of RM 3 per Node/hour and there is also a promotional offer for the first 3 months which cost RM 2 usage per node/hour.

It is a well-known fact that rendering is expensive and the MAC3 high performance rendering facility will help local creative content companies, especially the start-ups, to overcome the cost barrier," said Deputy Prime Minister Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the official launch of the MAC3 Cloud Rendering Farm in Cyberjaya today.

With this facility in place, Malaysia's creative content companies will have the technological edge in their rendering and production processes. At the same time, it will also help them lower their costs," he said.

Reiterating that creative multimedia and content has been identified as the new engine of growth for the Malaysian economy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin commended MDeC on its efforts to help catalyse the development of the industry, particularly in terms of Intellectual Property creation and access to global market opportunities.

Malaysia has had some significant successes in the last couple of years but if we are to be taken seriously in this space, which is worth USD800 billion globally (or almost RM2.5 trillion), we need to do more and work towards instilling professionalism and a global mindset amongst our creative workforce," he said.

According to MDeC Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, the MAC3 Rendering Farm seeks to facilitate and catalyse the creation of creative content by local creative content companies and to enhance creative companies works by reducing the rendering in-house production time and to produce high quality images for computer-generated content.

He added that the facility essentially frees the creative content companies from the burden of having to outlay a lot of money to install their own rendering system or pay hefty sums to private service providers.

On broader note, Datuk Badlisham reiterated that the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), unveiled by the Prime Minister last Thursday, clearly articulates the central role of ICT as a foundation for the nation to vault forward towards a truly high-value economy. More significantly, the role of ICT expanded from being merely a vertical to include the horizontal as well, as it cuts across all spheres of the national economy and Malaysian quality of life.

He added that ICT accounted for approximately 9.8% of the nation's total GDP in 2009 and the percentage is increase to 10.2% by 2015. Within ICT, a special attention is given to the creative, which currently contributes about 1.6% to GDP.

Commenting on the MDeC-IBM partnership on the cloud rendering facility, Ramanathan Sathiamutty, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia said "IBM takes great pride in successfully providing a future-ready, intelligent and reliable solution to meet the needs of MDeC and contribute to the growth of the creative media and entertainment industry, which will ultimately play a significant role in building a high income knowledge-based economy.

To support the Cloud Rendering Farm, IBM deployed its next generation XIV® storage systems and System x™ iDataPlex™ servers, coupled with Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for the latest in rendering technology. Furthermore, the Rendering Facility represents IBM's first Cloud Computing implementation in Malaysia and the first IBM animation cloud in the ASEAN region.

IBM is helping organisations across the globe leverage cloud computing as the game changer needed to drive business value in the new economic environment. It has provided cloud computing services to clients across Asia Pacific, such as the City of Wuxi China, the City of Dongying China, SK Telecom and Quang Trung Software City in Vietnam, and now MDeC represents the first animation cloud for IBM in the region.

Ramanathan continued, "IBM's suite of smart offerings in hardware, software, cloud computing and consulting services provides MDeC with high performance, easy-to-use, environmentally-friendly and energy efficient rendering infrastructure. This will undoubtedly help MDeC generate better business value and increase system capacity for local creative content companies to produce animation, games and visual effects".

Construction of the MAC3 Cloud Rendering Farm was completed in April 2010. With IBM's animation cloud, the facility supports secure multiple concurrent users and is fully accessible via the Internet for job submission, monitoring and management. All these can be fully-managed by the account owner. With real-time testing, the facility is able to perform rendering jobs up to 8 times faster compared to rendering on a local workstation.

With a vision of becoming the Centre of digital creative excellence for progressive society and nation, the MAC3 is tasked with facilitating industry needs in terms of talent, infrastructure, funding and awareness of opportunities.

It serves to support the growing demand for a high definition, high quality and stereoscopic content creation process. It also aims to support the production of animation projects from both MSC Malaysia and other Government grant recipients, as well as to support the growth of MSC Malaysia and non-MSC Malaysia Status creative companies," Datuk Badlisham said.

He added that with a better facility and strong infrastructure support, the creative content industry would be able to move faster towards attaining global recognition in terms of creativity as well as both capability and capacity.

We also foresee that with the right combination of infrastructures, facilities and initiatives, we will be able to position Malaysia as the preferred destination for international content creation and digitisation, including post production activities.