Issue: Volume 36 Issue 5: (July/August 2013)

GreenButton Pushes Cloud Solutions Forward


For 25 years, Pixar has been offering the benefits of its celebrated RenderMan renderer. Recently, though, Pixar has extended the powerful technology with RenderMan On Demand, an online rendering service for Pixar’s RenderMan. RenderMan On Demand offers immediate access to the power of the clouds’ vastly scalable computing resources without the expense of building and running an in-house renderfarm. RenderMan On Demand is accessible directly through a service interface developed and administrated by GreenButton, a provider of a low-cost, cloud-based platform for compute-intensive applications.

GreenButton, a provider of compute-intensive and integrated on-demand cloud solutions, also handles similar service for users of Chaos Group’s V-Ray, Autodesk’s 3ds Max, and Blender, as well as a host of other companies outside of the computer graphics industry. GreenButton’s roots, though, are in the CG space, as its founder, Scott Houston, worked with Director Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings, to enable Jackson and his crew to deliver a complex scene containing thousands of digital characters that were rendered individually. Houston built the data center that could support those four minutes of remarkable footage, and after the movie, the data center was repurposed to accommodate cloud rendering for others and, eventually, IT cloud-based services. In a nutshell, GreenButton services those who need computer power but do not need the infrastructure.

“There is an insatiable thirst for computing power, and it is no longer economical or prudent to serve this through investment of on-premise hardware when the demand for that resource is spikey in nature – resulting in underutilization and idle cycles,” says Dave Fellows, CTO of GreenButton. “There is also significant time, cost, and human resource required to provision and maintain on-premise environments. Solutions such as GreenButton, which enable access to tens of thousands of cores all at the push of a (green) button, are transformational and incredibly enabling for all organizations.”

GreenButton’s Cloud Fabric platform is geared for small, medium, and large businesses across a broad set of industries. “Whether it’s for running risk analysis for a financial services firm or for rendering an animation sequence, our Cloud Fabric platform allows these workloads to be cloud-enabled in a matter of hours using our SDK and then to run across different cloud environments seamlessly with a rich and visual management tool that provides all the controls our varied customers need,” Fellows says.

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