Microsoft Azure spins up new cloud tools for media and entertainment companies

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Microsoft Azure Media Services includes products for encoding, indexing, streaming, content protection and content delivery networks along with access to the Microsoft Azure media player. (iStock)

Microsoft Azure is at SIGGRAPH 2019 in Los Angeles to introduce a handful of new cloud-based tools and appliances geared toward the media and entertainment space.

The new Azure Render Hub handles creation and management of hybrid cloud rendering environments in Azure, and integrates with existing AWS Thinkbox Deadline or PipelineFX Qube! render farms. The company said support for Tractor and OpenCue are coming soon.

The new service also handles infrastructure setup and provides pay per use licensing and governance controls. The Azure Render Hub web app is available from GitHub.

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The new Azure FXT Edge Filer integrates existing network attached storage (NAS) and Azure Blog Storage using an on-premises caching appliance that optimizes access to data in the datacenter and across a wide-area network (WAN). Microsoft said the Azure FXT Edge Filer has enough throughput and low enough latency to support large rendering workloads.

Microsoft’s new Azure NV-series VMs, backed by the NVIDIA GPUs, are designed to support and remove visualization workloads and other graphics-intensive applications. The company said that larger memory, support for premium disks, and hyper-threading means these VMs offer double the number of vCPUs compared to the previous generation.

These new products sit alongside Microsoft Azure’s existing media services business which includes services and products for encoding, indexing, streaming, content protection and content delivery networks along with access to the Microsoft Azure media player.

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