BC Film Industry gets Cloud-Powered as Scalar Decisions launches RenderCloud hub for the digital media community

VANCOUVER, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Scalar Decisions, the Canadian IT solutions integrator, announced the launch of their RenderCloud project, which will see a number of British Columbia digital media studios move to a high-performance cloud computing model to render their digital productions, availing of Scalar's centralized IT facilities at the Centre for Digital Media on the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, BC.

RenderCloud is a farm of high-performance servers manufactured by technical computing company SGI and supported by an ultra-fast 10GB Ethernet built on Brocade networking technology. The project, which is the first of its kind in Canada, will allow studios to not only pay for server technology on an "as-needed" cost-per-day model, but also to connect and collaborate on projects by leveraging the high-speed network interconnectivity. The project is set to scale to over 1500 servers by the middle of this year and will allow BC film studios to compete with US counterparts through reduced budgets and increased performance.

Darren Sharpe, General Manager of Scalar's Western Division, said, "As an experienced managed services provider, Scalar is proud to bring this service to the digital media studios of BC and beyond. This innovative project is the culmination of over a year of infrastructure design by our most experienced architects, and we look forward to delivering more value-add services to the digital media community in the coming months."

The RenderCloud project received input from a number of key stakeholders throughout its development. BC studios Rainmaker, Image Engine and Digital Domain were the first to sign up for the project and will have the added advantage of being able to sub-lease their resources to other studios as required. The actual server farm is located at the Centre for Digital Media on Great Northern Way Campus, an emerging digital media district in Vancouver, BC.

"RenderCloud - which sits next to the Centre for Digital Media and the future home of Emily Carr University— is a key piece of infrastructure in our redevelopment plan to build Vancouver's digital district.  Whether it's the digital and creative businesses, academic institutions or the artists' studios and galleries that call this Vancouver neighborhood home, Great Northern Way Campus is the ideal location for a visual effects and animation processing centre tapping into B.C. power and internet grids," said Matthew Carter, president, Great Northern Way Campus.

"RenderCloud will help all of us to keep Vancouver firmly positioned as the epicentre for production whether that's feature films' special effects, animation, or gaming," said Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer of Rainmaker Entertainment, who serves as the spokesperson for the Vancouver Studio Group.  "The opening of RenderCloud makes us competitive with such cities as London and New Zealand, and puts Vancouver into consideration for the next generation of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings productions."

About Scalar Decisions
Scalar Decisions, headquartered in Toronto with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and Southwest Ontario, is an IT solutions integrator focused on data centre automation and cloud enablement, and has been operating a significant managed services division since 2007. In 2010 and 2011, Scalar was named on the PROFIT list of the fastest-growing companies in Canada. For further information on Scalar's RenderCloud, see www.scalar.ca/rendercloud

About Great Northern Way Campus
Great Northern Way Campus is a joint venture between the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology transforming an 18-acre industrial site in the heart of the city into Vancouver's hub for the digital economy.  Currently home to the Centre for Digital Media and future home of Emily Carr University, the neighbourhood will also offer office space for digital and creative sector firms, artist studios, housing and amenities.  It is emerging as Vancouver's creative sector neighbourhood.

About Rainmaker
Rainmaker Entertainment Inc., a multifaceted animation studio, is one of Canada's largest producers of CG animation. With an innovative history that spans over 18 years, Rainmaker today continues to tell engaging stories and create compelling characters for all media. The studio's 200 creatively-inspired artists and storytellers are currently in development on the company's first slate of proprietary projects and in production on the 3D animated family comedy Escape From Planet Earth, voiced by Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, James Gandolfini and Craig Robinson. The film, to be distributed by The Weinstein Company in 2012, is directed by Cal Brunker (Despicable Me). Rainmaker has also produced the award-winning short LUNA.  Originally established as Mainframe Entertainment, the company broke ground by producing the first ever CGI animation series ReBoot. In addition to developing its own properties, Rainmaker also produces feature length DVD's for many top international brands including Barbie, Max Steel and Tony Hawk, and more. Rainmaker's clients include Mattel, The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, Sony, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and MTV. Circle of Confusion, the leading management firm, is repping the company in Hollywood.  For more information, go to www.rainmaker.com

SOURCE Scalar Decisions Inc.

For further information:

Aoife Mc Monagle
Scalar Decisions
Ph: 416.202.0014/416.731.9351
E: aoife.mcmonagle@scalar.ca

Matthew Carter
Great Northern Way Campus
Ph: 778.370.1002
E: matthew_carter@gnwc.ca

Catherine Winder
Rainmaker Entertainment
E: cwinder@rainmaker.com

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Scalar Decisions Inc.

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