What Is the Visual Cloud?
With visual computing workloads growing at an accelerating pace, cloud service providers (CSPs), communications service providers (CoSPs), and enterprises are rethinking the physical and virtual distribution of compute resources. Visual cloud computing consists of a set of capabilities for remotely consuming content and services that center around the efficient delivery of visual experiences —both live and file-based —as well as applications that add intelligence to video content and tap into machine learning and other artificial intelligence areas, such as object recognition.
Visual Workloads Demand a Modern Edge Infrastructure - A Guide for Enabling the Visual Cloud
Emerging visual cloud workloads will demand highly evolved data centers and edge networks. Providers need resilient, scalable infrastructures and the right combination of modern hardware, advanced software, and optimized open source components. Read this guide to help determine the right portfolio that meets your needs.
The Open Visual Cloud
To help strengthen the ecosystem and provide ready access to the building blocks and pipelines for cost-effective Visual Cloud innovations, Intel is providing reference pipeline recipes for Visual Cloud services using existing open source functions from Intel in an open source project called the Open Visual Cloud. The Open Visual Cloud provides availability of high performance, high quality, open source, validated building blocks—across encode, decode, inference, and rendering — as well as reference pipelines that support visual cloud workloads. The goal is to minimize barriers to innovation for quickly and easily creating and monetizing Visual Cloud services. Support for familiar industry standard frameworks leverage the larger open source community and include media (FFMPEG and GStreamer), AI (TensorFlow*, Caffe*, MXNet*, ONNX*, Kaldi*), and graphics (OpenGL, DirectX).
Find out more about the Open Visual Cloud, download code, and unleash innovation at
Cloud-based media processing and delivery demands in response to escalating video traffic across wired and wireless channels have become a vitally important service capability for CSPs, CoSPs, and Enterprises. The predominant use cases involving media workloads are live streaming, broadcast media, and over-the-top (OTT) media. The new Intel® Server GPU is ideal for high-density media transcode/encode for real-time over the top (OTT) video streaming. The Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512), makes it possible to accelerate high-quality video transcoding and streaming. Demanding tasks that are vital to a Visual Cloud environment gain performance boosts, including media analytics, video data encoding and decoding, digital content creation, 3D modeling and simulation, and visualization. Additional microarchitecture and instruction sets to drastically enhance visual cloud capabilities, like VNNI (Vector Neural Network Instructions) that improves performance of operations used in deep neural networks.
Content Delivery Network
Today the media and entertainment industry expects more from their CDNs than just simple caching. The industry is transitioning to higher throughput, more complex use cases, and more frequent peaks in traffic. Service providers must have clear indication if performance issues arise and visibility into the overall infrastructure functions. Accomplishing this successfully requires performing many operations in real time: extracting and responding to data analytics, performing load balancing across the network as needed, detecting and correcting faults promptly, and predicting levels of demand as conditions change. The future of CDN from Lumen (CenturyLink) was explored at the Network and Edge Virtual Summit and Rakuten at IBC 2020.
Media analytics performed on live media or distributed video streams can help service providers, content aggregators, and content delivery networks better understand the nature of the visual content and derive useful intelligence from it. By incorporating building blocks from the Open Visual Cloud, like key components of the OpenVINO™ toolkit and Scalable Video Technology, sophisticated media analytics applications can perform functions from surveying traffic patterns in a smart city to customized ad insertion and more. With billions of pieces of visual content exchanged daily, the market opportunities are expansive for creating new, useful services and adding features, and capabilities to existing services.
Innovation in AR and VR solutions is changing the way that human beings interact with the world. These technologies are also inspiring innovators to introduce new products, services, and business models into the visual cloud market, creating opportunities for CSPs, CoSPs, and broadcast companies. Advanced immersive media applications are just beginning to gain traction in the industry, such as 360-degree live streaming, AR-guided service procedures, immersive entertainment experiences, and VR enhanced location-based experiences. Recent advances in moving Visual Cloud workloads to the network edge are providing for more quality experiences by addressing the bandwidth concerns and latency issues that have been a challenge for many immersive media deployments.
People can work collaboratively across 3D graphics applications remotely. With applications from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware, complex renderings, and visualizations can be handled by high-performance servers in a virtualized environment so remote desktop or remote rendering workloads can be adjusted dynamically to meet requirements. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with the Intel® oneAPI Rendering Toolkit (Render Kit) (part of the Open Visual Cloud) provide powerful and flexible CPU-based raytracing used extensively by professional Hollywood studios and the scientific visualization community.
On-line gaming is moving to a cloud streaming model just like music, movies, and TV shows. The burgeoning growth of online games represents additional revenue with white-label software allowing operators to brand, offer, and monetize an OTT-like service to their subscribers and target casual gamers at home. The new Intel® Server GPU is ideally suited for high-density, low-latency Android cloud gaming.
Notices & Disclaimers
Intel is committed to respecting human rights and avoiding complicity in human rights abuses. See Intel’s Global Human Rights Principles. Intel’s products and software are intended only to be used in applications that do not cause or contribute to a violation of an internationally recognized human right.
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