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.
White Paper: Rethinking Visual Cloud Services for Evolving Media
The impact of media growth on cloud-based data centers will create a burden for CSPs, CoSPs, and enterprises. Read this white paper to learn about solutions to this challenge.
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
Media Processing & Delivery
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 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. In addition, Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1500 v5 with Intel® Quick Sync Video technology and the Open Visual Cloud enables high-density media transcoding solutions for OTT video.
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 do everything from detecting suspicious intruders in a video surveillance feed to surveying the traffic patterns in a smart city to better control flow. 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 data and applications accessible securely from the data center, 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® processor E3-1500 v5 with Iris® Pro graphics provides a high performance, high density solution for Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions, and Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with the Intel® Rendering Framework (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 beginning to move to a cloud streaming model just like music, movies, and TV shows with companies like Gamestream* and Playgiga*. 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® Core™ processors with Radeon* RX Vega M Graphics is used to stream high-density game content so consumers can play anywhere at any time without having to buy proprietary consoles or expensive games.