Google cloud nabs business from Autodesk

Autodesk film animation technology is partnering with Google cloud to make it run faster.
Source: Autodesk

Google's cloud platform just scored a big win in its uphill battle against and Microsoft.

Autodesk, the provider of modeling software for architects and animators, said Monday that a new service is now available for customers in the entertainment industry to more quickly and efficiently render 3-D images.

This isn't a wholesale shift for Autodesk, which is still spending heavily on Amazon Web Services as it transforms its traditional software suite into a cloud services offering. But Autodesk CEO Carl Bass said that when it comes to projects that require substantial bandwidth, Google has the preferred service.

Urs Holzle, Google's senior vice president for technical infrastructure, speaks about the Google Cloud Platform during a conference on June 25, 2014, in San Francisco.
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"The best thing about Amazon is the ability to spin up servers quickly," Bass said in an interview. "When you get into production, where you have hundreds of thousands of servers running, I think the requirements change pretty dramatically."

Rendering 3-D images is a notoriously slow process because of the data and bandwidth demands. Even with advances in computing and tools like Autodesk's Maya 3D animation software, it remains a problem as content moves from high-definition to ultra-high-def. With Autodesk and Google enabling customers to run an unlimited number of servers simultaneously at 60 cents an hour per machine, content developers can efficiently handle production without breaking the bank.

Google is looking for high-profile customer case studies as it tries to eat into AWS's big lead. The search provider hired VMware co-founder Diane Greene in November to run the cloud platform, and the build-out of that unit is one of its biggest investments. Best Buy, Coca-Cola and Home Depot are among large brands that count on Google for some of their cloud business.

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According to Synergy Research Group, Google is fourth in the cloud infrastructure market with 4 percent market share. AWS leads at 31 percent, followed by Microsoft at 9 percent and IBM at 7 percent.

The joint Autodesk-Google service is called ZYNC. Additionally, Autodesk said Monday that it acquired Solid Angle, the developer of an advanced 3-D renderer called Arnold that's used in film, TV and advertising.