View Full Version : Server OS on a render farm
09-28-2005, 02:49 AM
What's the best operating system for a server in a render farm? I've been running windows 2k for a while and started having problems, the mapped drives became unaccesable and I needed to reboot to see them again. It was a small farm of only 6 computers on a netgear managed ip switch. I then upgraded my server os to XP pro and it pretty much stopped, but not completely. Now I need to upgrade to 15 computers in my render farm and am wondering if windows XP can handle that. Can it or do I need to go to Server 2003? If I go to server 2003 do I have to drop cash for every client? That could turn out to be extremely expensive. Is there a better way to do this???? Is this even a OS problem. I'ed appreciate any input.
Thanks in advance.
09-28-2005, 03:25 AM
XP Pro will only handle 10 connections at once, so by the sound of it (mapped drives and such) you will need to use Server 2k3 or a *nix variety, depending on the software you run. And yes, with 2k3 you will need to buy licenses for those 15 computers.
09-28-2005, 07:28 AM
and what 'rendering software'/'distributed rendering menagement software' do you use?
09-28-2005, 01:03 PM
I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that. 3ds Max and backburner
09-29-2005, 02:06 AM
as always where there's a will there's a way. i got two ways:
first one, don't waste your money on M$ set up a dedicated linux fileserver, running samba. samba is a linux open source, free of charge, implementation of microsoft networking server and workstation protocols. it has no per seat/per workstation licences, you can do virtually whatever you want, assuming that you can configure a linux system. than both the backburner servers and clients can communicate through samba server shared directories. This solution is quite reliable, back quite a few years in my high school, where i ran the whole computer business as a head administrator we had a 700 users, 50 workstations network based on linux driven PDC's SDC's and fileservers (we switched from win NT 4.0 to linux samba).
second one, don't waste your money on M$, afaik backburner scripts can execute standard win shell commands. if you are limited by the number of 10 connections at once, turn of automatic share remounting at login.
check the standard windows 'net' command, it allows dynamic control over ms networking
net use z: \\myserv\whereikeepthescenestorender
// would try to map drive z: to the specified share
xcopy z:\* d:\
net use z: \\myserv\whereikeepthescenestorender /delete /yes
//would unmount that z: share, giving others a chance to use the share
//and then you could work on the local d:\ (f.ex) copy
with propper scripts you could evade the 10 connection limitation, connecting only when you need to download the scene, and upload the results. of course you'd have to take care of the possibility that the server would be full, and the client script then should try again in for example a minute, but that's all possible even with the simplest shell commands.
09-29-2005, 07:29 PM
if your using samba, it might be worth looking into this: http://www.pvfs.org/pvfs2/, its a kernel module(or can be compiled into it) it basically a way of striping data over a large amount of cheap drives. its been written so that it conforms to the standard unix I/O structure, so any programme can use it without a recompile.
apparently its possible to scale pvfs to achive a throughput of a gigabyte persecond
09-30-2005, 12:06 AM
if you're relating to me, i used to have lvm layer over hdd's under the fs. it also alows stripping, mirroring and other useful things over a multitude of mass storages and abstract devices.
09-30-2005, 12:06 AM
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