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Old 01-07-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
darkasrzerotwo
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Requirement for setting up a render farm

Greetings. I'm now researching information about setting up render farm for multiple 3D softwares(currently Lightwave, Maya, 3ds' max, but in the future SolidWorks, Cinema 4D, Rhinoceros) and After Effects.

I'm still confused about setting up the system. Could someone explain on hardwares and softwares needed to set the farm? Let say i have 6 1.8Ghz P4 PCs and each one equipped with 1GB RAM. Do i need a big HDD for each machine? And also, do i need a powerfull graphic card for the rendering?

What is Queue manager? and will the QM handle all the softwares above?

About the workstation, does it need to hook up with other render machines? Is Microsoft Server 2003 really needed in setting up the farm?

I've already googled the net and cannot find a good solutions to my problem. I hope you guys can help me.
 
Old 01-07-2007, 08:14 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=darkasrzerotwo]Greetings. I'm now researching information about setting up render farm for multiple 3D softwares(currently Lightwave, Maya, 3ds' max, but in the future SolidWorks, Cinema 4D, Rhinoceros) and After Effects.

I'm still confused about setting up the system. Could someone explain on hardwares and softwares needed to set the farm? Let say i have 6 1.8Ghz P4 PCs and each one equipped with 1GB RAM. Do i need a big HDD for each machine? And also, do i need a powerfull graphic card for the rendering?

What is Queue manager? and will the QM handle all the softwares above?

About the workstation, does it need to hook up with other render machines? Is Microsoft Server 2003 really needed in setting up the farm?

I've already googled the net and cannot find a good solutions to my problem. I hope you guys can help me.[/QUOTE]

all you need to do is make a small network so all the machines can see one another. Pick up a multiple port network switch and install the software for each 3d package on each computer... you won't need to purchase any additional software for everything to work and you don't need Windows server as XP pro will allow up to 10 machines networked. you can then use the built-in network setup features within xp in order to create the network.

Each software will have it's own method of assigning assignments to the farm so it's a built in que-manager of sorts. There are however aftermarket farm managers that you can pick up if you don't like the way the built-ins get the job done.

the workstation does need to hook up to the other machines to be part of the network and to be able to use the distributed rendering feature of many of the softwares.

hard drive size is not important for the performance of the farm machines... you only need enough capacity to install all the software that you'll be using.

below is an old diagram of how i set up my small farm so I hope it helps:


you may want to rethink the machines you have chosen to farm out to... a few newer core2 or am2 systems will save you in electricity and give you much more return defined by more rendering power per software license (esp if you purchase a 3rd party renderer like vray, finalrender, or maxwell)

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Old 01-08-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
darkasrzerotwo
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Wow, i don't expect a good reply. Its very good indeed.

so, Xp can networked up to 10 computers, what if i want to hook up more than 10?

"install the software for each 3d package on each computer"
Wait a minute, i thought with 3d's Max Backburner and Lightwave Screamernet we does not need to install each 3D packages on each render machines? As the manual said I only need to install it in the Manager computer only.Correct me if i'm wrong.

"a few newer core2 or am2 systems will save you in electricity and give you much more return defined by more rendering power per software license (esp if you purchase a 3rd party renderer like vray, finalrender, or maxwell)"
Core2 saving electricity? I didn't know that. Do you have a link that can help me understand this more? Maybe a comparison?

Thanks for the diagram. It solves my confusion a bit.
 
Old 01-09-2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkasrzerotwo
Wow, i don't expect a good reply. Its very good indeed.

so, Xp can networked up to 10 computers, what if i want to hook up more than 10?


I don't know specifically but I'm sure someone here does... a little help fellas?!

Quote:
"install the software for each 3d package on each computer"
Wait a minute, i thought with 3d's Max Backburner and Lightwave Screamernet we does not need to install each 3D packages on each render machines? As the manual said I only need to install it in the Manager computer only.Correct me if i'm wrong.


no you may not have to install the entire 3d package on all the machines but you must install the relevant software so that each computer is working together. I did a full install for Max7/8 but you don't have to register the software for each install on your nodes... there may be a way to only copy the necessary backburner files but I don't know how to directly do that... the max forum here would be the perfect place to ask such a question.

Quote:
"a few newer core2 or am2 systems will save you in electricity and give you much more return defined by more rendering power per software license (esp if you purchase a 3rd party renderer like vray, finalrender, or maxwell)"
Core2 saving electricity? I didn't know that. Do you have a link that can help me understand this more? Maybe a comparison?


It's all about the new technology. All of the new processors out on the market now consume less power and are more powerful... therefore more efficient. I don't have a direct link but a little legwork reading some reviews of both the machines (or processors) you've selected and the new (core2 or AM2) machines would be most helpful in answering your questions.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:19 AM   #5
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I'm pretty sure XP has a limit to the number of simultanious connections to a shared network folder. So, if you stager the nodes, you could ideally fit more in.

My gut feeling tells me that XP Pro has a larger limit than Home, but I couldn't tell you exactly what it is. Once you hit the limit though, it'll pretty much tell you it can't connect.

I've done a network render with Screamer net on my laptop once. Took it to work, locked my self in one of the labs with 30 some odd computers in it and was able to utilize them all. Never got any error messages, but then again, the machines weren't all accessing at the same time (though they were all mapping the network share).

Though, to be honest, if you're planning a seroius renderfarm, you should have a good solid file server with approrpiate software.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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