[Beowulf] 3d rendering cluster

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Mon May 23 10:47:46 PDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-05-23 at 12:34 +0200, Paul K Egell-Johnsen wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm tasked to find prices for a solution involving a rack mounted 3d
> rendering farm, but after searching a bit on the net (and more
> importantly on this list) I've yet to find some simple answers to the
> following question(s):
> What is the most important part for a 3d rendering farm; memory to
> each processor, processor speed and/or access to SAN?

I agree with Rayson regarding Gridengine, and I know it is used for
workflow management at the effects house I used to work for.

Being honest, 'big iron' is not the answer to your problem.
You are on the right track with 1U boxes or blades, your choice.
I think blades are big in the London effects houses, due to limited
machine room space.
Me, I'd go for the current HPC 'standard' of dual Opteron plus
2gigs of RAM per box.

Not so long ago, I would have said that SCSI disks would have been
important for the render nodes, but not now.

Also important to think of adequate cooling for a rack or two of these

You mention access to a SAN. Thinking forwards, maybe look at Infiniband
cards for your nodes, as that either is or will be big in effects, as it
offers you huge amounts of bandwidth.
I assume you already have some beefy servers and RAID arrays?
Also ask about lights-out management - think about IPMI management
cards, temperature monitoring, load monitoring.

To be honest, the best thing to do is contact some vendors and get some
benchmarking time, or get some boxes in on test.
(Commercial plug, we're happy to do that for customers our side of the

Another place you can ask for specifics is the Linuxmovies list.
Tell Robin Rowe I sent you. http://linuxmovies.movieeditor.com/

More information about the Beowulf mailing list