Render Farm Management for Digital Media Pipelines



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Twice a calendar year, all PipelineFX education customers on active Maintenance & Support can double their current license capacity at no additional charge, with our Education Burst License program.

Schools can choose between a one month burst that will start at the beginning of a selected month and a 30-day burst that begins on a date of their choice. With nearly 200 schools already on Maintenance & Support, the preferred render farm management solution for education just got a whole lot better.

The program – exclusive to PipelineFX – will rectify a long-standing problem for educators, who can predict when their render farm usage rates will spike, but don’t always have the budget to respond to these cyclical shifts. License bursts remedy this by giving schools the freedom to plan for peak periods, like finals, without forcing them to devote any additional resources.

“A problem schools face all over the world is: ‘how do we scale support when our rendering needs go from zero to over capacity?’”

said John McIntosh, chairman of the School of Visual Arts.

“This burst license policy satisfies that question, and gives us room to breathe in the face of looming deadlines.”

“PipelineFX has always been a customer-first company, and that’s where this idea came from…a customer,” added Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX. “We want to support the animation and visual effects industry, and since schools are the breeding grounds for our industry’s future, we can think of no better place to offer a helping hand.”

Pricing and Availability
Qube! license bursts are available to education customers on Maintenance & Support now. Schools that would like to take advantage of this policy can contact their PipelineFX support representative for immediate assistance.

SVA Benefits from Flexible Burst Licensing
As well as logistical problems, a sudden spike in render traffic creates problems with software licensing. SVA changes from an environment where the students are making minimal use of the render farm to a maximum use scenario, which means its licenses temporarily no longer fit their production level. The PipelineFX Education Burst License program, resulting from discussions between the SVA and PipelineFX staff, allows education users on active Maintenance & Support contract double their existing license capacity twice a year, either for a calendar month or for 30 consecutive days.

“This means we can get through deadlines without trying to impose aesthetic restrictions,” John explained. “Any student can do a project of any length, and we put very little limitation on them when it comes rendering. PipelineFX understood the need for scalable productions quite rapidly, in fact. We were impressed that they were able to respond quickly for so many schools.”

The SVA currently has 100 seats of Qube! and will be purchasing 50 more this year, aiming to use the extra capacity to meet changing technical standards within the industry. The school is currently switching from mental ray to V-Ray and Arnold for rendering, and is in the process of adding other computationally intensive tools to its syllabus. “We’ve just brought Houdini and Nuke into our first and second year classes, which is unusual in the US. Most people in education have to restrict those tools because they don’t have the infrastructure. The PipelineFX licensing policy gives the potential to embed them into our curriculum at an earlier stage,” said John.