Render Farm Management for Digital Media Pipelines



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“We’ve rendered over 5 million jobs and still counting…” - ReelFX
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Given DHX Media’s intensive production schedule – the company consistently produces around 13 minutes of fully rendered animation a night – a rock-solid render management solution is also essential. “When you have as tight a schedule as we do, even two hours of downtime can take days to recover from,” points out Joshua Bretag, Senior Pipeline TD at DHX Media. “Thankfully, we can rely on Qube! clearing by the morning.”

'The Deep'

In order to meet such tight deadlines, DHX Media can call on all of its hardware resources: as well as its 228-node in-house render farm, plus additional nodes in a local private cloud service, they also co-opt hundreds of artists’ workstations as temporary render machines overnight.

This is where PipelineFX’s new metered licensing policy comes into its own. The system, introduced as standard with the release of Qube! 6.9 in October 2016, enables users to rent extra software licenses on demand. Unlike other similar systems, there is no need to pre-pay – and best of all, clients are only charged for the time the extra machines are actually in use, right down to the minute.

Metered licensing has been imperative to our operation,” says Bretag. “We currently have a wealth of workstations that would otherwise site idle at night. For minimal cost, we can utilize these machines, charging this as an operational, rather than capital, expense.

“DHX Media also uses the metrics that Qube! generates in order to maximize its production efficiency. “We are developing more tools that will change how we bid, and allocate costs to shows” says Bretag. “This is made possible by features such as CPU time reporting and job tagging for different departments.”

Qube! rendering metrics to maximize efficiency

Thanks to Qube! and PipelineFX’s metered licensing policy, DHX Media has been able to preserve its competitive advantage in today’s global broadcast market. Qube!’s winning combination of stability, flexibility and scalability enables DHX to push boundaries, secure in the knowledge that frames will still be delivered on time. And by using metered licensing, the company can wring every last CPU hour of power from its hardware and bill clients right down to the minute.

Read full story at AWN here: http://www.awn.com/news/qube-s-metered-licensing-keeps-dhx-media-rendering-costs-check