Author Topic: PipelineFX and IBM Enable Power Savings on Linux-based Render Farms  (Read 2117 times)


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PipelineFX and IBM Enable Power Savings on Linux-based Render Farms

xCAT server management integrated with Qube! render farm management

Honolulu, HI ? August 11, 2008 ? PipelineFX, makers of Qube!? software, the leading render farm management software for film and post production, game development, and digital media education around the world, today announced that it has integrated IBM's Extreme Cluster Administration Toolkit (xCAT) server management framework into Qube! to provide energy efficiencies in Linux-based render farms.

Setting up the installation and management of a Linux cluster is a complicated task, and doing everything by hand can become very complicated. The development of xCAT by IBM grew out of the desire to automate a lot of the repetitive steps involved in installing and configuring a Linux cluster. The development of xCAT is driven by customer requirements and because xCAT itself is written entirely using scripting languages such as perl, and python, the administrator can easily modify the scripts should the need arise.

?Working closely with senior engineers at IBM, we've been able to add xCAT functionality to the Qube! GUI,? said Scot Brew, Director of Technology at PipelineFX. ?Since our GUI is modular and written in python, we were able to expose the xCAT tools with a graphical interface, allowing system administrators and technical directors to more efficiently manage their render farms. In the future you will see PipelineFX add more ?Green features? to Qube! in pursuit of an ever more efficient data center.?

"Our primary focus has always been driving increased performance in render operations," said Dave Laux, IBM Global Executive, InterActive Media. "The integration of xCAT and Qube! not only brings performance advantage to film and visual effects but also reduces direct and environmental power requirements in the render operation."

?Many of our customers are constrained by the limited amount of power available to their studio,? said Troy Brooks, CEO of PipelineFX. ?Film and visual effects production requires large clusters of servers to render imagery on-demand to meet production deadlines. However there are times when not all of the resources of the render farm are needed. During those times, significant savings in energy and energy-related costs can be achieved by shutting down unneeded servers and clocking down the CPUs of idle standby machines. By integrating this functionality through xCAT, Qube! users will now have fine-grain power consumption control over their farm and can both cut costs and extend the life of their equipment.?

Qube! render farm management software with xCAT integration will be on display at Siggraph 2008 in Los Angeles from August 11 ? 14 in IBM's booth #147.