SquidNet Client Workstations SquidNet Slaves NAS Storage SquidNet Master Client workstations send render requests to Master controller Slaves access scene content on NAS and store rendered images on NAS Master controller manages slave rendering operations (start, stop, etc…) Workstations store ALL scene content on NAS. They also retrieve render results from NAS Slaves return render results to Master controller.
NAS Storage Network folder: A directory on a computer or NAS that is available to all computers on the network. UNC Path: A reference to a folder that’s accessible on the local network. For example, \\NAS-SERVER\maya- projects is a UNC path.\\NAS-SERVER\maya- projects Mapped Drive: A WINDOWS-only shortcut to a network folder. For example, local mapped drive M:\ can point to UNC path \\NAS-SERVER\maya-projects. In this case, local drive M:\ and UNC path \\NAS-SERVER\maya- projects both point to the same content.\\NAS-SERVER\maya-projects\\NAS-SERVER\maya- projects NAS box: NAS-SERVER Exported folder: /Volume_1/maya-projects M:\myscene.mb or \\NAS-SERVER\maya-projects\myscene.mb /Volume/Volume_1/maya-projects/myscene.mb /mnt/maya-projects/myscene.mb All paths point to the same physical folder on NAS Additional information:
Make sure all network folders are created. Make sure all network folders (SAMBA, NAS, etc…) are accessible (read, write permissions) from all render farm nodes. For WINDOWS machines: All SquidNet installation accounts MUST have ADMINISTRATOR privileges. All nodes MUST have the same ADMIN account name AND same password on each node. WARNING: WINDOWS (non Server versions) has a connection limit to network folders. If your farm has more than 5 nodes, it’s recommended that you use a NAS for content storage. Check with your IT professional on configuration settings. Read/Write Access Verify Account permissions Read/Write Access NAS Storage
WINDOWS: Must be installed when logged in under an ADMIN account. During installation, enter login information for any ADMIN account. This ADMIN account must exist on all WINDOWS nodes and have the same password. It must also exist on NAS server. SquidNet Server runs as background service. LINUX and OS X: Install from shell under root account. Standard tarball installation. Untar and run squidnet-install.sh script. Enter local node computer name and name/password for ADMIN account Use root account for installation Use DMG installer for installation
On each render farm computer, SquidNet runs silently as a background process waiting for commands from the local user interface, SDK API, command line interface or from another node on the farm. On WINDOWS, background processes are called services. On OSX and Linux they’re called daemons. Generally, background processes are called “services” on any platform. On the MASTER node, the local UI communicates directly with the local SquidNet service. On client nodes, the local UI connections with the local SquidNet service AND with the MASTER service. The local UI on slave nodes only connect with the local service. It is never necessary to log in to the local node to get the SquidNet service running. The local service gets started when the computer starts up. SquidNet Background Service Graphical User Interface Command Line Interface SDK API Interface Remote SquidNet Server
By default, user configuration settings (job profiles, application paths, etc…) are stored in the \settings folder. If SquidNet is uninstalled and reinstalled all user configuration settings will be lost. Therefore, its recommended that the default folder location be changed in the preferences window. In a render farm where a single workstation will be used to submit jobs, the configuration path can be set to any local hard drive path (example: C:\Squidnet-config). Make sure to backup often. In multi-workstation environments, set the configuration path to a folder on a NAS box that all workstations have access to. This prevents from having to duplicate the same settings on each workstation. The configuration settings folder is only used by submitting workstations. MASTER and SLAVE nodes do not need to have the configuration path set in their local user interface. NAS Storage Configuration Path UNC Path Local Drive Configuration Path Multiple Workstations Single Workstation
4 different node types: PEER: The default node type when SquidNet is installed. CLIENT: Defines and submits job requests to farm. Can process jobs at low priority, when user is logged out or never. MASTER: Manages render farm network. Can be configured to process jobs. Can also assign specific master-like permissions to client nodes. SLAVE: Processes job requests only. Defaults to PEER When configuring a CMS setup, determine which node will be the MASTER first. Then setup the clients and slaves accordingly. To change configuration, convert all CMS nodes to PEERS starting with slaves and clients. Un-configure the MASTER node last. SquidNet Clients SquidNet Master SquidNet Slaves
Render Farm Pool: A set of nodes on a render farm allocated to perform a specific task or perform specific operations. SquidNet has a default pool called “NETWORK” that all nodes are a member of. By default, all jobs render to the “NETWORK” pool. Typical scenario: Based on node performance, segment render farm nodes so that higher priority jobs always get processed on faster machines. NETWORK POOL HIGH PERFORMANCE POOL LOW PERFORMANCE POOL NIGHTLY POOL STAFF POOL RENDERNODE10 belongs to these pools Available nodes Defined pools Pool assignments
RENDERNODE01 In order to process job requests, SquidNet needs to know where applications are installed on each node. Different versions of the same application can be installed on each node. Use the Application Path Manager to define “profiles” that contain absolute paths to each application on each render node for a given rendering application. Create one profile for each application. Maya Installation path C:\Program Files\...\render.exe Maya Installation path C:\Program Files\...\render.exe 3DSMAX Installation path C:\Program Files\...\3dsmaxcmd.exe 3DSMAX Installation path C:\Program Files\...\3dsmaxcmd.exe Modo Installation path C:\Program Files\...\modo_cl.exe Modo Installation path C:\Program Files\...\modo_cl.exe LightWave Installation path C:\Program Files\...\lwsn.exe LightWave Installation path C:\Program Files\...\lwsn.exe Register installation paths with Application Path Manager RENDERNODE02 RENDERNODE03 RENDERNODE04 Each profile can have multiple entries but only one per node.
Translation paths allow SquidNet to submit the same job to different platform types (WINDOWS, Linux and OS X). Not needed if the same operating system platform is being used. Each entry “maps” the same physical network share location to one translation path. Embed $XPATH() macro in template when substitution is required. \\raid-server00\volume_1\SquidNet /mnt/raid/SquidNet /Volumes/Volume_1/SquidNet Same physical folder is mapped to a single translation path
Any object (maps, textures, etc…) embedded in scene file MUST NOT be located on a local hard drive (C:\, D:\, etc…). They MUST be physically located on a network share drive (\\NAS-SERVER\maya-projects\maps…\...). If stored locally, render jobs will render just fine on the node where the scene objects exist but WILL NOT render on remote nodes because they’re not present on their local drives. Most applications will produce an error for any job that has inaccessible scene objects. (local reference) C:\maya-projects\maps….\.... (local reference) D:\objects\textures\….\.... (network path) \\NAS_SERVER\maya-projects\maps….\.... (network path) \\NAS_SERVER\objects\textures\….\.... NAS Storage Local Drive GOOD!! BAD!!
SquidNet uses a project-based framework to track job profiles. All submitted jobs are placed in specific project folders. At install time, a default project folder is created (SQUIDNET DEFAULT) Use Project Manager to create new folders. Project Folder Project Manager Quick launch buttons
SquidNet job templates contain processing instructions for supported rendering and compositing applications. Each template contains application specific and common fields that define how the job is to be processed. When submitted, job template can be saved in to a job profile. Job profiles can be later resubmitted with the same or altered processing parameters. Group job profiles according to project. Use project manager to define new project. Application specific fields Common fields
Job n+4 Job n+3 Job n+2 In render farms, a job queue is where rendering requests get stored for processing. Typically, jobs are processed in first-come-first-served order (FIFO). With SquidNet, jobs are processed according to a user defined priority level (0 thru 24: 0 being highest). Clients nodes submit jobs to the queue. The Master node manages the queue. Slave get assigned jobs from the queue by the Master node. Job n+1 Job n SquidNet Job Queue SquidNet Job Queue OUT IN Jobs at higher priority are always processed first. Priority 0 (zero) is highest priority. 24 is the lowest. Jobs with same priorities are processed on first- come-first-serve basis. JOB QUEUE
By default, SquidNet assigns one frame to each available processing node. The rendering application on each render node must load the scene file before any rendering operation can begin. For small-footprint scene files this is straightforward. However, for large-footprint scenes (200MB or larger) this can be extremely inefficient because of the time involved to load each scene file before processing. In some cases, loading the scene file can take considerably more time then rendering the actual frame. For multi-frame render jobs, SquidNet supports the concept of job slices. Job slices allow you to determine how many frames will be rendered each time an application loads a scene file. Setting the job slice count to a value that evenly distributes the farm load maximizes render times considerably. For example in an extreme case: Processing a 500MB scene file on a 10-node farm using a slice count of 10 (each render node loads scene once and processes 10 complete frames) is by far more efficient than using a slice count of 1 (the default) where each scene file is loaded 10 times per node (once per frame). JOB QUEUE JOB SLICE QUEUE Example: 30 Frame Scene 10 frames per slice Each render node will load scene once and render 10 frames at a time Frames
SquidNet’s processing pipeline is as follows: Verify the scene is properly formatted (object files paths, etc…) Setup SquidNet application job template with processing parameters. Submit job to render farm Monitor job queue for status. Monitor network queue for resource usage. Verify output content. Pipeline workflow Prepare scene Submit job Monitor job queue Monitor network Verify output flow
Monitor queued jobs in the network job queue. The job queue shows the following: Status of job (pending, processing, complete, etc…) Position on the queue Percentage complete Job log showing detailed activity and more… Monitor job slices using the job slice view: The job slice view shows the following: The status of each job slice (pending, processing, complete, etc…) Render currently processing job slice. Completion status Job slice log showing detailed activity and more JOB QUEUE JOB SLICE QUEUE JOB LOG JOBSLICE LOG
Use the network view to monitor all active nodes. Use the network work queue view to: See which jobs each node is processing. Current status of job slices. Number of node resources allocated. NODE LOG Network View