Axceleon s CloudFuzion Turbocharges 3D Rendering On Amazon s EC2

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1 Axceleon s CloudFuzion Turbocharges 3D Rendering On Amazon s EC2 In the movie making, visual effects and 3D animation industrues meeting project and timing deadlines is critical to success. Poor quality images and late projects are unacceptable when you may have only days, hours or minutes available to take advantage of an opportunity, or bring an important project to fruition. As a result, visual effects and 3D animation professionals rely progressively on faster and more robust software applications and tools, this in turn spurs an growing demand for computational render power. The benefits of faster image processing and rendering are limited by the speed with which parallel computing solutions are being developed and deployed. Studios can realize huge increases in rendering throughput by using Axceleon s CloudFuzion, Aspera s file transport and Amazon s EC2 compute platform. CloudFuzion provisions the rendering infrastructure efficiently, automatically adapts to on demand resource expansion and contraction, ensures superior movement of data to and from the cloud. The solution dramatically accelerates the rendering process, resultulting in performance improvements ranging from the 100 s to the 1000 s. Visual Effects and 3D Applications The visual effects' industry is extremely competitive. Getting an edge is often difficult and harder to sustain. As a result, 3D animation applications and tools are being improved to support infrastructure solutions like render farms. For 3D animation artists and professionals this fast becoming a standard resource, and part of their daily routine. While larger studios always relied heavily on internal render farms, individual artists and smaller development teams are now recognizing the benefits of similar resources to improve their 3D animation development. Today, access to, and the availability of the render farm is quickly becoming the bottleneck in the animation pipeline, this slows down the artist s work and reduces the overall productivity of the studio, adding risk to project completion dates. Cloud computing, specifically Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers the ability to seamlessly add hundreds of computers/render nodes to a render farm. Stratefic use of this technology can then becomes a competitive advantage for the studio, rather than bottleneck and constraint. IaaS offers significant advantages to the rendering process, to highlight a few consider the following: Based on project/ artist requirements, add 100 s or 1000 s of render nodes to the render pool; quickly, efficiently and with full automation Automate the render work-flow: event driven uploading and downloading of the scene files, schedule resources, render the job and return result back to the artist Increase resource efficieny and performance, reduce turn-around times and improve the quality of work done. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 1

2 Pay or bill for only what is used, release resources upon completion Flexible deployment, and can be used with home grown or third party commercial applications. Figure 1: Studio hosted CloudFuzion farm provides limited rendering power CloudFuzion on AWS: Turbo charge the rendering of your 3D applications Achieve improved rendering speed up by distributing the workload over many 100 s or 1000 s of rendering machines or nodes, secure and begin processing within minutes, not hours or days. Full utilization - prioritize workload according to projects, policies and pool priorities of the studio. Bring the cloud closer and reduce file transfer times by using Aspera s WAN optimization s/w, which maximizes WAN b/w and file work-flow to and from your render farm in the cloud. AWS CPU resources are fully released upon project completion, allowing the studio to only pay for what rendering resources are used. AWS and the pay-per-use model scales perfectly to meet changing needs and demands of the business. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 2

3 CloudFuzion: How Does It Work? Image processing and rendering are very often repetitive and are inherently well suited for parallel execution. When rendering a scene or image, each frame (or pieces of a frame, or image) are run through a target rendering application. The same process is repeated continously with different frame numbers and attributes, resulting in a completed sequence. All these renders can be run concurrently, the more CPUs availble the more concurrent the process and the faster the result. Scenes are uploaded and submitted to the render farm, worked on by the rendering application or engine and returned to the artist or studio for review. The rendering progress can be monitored in real-time by a variety of management tools. CloudFuzion Implementation & Benefits Figure 2: On-Demand Virtual Studio Renderfarm with Amazon EC2, Aspera Fasp and CloudFuzion render & resource management. Faster, more efficient result generation: Image processing and rendering are very often repetitive and are inherently well suited for parallel execution. All these renders can be run concurrently, the more CPUs availble the faster the result. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 3

4 Best in-class render management: CloudFuzion is a mature application that has evolved over the last decade from academic roots, into a powerful IT tool for the enterprise and manages and monitors rendering progress in real-time On Demand Infrastucture: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform and with an innovative economic model is ideal for the demanding needs of image rendering. AWS comprises of a highly scalable, on demand compute and storage infrastructure. Next-Generation File Transfer: Fully integrated into CloudFuzion, scene data and resultsare moved to/from AWS using Aspera s fasp TM protocol, a patented transport for bulk data. Aspera s fasp-enabled client/ server software move bulk-data at maximum speed, regardless of file size, transfer distance or network conditions, ensuring significantly greater user and resource productivity. Scalability As always, scalability depends on the application. However, even with perfectly scalable application, it is not guaranteed that any given software system will achieve a perfect scale up. Congestion of the network, file access and other issue can cause havoc to the scalability of a system. Amazon s EC2 removes all the issues that can cause system scalability issues and makes it the perfect environment for an ondemand render farm. Axceleon s CloudFuzion is 100% scalable and scales seamlesslly with EC2 to meet the demands or the workload and machines/cores available. Aspera s Enterprise server is the ideal solution for automated, seamless, high speed data transport that scales as required with workload demands. You can start with one render node and then rapidly expand to thousands of render nodes transparently increasing the potential of the render farm within minutes. Aspera s fasp protocol allows for distance independent transfers, that allows file transfer throughput to scale with available bandwidth. This gives users unprecidented transfer times, leading to faster job completion and greater users productivity. Reliability and Security Reliability is essential in any corporate environment as it is inside the studio. The Amazon EC2 is fully redundant and totally reliable which is the key element for an on-demand render farm for the virtual studio. With Axceleon s CloudFuzion, if either a network or a render node fails for any reason, the corresponding job or frame is automatically restarted on a different render node without any impact on getting the correct results. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 4

5 CloudFuzion does not only deal with hardware failures - application failures need to be handled properly as well. An application failure could occur, when a computer runs out of memory or disk space, for example. If an application reports an error, CloudFuzion can be configured to either re-start the job on the same computer, a different computer or to abort the execution. Amazon a EC2 is fully secure and has all appropriate certifications and accreditions in place that cover design priciples, physical security, backups, network security. AWS has full user account security, credentialling and multi-factor authentication. Axceleon s CloudFuzion addresses the security needs of corporate networks including EC2. Its security features encrypted passwords and the capability to restrict access to computers running CloudFuzion. Each computer can have a separate security file which specifies what rights are granted to CloudFuzion application. Aspera s file transport solution ensures full data reliability and integrety elimiating partial file transmission and file corruption. Additionally, Aspera ensure full data security by utilizing AES encryption and SSH based user authenticaion. User Friendliness CloudFuzion on EC2 has an easy to use GUI, called the CloudFuzion Desktop that is used to monitor and control all rendering activity on the EC2 cloud. The CloudFuzion Desktop includes over seventeen GUI submission templates to allow rendering jobs and scenes to be easily launhced on the virtual rendering famr on the EC2 cloud. CloudFuzion can be also be installed on a dedicated cluster of processors such as a Beowulf cluster or a cluster of Windows computers. CloudFuzion is also designed to use idle desktops in your whole corporate network. Aspera is fully integrated with the CloudFuzion server, allowing users to upload and download content using a web interface and a web-browser plug in that supports Windows, MAC and Linux. Easy Administration Computer management and administration are a major expense in the corporate IT environment. Amazon s EC2 is no exception. CloudFuzion provide numerous features that simplify render cluster management administration and reduce the operational costs. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 5

6 Some of the EC2 cloud management features within CloudFuzion are: Maximized utilization of compute resources with minimum user involvement. Easy to use Aspera Connect plug-in for IE6/7/8, Firefox and Safari, which allows for rapid data movement into and from EC2. CloudFuzion s intuitive Web based dashboard for system monitoring and control. Robust CloudFuzion Desktop for EC2 render cluster management and control Automated clean-up of compute nodes, control node and restart of recovered compute nodes and restarted control node reschedules uncompleted jobs. Easy to use one-step configuration updates of all render nodes if needed Extensive accounting and reporting capabilities from EC2 and CloudFuzion Rapid and easy deployment of tens to hundreds of compute/render node for image rendering on-demand. Conclusions CloudFuzion, Aspera and AWS provides elastic rendering TM within the cloud, and changes the economics of rendering. It allows studios and end-users access to massive infrastructure resources, without commitment, when needed, in a way that only only requires for payment upon usage. This notion of elastic rendering TM using CloudFuzion decreases the management of the hardware and software stockpile in a studio environment. The CloudFuzion render farm in the cloud can shrink or expand to meet demand. It can start with one or two render nodes and then rapidly expand to 1000 s. Amazon s EC2 is perfect for distributed image rendering and other computational intensive activities. CloudFuzion manages all compute intensive, parallel data ctivities with ease, flexibility and total control. EnFuzion s performance in the AWS cloud will exceed most skeptics expectations. CloudFuzion protects both your investment in your deployed hardware and existing software. CloudFuzion is designed for ease of use and deployment with your applications. Over the WAN, Aspera s fasp breaks free of the packet loss and latency bottlenecks of standard TCP transport solutions like NFS, CIFS, FTP and HTTP, allowing for the transfer of large files, and file sets, to be up to 1000 times faster. Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 6

7 The additional benefits of CloudFuzion include: Pay only for the rendering power used On demand, instant-on and no commitment computing brings larger and more complex projects within reach Faster file transfers, render results and no waiting, means greater productivity from artistic resources Make more informed and faster business decisions Decrease costs by purchasing less additional hardware and better plan for project based/ day-to-day capacity requirements Bottom Line: CloudFuzion, Aspera and AWS deliver fault tolerant Seamless Rendering. This equates to major productivity improvements for the artist and the creative director in the 3D animation business Whatever you intend to use to increase your application performance - CloudFuzion should be an essential ingredient of your render farm strategy. Please contact us to get further information. Axceleon Inc. (www.axceleon.com) Oceanview Promenade 101 Main Street, Suite 275 Huntington Beach CA Copyright 2010 Axceleon Intellectual Property All rights reserved 7

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