Real Cross Platform Support
Qube! was built in Square USA’s Final Fantasy production studio designed from the beginning to run on Windows, OSX and Linux platforms. Full functionality and performance is included across all three platforms. Choose any for the Supervisor and use any or all for the Workers and submission Clients.
At the heart of Qube! is a multi-threaded Supervisor with the ability to manage thousands of jobs simultaneously. The multi-threaded architecture is highly-available, low-maintenance, and extremely stable. Adding more threads to the Supervisor not only improves performance, but makes Qube! scalable to virtually any size production.
Event-driven queuing is the technology underlying the Qube! Supervisor. This event-driven architecture provides instantaneous response to job submission and dispatch to workers. In addition, the event-model supports the attachment of arbitrary callbacks via the Qube! API for unlimited customization options. Events can then trigger other events or external interactions with applications.
Custom job types
Qube! comes with a number of application pipelines, including Maya, Softimage, 3ds Max, and Nuke. Each pipeline contains a submission form for the Qube! GUI, a command line submission tool, a submission GUI integrated into the application itself, and a backend execution module specifically developed to maximize job-processing efficiency. The custom pipelines reduce the time for integrating internal production pipelines with Qube! by including ready-made interfaces and execution backends.
Jobs can be assigned a numeric priority. Jobs with the higher priority will run ahead of jobs with lower priority, which minimizes production bottlenecks and ensures that the system handles the important jobs first.
Host clustering priority
Hosts can be grouped into hierarchies called ?clusters.? Jobs that are submitted to a particular level of the hierarchy will have higher priority than jobs submitted to a different level, thereby maximizing the efficiency of the farm while maintaining host allocations between departments or projects.
Jobs running at low priority can be preempted by jobs with higher priority. Depending upon configuration, jobs will be placed back into the queue for later dispatch immediately or when they finish the frame they were working on. This ensures that only the highest priority jobs are running. Additionally, this enables Qube! to quickly adjust when work priorities change.
Centralized worker configuration
The Supervisor controls the configuration of each worker via a single freeform configuration file that enables workers to be updated with a single administrative command. This saves time and effort and makes the modification of worker configuration much easier to maintain.
Worker locking provides a mechanism by which desktops can be added to the farm at a moments notice, or by a set schedule, or even when they?re not in use.
Global resources keep track of arbitrary resources across entire systems. By configuring the system to monitor and allocate a global resource, jobs can be constrained without the loss of rendering due to application failure.
Customizable GUI application
The Qube! GUI interface is a powerful, customizable multi-purpose tool for users and administrators. It is used to monitor and control jobs, and (for administrators) to lock and unlock render farm hosts. Operating Qube! from a common GUI helps creative teams stay productive as users do not have to learn command line tools to use the system.
Each worker automatically pings the Supervisor at regular intervals in order to report status. The Supervisor uses this information to keep a list of ?live? hosts to which it can send jobs. Administrators do not need to configure the Supervisor with explicit lists of hosts. The Supervisor can also report hosts as ?down? when it misses a worker heartbeat. This makes it easier for administrators to keep up-to-the-minute tabs on the state of the farm.
Offline host reacquisition
The Supervisor will periodically update the state of all hosts automatically, and re-acquire hosts that have not checked in for some time. This saves time for busy administrators.
Individual users can be granted or denied the various Qube! capabilities, such as job manipulation. This important security feature prevents users from manipulating or even killing other users? jobs.
Windows drive mapping
Qube! analyzes the drive mappings at submit time, stores them with the job, and when the job executes, automatically creates the same mappings on the workers. This feature is useful to sites that establish different drive maps for each user. Files don?t need to be copied to specific drives mapped on the render farm machines ? they can remain on the drives mapped on each user?s workstations instead.
iPad/iPhone Charting and Reports
Monitor your render farm on iPad and iPhone while outside the network with Roambi Pro, an innovative mobile application that transforms boring render data reports into engaging, interactive mobile dashboards. Mobile users can view, analyze, interact with, and share their information as well as store, manage and refresh their files ? right from the palms of their hands. Critical render pipeline information including farm pending load, utilization over time, render times per project or user, and user comparisons are immediately accessible. Stuck in a meeting with no vpn access to your farm? Just check your iPhone or iPad and gain insight into your entire render pipeline.
Monitor your render farm in real time within the Qube! GUI with integrated charts. Show Individuals or productions how much of your render farm they actually used over a period of time. Discover who are your top users, the current and pending farm load, running frames and farm size. Make informed decisions about farm capacity and performance based on real production data. No coding required to have the kind of business intelligence previously only enjoyed by large studios with deep development resources.
Manage your job and agenda-level dependencies graphically. Quickly see issues with color coding, and interact at the job and at the frame level dynamically. Complex dependencies are simplified and managed right in the GUI.
Some of the most common render wrangling tasks can now be handled automatically by the Supervisor through a set of global parameters. Qube! has added built-in logic that detects faulty jobs and workers. Auto-Wrangling now automatically blocks faulty jobs and sends email to the submission user. Faulty workers are blocked and mail is sent to the Qube! administrator, increasing the probability of jobs being completed by morning.
Fastest Throughput via our own Dynamic Frame Allocation
Qube! intelligently load-balances your render farm and maximizes overall farm throughput for Maya, 3dsMax, XSI, Houdini and Nuke jobs via Dynamic Frame Allocation. Qube! launches the application in prompt mode, then loads the scene file and textures once, then instructs the Worker to render a single frame. When finished, the Worker asks for the next frame and without re-loading anything starts rendering the next frame. While you can also chunk frames where it makes sense, dynamic frame allocation can dramatically improve your render farms overall throughput.
Qube! lets you define priority based on users, groups or even location. Hosts can be grouped into hierarchies called ?clusters.? Jobs that are submitted to a particular level of the hierarchy will have higher priority than jobs submitted to a different level, thereby maximizing the efficiency of the farm while maintaining host allocations between departments or projects. Universities can especially benefit by easily sharing resources across labs.
Shotgun Software Integration
Shotgun Version Submission allows studios to easily and automatically create Shot/Asset versions when submitting a render job through Qube!. Qube! will automatically create and update the Shotgun tracking data for a render.
Addressing one of the primary challenges of render pipelines today is host-based licensing. Qube! can now be configured to prefer to dispatch certain jobs to a host already running a required rendering resource like mental ray, Renderman, Nuke or Vray. Maximizing your investment in rendering software licenses, Qube! intelligently distributes jobs with software licensing in mind, reducing or delaying the need to purchase more rending licenses due to inefficient render dispatch.
and much, much more?
The vision of ?Smart Farming? is also realized with In-application submission, distributed Houdini simulations, ETA job prediction, per user and per pgrp job slot limits, license resource management, auto-movie generation, expert/simplified submission mode, post-render image validation, Python, Perl and C++ APIs, MySQL production database and data warehouse, std err/std out parsing, frame timeouts and more?
PipelineFX consulting services help digital media organizations of all sizes accelerate their render pipelines, reduce deployment risk and maximize ROI as they implement or upgrade a render farm. As the largest software company focused solely on render management, our support engineers and developers have in-depth expertise in render pipelines and digital media applications and processes to remotely install, configure and provide knowledge transfer.
See for yourself
PipelineFX helps organizations minimize the burden of rendering in computer graphics work. Contact your PipelineFX sales representative or authorized reseller for pricing information, to setup an online demo or a software evaluation. Join over 600 leading VFX studios, post houses, broadcast stations, ad agencies, manufacturers, game studios and schools who are maximizing their investment in their render pipelines by managing them with Qube!, intelligent render farm management for digital media pipelines.