Completely new to HPC, looking for guidance. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi to everyone.  I'm brand new to HPC and looking to be pointed in the right direction.  My need for HPC is a relatively simple one.  I need to render thousands of large high resolution images.  I have the software to do this but the process is time consuming.  HPC sounds, on the surface like a possible solution for me.

    Because of my technical comfort level, I would ideally like a Windows 7 based HPC cluster.  Is this a good choice?  My software only runs in the Windows environment.

    If my preliminary understanding is correct, any software can run in an HPC environment and benefit from the combined processing power of the cluster.  My graphics rendering software does not rely on processing from a graphics card, only the system processor, again HPC sounds perfect.  My current task of rendering images is taking approximately 15-20 minutes per image.  I'm looking to reduce this to around 1 minute per image.  I'm assuming this would be a function of how many machines I place in the cluster.

    These are my starting questions.  Any comments or help will be greatly appreciated.  I am under significant time constraints and the HPC approach could be an almost immediate answer for me.


    Monday, October 27, 2014 1:56 PM

All replies

  • Hello J.Ribeiro,

    HPC is the right solution here.

    Several questions regarding your requirement:

    1. Can you application only run in windows 7? Or any other windows servers like windows 2012, windows 2012 r2?

    2. How soon you can get the result is based on how many nodes in your cluster and how you split the computation to smaller parts.

    3. Do you have a cluster of computers already or not? If not, or the cluster of computers you have is not enough, you can burst your workload on to azure, and destroy the azure allocation once the tasks done. HPC can provide you a very smooth experience for this.

    4. How frequently do you run your tasks? Namely, do you need render thousands of images every day, every week or just a one time computation?

    We can provider further assistance, and feel free to send email to evanc@Microsoft.com, hpcdisc@Microsoft.com.



    Friday, October 31, 2014 8:27 AM
  • Hi Evan ... you're a god sent!  Was loosing hope.  To answer your questions as best I can,

    1. The application is written 100% on the Microsoft development tools platforms.  So any Windows version from XP upward.

    2. I have no HPC environment set up ... so no idea on this one.  Was planning to start with say 1-head, 4-nodes.  All modest machines, say around i5 level processors, all with dedicated SSD drives for Windows.  Whatever the improvement is, has to be better than the 20 minutes per image I'm living with now.  I can do this evalution after I reap the initial benefits.

    3. Nothing setup yet.

    4. This will be an ongoing task.  1000's of images per day is very plausible.

    I will be emailing you directly.  I have a few question ... real newbie questions to help me decide on the path I take.

    A little background,

    The application: this is a completely unique application.  15 years in development.  It renders 100% real, sometimes better than real (which is a problem) images of upholstered furniture.  These images are indistinguishable from the real thing in every detail and color accuracy.  The pay off is this, imagine a large retailer like Sears for example, that can now show every single combination of a product ... without having to purchase it.  In a quality that does allow the consumer to make a purchasing decision.  In effect, creating a virtual ... or Augmented infinite inventory.  A few people out there think they can do this ... they can't.  I've put everyone to the test.  All other images look computer generated.  I'll send you an image to your email directly.

    Me: This is a dubious distinction for sure ... but, believe it or not.  In the 1980's when Microsoft was becoming established and opening branches all over the world, I was one of the leads in the design and implementation of your in-house apps.  In Canada I did all your in-house implementation and support.  Small world huh?  Really look forward to your assistance with this.  HPC is going to solve a huge number of challenges for me.

    I'll be emailing you later today.

    Friday, October 31, 2014 2:59 PM
  • Hi JcnRibeiro,

    Did you find solution on how to setup your render farm. Actually i was also facing same problem. I have connected my head nodes and clusters but now what to do next.

    • Edited by Kayl19 Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:31 AM
    Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:20 AM