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Mac OS X Server and Xgrid on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by strausd, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68030

    So out of curiosity, would it be possible to install OS X Server on a Mac Pro? If so, would it be possible to then use Xgrid to render a Maya scene using the Mac Pro, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac Mini? If this was possible, how hard would it be to set up?
  2. macrumors newbie

    Yes it is possible to install OSX server on a mac pro. IIRC it's possible to order it pre-installed.

    As for your xgrid idea, it should certainly be possible to use all the computers you have as nodes. Whether maya works with that I don't know.

    How easy to set up? Pretty easy. That's why they put apple logo's on them.
  3. macrumors 68030

    Would the other computers need to run OS X server on them in order for that to work? Also, does OS X server act like a seperate OS from regular OS X? Like, would I have to hold down option when I boot to boot to OS X Server?
  4. macrumors 65816


    what kind of maya licences do you have? What are you rendering with Software, Mental Ray, PRman, other...
  5. macrumors 603



    It is a separate OS. No you wouldn't need to hold down option as it would be the only operating system on the machine. Installing server and client side by side seems a bit pointless. You either want a server or you don't.
  6. macrumors 68030

    I'm not entirely sure about what license I have. I would be rendering mental ray most likely

    Sorry, I'm new to the whole OS X Server area. Would all applications that I have now still work fine on OS X Server? Sorry if thats a stupid question...

    Also, would all other computers that I want to help render need Maya running on it?
  7. macrumors 603


    It's not a stupid question.

    I would say the vast majority (99%) of software should work fine. There are bound to be some issues with some poorly maintained / old apps though.

    That is really something you would need to ask a Maya expert.

    From my recollection Maya requires each computer to be running a rendering node which must be licensed separately from the main program. If you are running 3 computers that means your basically looking at the original cost of the Maya program plus about £1,000 for each of the nodes.

    Not something you would just want to jump into.
  8. macrumors 68030

    Do you know how much of a speed increase there would be doing this on, for example, an 8-core 2.93 ghz MP and a 3.06 ghz dual core MBP?
  9. macrumors 65816


    You need to have a licenced copy of maya for every computer you have. I think there is some kind of deal with mental ray render licences that you'd have to check out with the version of maya you use. It's all pretty straightforward. If you want to do it properly you'd need some render farm/dispatching software like Spider, Smedge or Apple's own QMaster.

    Frankly it's easier (and this is what I do) to not bother with wheeling out OS X server, just have two machines both with maya installed. When you need to render move the scene over to your render computer and set the batch going. Then you can keep going on your other machine. If you're done for the day and want to do overnight rendering/caching etc then just render, say, frames 1001-1050 on machine A and 1051-1100 on machine B. Easier for such a small number of machines.

    If you wanted to set up 4 or 5 machines then we're talking about another kettle of fish and you'd need a dispatcher.

    PS - maya on mac sux. Take my advice and work in windows/linux.
  10. macrumors 68030

    Well I do plan on having windows 7 running on my MP. I will do that mainly because zbrush 3.5 isn't out for Mac yet. But I may start using Maya on windows too. It really helps that when you buy it they give you a copy for Mac and Windows so you don't have to buy them separately.

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