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Basic network versus local software deployment questions
posted by conomara  on Sept. 4, 2018, 10:03 a.m. (9 months, 20 days ago)
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I have been working at large companies for the past decade ++ as an artist/some pipeline work, and have since moved to a small one. They are running software locally....houdini, maya etc

and are having predicatable trouble, having to run around to each machine when updates are needed, individual machines running problematic versions etc.

In larger companies we had a disk image that we pushed out on boot to the artists local machines and render farm (linux).

However Im pretty sure the application binaries were central on a server ,and not pushed out locally with the image, I dont think the image contained much in the way of the actual applications, more env, linux distro maybe.

If I remember right we would source server based binaries such as houdini, maya, katana etc and then I guess we were running an instance of houdini locally.

Does this sounds correct/possible

Also, is there a significant hit on the network (i dont remember there ever being) from sourcing binaries from a server. we have 1 Gig switches I tink.

Im sure this was never an issue, eg compared with render farm blades requesting textures acorss a network. 

Also, new studio is (shudder) windows, is this setup possible on windows.

And i guess we need a licence server as well, with floating licences?

All in all we need at least a sys admin to come in part time/consultant, then full time, but I want to know that this is a practical acheivable thing first based on a pretty basic network. I remember being able to do this no worries in the larger companies 12 years ago.

Final question, is what if any are the downsides of mainting image and software centrally

big thanks in advance


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Response from conomara @ Sept. 5, 2018, 4:04 a.m.

Hi Guys, this thread sort of split into a few threads when I look a thte forum, sorry about that.....to reply to them all, the big thanks for the all the posts. The big take away is we can and maybe should look into changing out setup. We need a sys-admin.

First I think we will get a consultant in to see where we are, and spec a solution and maybe help us then with the hire of a sys admin person.

Ideally I would chew off my right arm to go linux. There were some positive noises made about that but we'll see how that goes.

thanks again for the help. Ill post up any jobs we might have when we work out budget and requirements.

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Response from conomara @ Sept. 4, 2018, 11:58 a.m.

Thanks Tom S/ Fabien ILLIDE , totally agree I'm in over my head. I have been an end user at alot of places that did this well on linux, (Sony, MPC, Framestore...) but have virtually no idea how its achieved. The company is in Dublin, Ireland. I just came out of a meeting whereby they have agreed they need a sysadmin, so if anyone knows anyone looking for work then my personal email is conomara@gmail.com, I can direct them to higher powers here for application process. Im surprised that running maya over a network (windows) would be so prohibitive, we were doing it on Linux ages ago no worries....but I take your word for it.



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Response from Tom Salciccia @ Sept. 4, 2018, 11:37 a.m.

Conor, it sounds like you're in a bit over your head. You do need to get someone in  with enough experience to guide you. 

You are approaching your questions backward - how much can we cram into our current setup. You should start from what you need to be able to do and what you need to put into place to support that. What is causing inefficiencies? How much time is being spent on various activities?

The answer to your basic question about whether "this is a practical achievable thing" would be hard to answer. First, you aren't very specific in your questions. Second, it would require more in depth knowledge of your setup.

Whether or not software can be run from the network or locally is wholly dependent on the Operating System of the workstation and the requirements of the application. You won't be able to run Windows Maya from the network. Even if you could, I'm not sure you would want to. Your load times would be awful.

For reference, 1 Gb switches are now more "quaint" than cutting edge.

For your concern about a licensing question, that's a decision that needs to be made on the cost of the licenses, the ability to share them, the need for flexibility, cost, etc. It's easier to manage floating licenses. But this will also depend on the size of the company, the sophistication of the IT staff, and the financial resources available.

Find a good local consultant who can point you in the right direction. There's lots of people on this forum who consult.


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Response from Fabien ILLIDE @ Sept. 4, 2018, 10:25 a.m.

Hi Conor

Where is this studio located ?


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