This Saturday, October 15th, we will be upgrading the render farm management software we use internally. We plan to take the farm offline for 2-4 hours, beginning at 5AM Pacific time, to complete this upgrade. Render jobs running when the maintenance window starts will be suspended temporarily during the upgrade. We will not be accepting new render jobs during the maintenance window. The farm will resume normal operation after the upgrade completes, and you will again be able to submit jobs. The agent software will report the farm as being “offline” during the maintenance window.
We have not written the farm management software we use, but our software communicates directly with it to enable our service to work. We have investigated possible incompatibilities, and addressed the ones we know about. With upgrades of this nature, it’s always possible to have unforeseen problems. Those that come up during our testing will be resolved before we complete the maintenance window, but those not found by our testing will have to be fixed as we become aware of them. Your patience and understanding should such unforeseen problems arise is greatly appreciated.
We have intentionally held off on this upgrade for a very long time. We have focused on building a platform that is consistent and reliable, as much as technology allows. There comes a time, however, where accumulating software bugs have to be addressed by the installation of an update. The update we are installing should bring a couple new features and several bug fixes along with it, which will serve to simplify our code base and increase reliability. We’re looking forward to having it in place, in case you’re wondering. A few of the bug fixes:
- No more erroring out Maya jobs when only one Maya instance crashes
- Support for more tile rendering and stitching options
- Correctly interpreting 3D Studio Max 2016 and up application logs, and converting them to ASCII
- No more leaking handles that make the farm management software unresponsive over uptimes of multiple weeks
- Faster slice table updates to make our software able to update and retrieve information much faster
- Fix for Blender execution style to allow for builds post 2.76b
We will post on this blog, as well as our social media outlets, when the upgrade is complete.