Sliders are yummy

Posted on January 7, 2015 in Blog \ News

Whoever came up with the idea of the slider was brilliant.  I’m talking about food you know…little burgers?  One of the best features of the slider is that you can eat exactly how much you want, not more and not less.  Ever go to a restaurant and order their burger, only to be underwhelmed or overwhelmed at its size?  Sliders fix that problem nicely.  Order 2, 3, 17…whatever it takes to satisfy your appetite.  Sliders put you in control.  Turns out sliders put you in control of your render power, too.

You got me, I’m not talking about burgers now.  I am talking about using a slider to command and control the power to cost ratio of your render jobs.  Get a load of these 1,000 words:

slider

As part of our continual internal discussions about how we can improve our service, we realized we fell prey to how other render farm queuing (or lack of queuing) strategies work when we used the word “priority” to describe job power and cost.  That doesn’t accurately define how we work, though.  We really should have called that setting “power” to begin with, since that’s what it was…how many CPU’s are thrown at a job at any given time.  The notion of priority is really secondary on our farm, and is only used to determine what job gets what compute resources when the farm is loaded.  When it comes to delivering results, every job is given equal priority.  We grab, compress, deliver, and decompress immediately, with that process typically taking only seconds.  Power is a more accurate and intuitive term, so it won the competition and has found its way to our agent.

Lest you think this is just a name change, read on.  The next stark realization was that every render farm service we’ve seen breaks power up into only a few user-selected options.  Boy, we felt sheepish.  We decided we’re not going to play that game any more, as it doesn’t help you, our customer.  Implementation of a slider gives us the ability to offer you many more power/cost options than just a pitiful few.  You shouldn’t have to fit in the shoebox some marketing guy comes up with.  You now have greater control over how much power your job consumes, giving you the ability to better manage completion times and costs.  Go ahead, grab that slider and wiggle it around a bit.  Lots of options for any computing appetite.

We’ve seen wonderful growth in our customer base over the past few months.  We are thankful for all of you who have signed up and used our rendering service.  The spectrum of our customer base has expanded, and caused us to think about ways we can better meet the needs of customers at both ends of the spectrum.  That’s why we’re happy to offer an expanded cost range with the new slider, from $0.005/Ghz-hr up to $0.06/Ghz-hr.  This way, the hobbyist just entertaining a few renders here and there can have them completed at rates that are half of what they were before.  Tipping the scale the other way is the major studios that simply need things done NOW.  Our power range now easily accommodates both types, and makes room for lots of others in between.  We continue to maintain the no pre-buy or large deposit requirements for you, so those rates are available to everyone, everyday, for every scene.

Sink your mental teeth in to that for a minute.  Tastes pretty yummy, huh?  Yummy, yummy sliders.  Gee, now I want to go eat a burger.

We hope you enjoy this and other new yet-to-be-released features.  Power sliding is available in agents on both platforms in version 1.70 and later.  Grab the update if you’re on a Mac, or just kick back and watch the update if you’re on Windows.

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