Set up the BIOS on each node to allow the system to come back up after a power loss, and Wake on LAN; eventually I’ll go through a make a list of MAC addresses so I can use WOL if the room the farm is in heats up too much. I already have a Dell PowerEdge T310 and my own computer running 24/7.
The following components were used to build the BlenderFarm
3x custom built office systems with dual-core Pentium D’s ranging from 2.4-2.8GHz
3x Dell Dimension 5150’s with Pentium 4 HT 3.0GHz processors
1x Dell Dimension E520 with a dual-core Pentium D
1x Dell Dimension 3000 with a P4 HT 3.06GHz processor
Power & Networking:
1x Belkin F9D1000-15 10 Outlet 885 Joule Metal SurgeMaster
1x TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-port Gigabit Unmanaged Switch
1x TP-Link TL-SF1005D 5-port Fast Ethernet Unmanaged Switch
1x TP-Link TL-PA2010 AV200 Nano Powerline Adapter (cheaper than buying 8 wifi dongles)
1x 1ft Cat5e UTP cable
1x 2ft Cat5e UTP cable
2x 3ft Cat5e UTP cable
3x 5ft Cat5e UTP cable
1x 7ft Cat5e UTP cable
November 14, 2013
Yesterday, I installed Debian Wheezy onto one system, and loaded up blender to auto start with network render selected, and have the user auto login.
Today I cloned each drive off of that one original, with the exception of 2 drives, one which needed to have 32-bit debian and blender installed, and another which had fewer sectors than the source drive, so I manually installed on that drive as well. Also checked the BIOS settings for each box, set up VNC, manual IP in accordance with node number, and changed the hostnames to reflect the node number.
After dinner, I plugged the power cords in and did some cable management. They’re all ready to go once the power strip and network stuff gets here.
November 13, 2013
Today, I cleared off the metal shelving unit where I am putting the render nodes.
Took a while to get all the stuff off of the racks, there was a few years of junk on those shelves. Found some stuff from when I was at SCAD in 2008 for the Rising Star program. Made me remember how much I disliked 2D Design.
Once the shelves were cleared off, I disassembled the unit and started measuring the system cases to see how far apart the shelves would need to be. The tallest case was 16″ So that gave me room for all 4 shelves, as long as the last one was at the very top.
Once I reassembled the shelves I loaded the systems onto them in order to get them off the floor in the utility room.
November 12, 2013
Today I recieved a message from a family friend that a retirement community in Winter Park was ready to get rid of 9 computer systems as part of their upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, so naturally I said I would take them. Thus began the BlenderFarm saga.
I arrived at the facility at 3PM and proceeded to the front desk to meet my friend, who then lead me back to her office to get a cart. Then to the room with the treasure trove! The computer guy there had stacked 5 Dell Dimension systems, and 4 custom built systems, all ready to go. So I gratefully loaded them onto the cart and carried them out to my mom’s Suburban, which I had been lent for the day.
Here’s an image of the first systems I loaded into the truck
So I went back in and got the last 3, loaded them up and headed for home!
When I got back home at around 5:30 that evening, I immediately unloaded all the systems into the utility room, I’m sure the dog was thrilled.