Down on the Render Farm

national_gothicSpring has sprung and down on the render farm it’s time for planting.

In the image Jean McCarvill and Dave Allen from National Ministry of Design (NMD) are preparing to plant a few frames on the lower 32. The NMD/National Boston render farm includes more than fifty dedicated computers fitted with quad core Xeon processors. It’s spread over two floors of the National Boston building. The 32 Boxx computers in the picture make up the lower 32. They have their own room and their own air conditioning. Environment is important on the farm.

The render farm computers on both floors are connected to each other and all of its graphics workstations by a separate gigabit Ethernet network. That keeps the render farm separate from any other network traffic. Don’t want those little frames bumping their heads up against a network speed ceiling!

Lots of folks want to know where their food comes from. Do you know where your frames come from? Whether you’re promoting a new jet engine or a new sandwich, you want your information to be secure. Our render farm, with its separate network, keeps everything within the building and out of sight. There is nothing like growing it at home to avert prying eyes!

National Ministry of Design used to send their frames over the internet to a render farm far far away. Sometimes the frames would get damaged in shipment. If a render node  crashed, someone would scream at us from the other side of the country; or maybe the other side of the world. Now, if there is a technical glitch, NMD can nip it in the bud.

With your own farm, you can watch them grow! Creativity is NMD’s “field.” In order to achieve that, you have to break a few eggs along the way. By having a cost effective method to try different things without worrying about per render costs, you open up the opportunity to deliver a much better product. There’s always an opportunity to make changes when new ideas sprout. Then you can sit back and watch them come into full bloom.

Down at the farm stand they boast about “zero food miles.” We like to boast about zero frame miles. The only clouds in our farm are the ones in the sky. So, enjoy the fine spring weather, and, “if you have an animation in need of cultivation, plant a few frames on our farm” suggests Tom Sprague, National Boston’s Chief Engineer. “We have fertile ground to grow your inspiration into a tasty treat.”

For more information about National Ministry of Design please visit

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