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Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network

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Gareth Randall
Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 11, 2011 at 9:27:57 am

I sit in an office editing on an iMac, and there is a 12-core Mac Pro in another room which is used separately for FCP. Assuming that both machines are on the same network and both have Compressor 4 installed, is it possible for me to set up jobs in Compressor on the iMac, and have them automatically take advantage of the Pro's 12 cores?

Essentially, I'm wondering if the Pro can run Compressor entirely as a background task that's completely invisible to anyone who happens to be using it for editing, and if I can control the whole shebang from the iMac over our standard office network, so I don't need to disturb whoever's using the Pro to get transcoding jobs going.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 11, 2011 at 9:34:58 am

Qmaster lets you setup network rendering using idle time on all Macs on a network.


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Gareth Randall
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 11, 2011 at 10:14:33 am

Fantastic, thanks :) I've found a Vimeo tutorial that covers setting up QMaster, looks pretty straightforward.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 11, 2011 at 9:34:59 am

Qmaster lets you setup network rendering using idle time on all Macs on a network.


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Gareth Randall
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 11, 2011 at 1:15:13 pm

I'd like to clarify something if possible: when you start a processing job, does it immediately take priority control of all the computers in the cluster, or can the Macs be used for other things while processing happens in the background?

What I'd like to be able to do is set a job going, and then go home - my iMac would immediately be idle and available to transcode, but other Macs in the cluster may still be in use for FCP work for some hours after that. Do all the computers have to be idle before you start a job, or does Qmaster manage them so that the ones that are busy doing other things aren't brought fully online for the processing until they become idle?



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Jeff Meyer
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:45:38 am

The concerns I would have are:
1) You need shared storage. The MacPro needs to be able to access the source and destination folders.
2) Your shared storage needs to be fast enough for editing to continue while it's getting slammed by the transcode process.
3) You need to run few enough segments to where there's enough left over CPU and RAM for whatever the foreground task is. Remember, the rule of thumb is 1gb of ram per segment, and 1 segment per 2 cores. I would say 4 segments is pretty background on a 12 core, if there's enough RAM and throughput to throw at it.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:39:03 am

My understanding is that Qmaster monitors idle time on other processors and uses them during the idle cycles only, so the users on the other machines have priority over the processors and shouldn't notice a speed hit.


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Alan Okey
Re: Possibly dumb question about using Compressor over a network
on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:28:04 pm

In addition to what others have said, make sure you're on a gigabit network or the network speed will be a major bottleneck. If your network is only 100 megabits, you won't get adequate performance from Qmaster/Compressor.


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