My question is specific to video capabilities... can headless computers be used for net rendering? More specifically, blade computers that are controlled remotely with no physical display and minimal VGA drivers? Or, are the specs the same as the workstation? Somewhere in between?
I'm an IT guy charged with assembling a general purpose (multiple-softwares) render farm. Sorry for the newbie question.
Sure can, but you'll want to let your superiors know the more ram you can have per processor the better. As far as graphics go, it doesn't need anything as you install the AErender on the server which doesn't need the UI, nor will you need any extra licensing. It'll just need to be started, and when it works try to leave it alone. Things can get quirky if you are trying to use the same cluster for AE, Maya or other 3D programs at the same time. The only recommendation I would give is look into render managers, as that's where you'll get the control for it. If you are good at coding, this'll be a no-brainer for you. I'm sure the info you get while researching this will yield some good render managers out there that work for the different software on the same farm. Happy farming!