Deadline’s Power Management not waking slaves properly

loocas | deadline,miscellaneous,software,technical | Sunday, May 29th, 2011

I recently had a problem with Deadline 5 and its (awesome) Power Management setup. The issue was that the server that was running the Pulse on wasn’t waking my machines up from their shutdown states (WOL).

The weirdest thing was that I was able to wake those machines up from any of my workstations via the Deadline Monitor app, but Pulse wasn’t able to. So, after speaking to the Thinkbox Software support (which is also top-notch and very helpful, by the way), they recommended me a few network traffic sniffing apps to monitor what is going on on the NICs.

The problem was that the NIC connected to the network was not actually sending the magic packet, so, no machines were, obviously, able to receive it. After a bit of further investigation, I found out that the WOL packet was actually being sent through the secondary NIC on the server, which wasn’t physically connected to the switch (mainly because the server also acts as a DC). So, the simplest solution seemed to disable the secondary NIC in Windows and have the primary NIC take care of the whole business.

This, however, presented a lot of trouble. By disabling the secondary adapter, you completely disable the NIC (in Windows, that is), so, with that you also disable any licenses that are bound to that particular adapter’s MAC! After that I wasn’t able to start Nuke, Mari, or even Deadline Slaves!

So, I had to dig deeper. The answer was Interface Metrics. In the Advanced tab under the IP properties, you can manually override Interface Matrics. See the link for more details, but basically, any lower value has higher priority. In my case, the secondary NIC (not physically connected to the switch), got automatically assigned a higher priority matric (a lower value), than the primary NIC. I manually overrode those and voila!, all traffic was being directed through the primary NIC.

To check what settings you’re at, use this command in the command prompt:

netsh interface ip show address

Hope this helps… :)

duber studio buys Mari

loocas | Mari,miscellaneous,software | Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Mari

That’s right, I bought my first license of Mari a week or so ago and have been toying with it since. :)

I’ve been looking for a usable and flexible texture painting app aside from Cinema 4D or Deep Paint (is it still being developed?) that can take on really complex projections and meshes. The way Mari handles its project data and the textures is absolutely fabulous! Oh, and did I mention Mari also sports Python? ;)

Originally I wanted to buy Mari prior to buying a license of Nuke X and Furnace, but then the job I would have needed Mari extensively for got cancelled, unfortunately, so I put it on hold. Then, recently, I saw Frank Rueter’s Nuke/Mari workflow video and immediately fell in love with the idea of software interoperability!

So, after playing with Mari for a few days and bugging the support team at The Foundry (about one undocumented feature of Mari’s command port), I now have everything I need to make Mari and 3ds Max communicate the same way as Frank demos with Nuke in his video.

Anyways, expect at least a preview of the things I’m about to do with Max and Mari in the near future. Stay tuned!

Virtualization, the future for small businesses

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,technical | Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

After having a very interesting discussion with a friend and collegue of mine, Michal Mocňák, on the topic of IT infrastructure virtualization, I realized that this is something I’ve needed even for my small, but growing “data center”!

The “data center” is still currently offline (except for the license server), so, I’ve been thinking of how to improve upon my previous setup with the future in mind. With a semi-constant grow of my render farm, the management, upgrades, installations and maintenance of the individual machines from the software point of view is becoming more and more problematic. I’ve written a few tools to help me automate the process, but still, managing the actual OS, the actual installed applications, the updates, hotfixes and service packs etc… is a hassle. I currently only have nine nodes in my farm, but being able to abstract from any number of physical machines and be able to easily manage my nodes from a one-person point of view (yeah, I am the only TD/IT guy here :D ) would be a bless!

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