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Weta Digital Grows Cluster

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the thats-a-whole-lotta-muscle dept.

Supercomputing 209

Korgan writes "A little over 3 years after their last upgrade, Weta Digital has just added another 250 more blade servers to their render farm to help with the final renderings of King Kong. From the article: "The IBM Xeon blade servers, each with two 3.4 gigahertz processors and 8 gigabytes of memory, are housed at the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre in central Wellington. They have been added to the centre's existing bank of 1144 Intel 2.8GHz processors, boosting its power by 50 per cent to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs. The servers run the Red Hat version of the open-source Linux operating system. The purchase means the centre is back among the 100 largest supercomputing clusters in the world." And all that computing power is still available for hire when Peter Jackson isn't using it."

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Export restrictions? (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765944)

So, out of curiosity. What happened to the export restrictions of the US government on CPU's beyond a certain MIPS range? I remember that the old PowerMac 9600/300 eclipsed this federally mandated figure and now we have home game consoles that easily eclipse that performance range. Certainly the advent of cluster computing with commodity hardware made many of these issues moot, but what is the status of the law? Was it repealed or is it just commonly ignored?

I know that historically, NeXT did quite a bit of work for TLA agencies and that Richard Crandall's program, zilla.app grabbed some attention from interested parties. Because of this work, NeXT had some cash infusion for their hardware even after shutting the line down for general commercial consumption. More recently, Apple has been selling Xserves to some of those same agencies, and contractors for work, but I do not know if they are selling any clusters outside the US?

The history of course behind this law was that the CIA and NSA were concerned that foreign governments could use compute time to help design nuclear weapons as well as defeat cryptography that might compromise US secrets.

Re:Export restrictions? (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765997)

These laws may still be in place. But, businesses have evolved to be international companies. This could have been done by a non-us division. They designed, built, and sold it with no us division involved then US law would not apply. Or, am I totally off base here?

Re:Export restrictions? (2, Informative)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766039)

IANAL, but, as I understand it, with the shipping restrictions, they only apply with shipping those computers to certain companies. If you were shipping to, say, North Korea, Iran, or any number of potentially third-world dictatorships, then you'd probably have problems. However, if you're shipping to Austraila or New Zealand, you probably wouldn't have any problems.

Re:Export restrictions? (5, Informative)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766016)

They've been eased over the years, e.g. here is a list of articles [justfuckinggoogleit.com] .

In 2002 it was upped to 195,000 million theoretical operations per second, and the limit goes up automatically every six months. A typical PC in 2002 was 2000 MTOPs, so this allows export of some rather big honking systems.

Re:Export restrictions? (1)

Burann (916084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766040)

I doubt that New Zeeland have any problems with export restrictions, maybe if the cluster was shipped to Syria, North korea or Iran....

Re:Export restrictions? (3, Interesting)

Hey Pope Felcher . . (921019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766151)

. . . export restrictions are generally overcome by the all mighty dollar, and besides hasn't New Zealand merged with Hollywood now?

More interestingly, can anyone see digital actors quickly surpassing their organic cousins, no matter what Peter Jackson says [kongisking.net] ?

And slightly more interestingly, when will New Zealand surpass California in flim making, it is the ideal location, with better light, more interesting geography, and (at the moment) far cheaper to work in. There are of course the problems with the remoteness of the location, but with the rapidly shrinking world cliché, this is surely no longer such a problem, especially with the work Mr. Jackson is putting in regarding the logistics.

Re:Export restrictions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766308)

Do they still make stuff in the USA? I thought CPUs were all made in Taiwan.

404 File Not Found (1)

GET THE FACTS! (850779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765945)

fp?

Clearly... (5, Funny)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765962)

Clearly we need a Beowulf cluster to slay this gigantic King Kong cluster!

Re:Clearly... (2, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766427)

Rumor has it that Peter Jackson is already considering a King Kong sequel, involving a MechaKingKong running Linux.

He wanted to have a MechaGodzilla, but it was running a Sony proprietary OS.

Re:Clearly... (4, Funny)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766522)

What about a MechaMozilla, the open source alternative?

Blah (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13765963)

That's nothing. The people arrested in the story earlier today had the computing power of 100,000 personal computers. Beat that!

Re:Blah (3, Interesting)

sleeper0 (319432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766035)

How do you combine 1644 server class ~3ghz CPUss and end up with the power of 15,000 PCs? Only in the marketing department...

Re:Blah (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766110)

That must PCs with x286 processors.

Extra-Beefy Power Supply perhaps??? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766118)

Power of 1 PC: 250 Watts
Power of 15,000 PCs: Enough to power a small town

Ability to do math in your head: Priceless

For everything else, there's xcalc.

King Kong? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13765967)

Isn't the movie simply called "Kong"?

Nice job editing there...

Re:King Kong? (2, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765996)

Sad to say that the pr0n industry has ruined this movie title forever.

Re:King Kong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766066)

link?

Re:King Kong? (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766276)

Isn't the movie simply called "Kong"?
Yes, but the King part is assumed for anyone who is a longtime fan. Just imagine that, when people write it, it's a silent King. All hail the giant ape... Long live the Ape... oh wait.

Imagine... (0, Offtopic)

pmike_bauer (763028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765979)

...a Beowulf cluster of these.

Re:Imagine... (0, Flamebait)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766105)

I mean, I don't want to be rude or anything but what the hell drove you to press "submit" after having written an idiotic comment like that? What is its purpose? Who do you think would find it funny? Do YOU find it funny? I really am not trolling, I just cannot understand the mindset of someone who recycles the same stupid joke again and again.

Re:Imagine... (1)

kastberg (726375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766246)

You're new here, right?

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766398)

It is a shit and unfunny tradition. So was your comment some sort of retort or are you just retarded?

* sigh * (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13765980)

render farm to help with the final renderings of King Kong

Am I the only one who prefers models and stop motion animation to the CGI garbage of the last 15 years?

Re:* sigh * (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766014)

Things have improved since TRON.

Re:* sigh * (4, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766065)

Things have improved since TRON

Except Jeff Bridges' acting

Re:* sigh * (1)

killproc (518431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766050)


Probably.

Caliban from "Clash of the Titans" was MUCH more realistic than Gollum in the Rings movies.
Although I do admit that I do have a certain nostalgia for Grumpy from Land of the Lost (Holly too, if I'm being honest).

Re:* sigh * (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766091)

Bastard! Now I'm gonna have that theme song stuck in my head the rest of the day ... the Peter Griffin version at that

Re:* sigh * (1)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766080)

yes

Re:* sigh * (1)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766172)

No, luckily, you're not entirely. When someone can do the models/stop motion right, I think it can look pretty good. The CG stuff is nice, but somehow it doesn't look entirely natural to me.

Not that it's an example of the greatest model work, I thought the cardboard castles in Bruce Campbell vs Army of Darkness were pretty good, even in some cases more believable than the towers in the LOTR movies.

Re:* sigh * (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766256)

And speaking of, Wallace and Gromit was AWESOME. I hardly stopped laughing the whole movie. Brilliant.

It's really nice to see stop-motion when it's done THAT well.

Re:* sigh * (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766397)

Am I the only one who prefers models and stop motion animation to the CGI garbage of the last 15 years?

Yet another person that doesn't understand the pure genius of Jar-Jar Binks.

power draw (5, Funny)

dreadlocks (637491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765982)

that's why the lights dim in Wellington when the cluster is rendering

Re:power draw (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766122)

that's why the lights dim in Wellington when the cluster is rendering

And there was me thinking it was the rats [slashdot.org] again!

Re:power draw (3, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766518)

You have no idea how hard it is for an Australian to resist making a joke about dim lights in Wellington having nothing to do with the power grid...oh, whoops...

Article text (1, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765983)

Yikes, It seems like most stuff linked to New Zealand go down pretty quick after being linked on Slashdot, so....

Weta spends up on blade servers
10 October 2005

Weta Digital has bought 250 more blade servers with a total list price of between $2 million and $3 million to complete post-production work on Peter Jackson's King Kong, due out in January.

The IBM Xeon blade servers, each with two 3.4 gigahertz processors and 8 gigabytes of memory, are housed at the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre in central Wellington. They have been added to the centre's existing bank of 1144 Intel 2.8GHz processors, boosting its power by 50 per cent to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs. The servers run the Red Hat version of the open-source Linux operating system. The purchase means the centre is back among the 100 largest supercomputing clusters in the world. Weta Digital has another bank of 500 blade servers in Miramar. It bought the processors that now make up the centre to finish the special effects for The Return of the King, after running out of space in its computer rooms in Miramar. The centre is a joint venture between Weta and Telecom-owned Gen-i, which supplied the latest batch of processors. Other businesses using the centre include a chip maker, a biotech company and a yacht designer.

Re:Article text (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766041)

Anyone else wonder how a bank with only 1,644 CPUs has the power of nearly 15,000 PCs? A Xeon is worth almost 10 regular pentium chips????

Re:Article text (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766206)

Maybe they're still using PII 266 for PCs in New Zealand.

Re:Article text (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766233)

I am more curious about the rendering software on the redhat system that knows how to "symmetrically" use that many processors on the cluster.

Re:Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766446)

Rendering software is fairly trivial to multiprocess. Send the same data to all the systems, give each of them a specific frame to render, i.e. the more computers, the more fps.

Obligatory (0)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766007)

...can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

"Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week. OK, who threw the brick??!!"

Re:Obligatory (2, Funny)

frank378 (736832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766089)

Yes, obligatory.

In Soviet Russia, cluster grow you.

15,000 PCs? That's downright puny! (0, Redundant)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766020)

My friend's botnet had 100,000 until da fuzz dismantled [slashdot.org] it.

Disclaimer: just kidding about the "friend" part. The botnet-gods should rot in jail for awhile.

Explain this "new" math to me... (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766026)

They have been added to the centre's existing bank of 1144 Intel 2.8GHz processors, boosting its power by 50 per cent to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs

Total processors: 1644.

Now, the Xeons do a bit better than the run-of-the-mill P4, but 10x faster? No way.

For that matter, they don't run faster at all. They just do somewhat better (as in, 10-25%, not 913%) on certain types of memory-heavy tasks.

Someone either made a major typo or pulled numbers from their netherregion...

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766062)

No, Intel found they actually DO run 10x when inverted, and NZ and Aust prevailed on them to keep it a secret...

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

cuyler (444961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766143)

Not surprising.

You have 1144 2.4 GHz CPU's in the old cluster.
You add 250 dual 3.4GHz Xeon blade systems.
You also have an increase of 50% in performance.

That means that 250 of the new systems is roughly equal to 572 of the old systems.

If they are single CPU 2.8 GHz P4's that mean it's just 250*2 = 500 3.4 GHz CPUs to 572 2.4 GHz CPUs. Or a 14.4% increase in performance per CPU for the upgrade of 2.8 GHz to 3.4 GHz (a 21% increase in CPU clock speed).

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (4, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766150)

The 250 added blade servers each have two 3.4 GHz CPus, while the existing 1144 only had two 2.6 GHz CPUs.

Every two new servers is approx. as powerful as three old servers. It is more like they are now running 1519 dual 2.4 Ghz machines, or 3038 2.4 GHz cores.

Also, remember that a 2.4 GHz is faster than two 1.2 Ghz chips, because of instruction set improvements.

So, I would not say it would be far off to say that this cluster is approx. the computing power of 15,000 1 - 1.5 GHz machines. This is probably what they are basing the numbers off of.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766259)

Where can I find one of these mythical 1 - 1.5GHz PCs? The slowest chip that Dell is selling (in their $350 Dimension 2400) is a 2.4GHz Celeron.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766160)

I think they were referring to amount of power drawn by the system...

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766171)

No, actually they're a gross underestimate, because you see, they're comparing to the power of 15,000 original IBM PC's.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766289)

How many Moon Landers is that?

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766211)

And the more serious reply:

You can get greater than linear speedup on a system like this because you can keep more of your task in memory. Imagine you need to render 1000G of frames. This system probably has 1000G of memory, whereas any desktop system would have to move that data onto and off of a disk, which is > an additional 10x slower. So hypothetically, it is possible that this monster system renders at 15k times the speed they can get off of a single pc.

Of course, I believe they just erred in their numbers.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766322)

You can get greater than linear speedup on a system like this because you can keep more of your task in memory.

This in supercomputing circles is called superlinear speedup and it is defined that by using X number of processors, you get performance greater than X*n processors. And, to my knowledge it is only achieved when applications are able to keep a good part of their program on the processors cache, not the main system memory. If memory was the limitation and not CPU power, then throwing a ton of memory in a box is much cheaper than throwing CPUs and memory in multiple boxes.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766236)

equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs ...

Total processors: 1644

Now, the Xeons do a bit better than the run-of-the-mill P4, but 10x faster? No way.


I caught the math/editorial error as well. I'm guessing its supposed to be the equivalent to 1,500 PCs, that is what I would say. Also, AFAIK Xeons and Pentiums are the same besides the unlocking of the SMP mechanism and more options for cache which may help specific applications. A guy I work with has benchmarked Xeons and Pentiums, and has found that clock per clock they are the same. Aside from the cache and the SMP, I've always thought that "Xeon" was just a marketing term for a "server pentium".

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766273)

The new stuff runs 64 bit code and also can address larger blocks of memory.

The old stuff was limited to 32 bit code.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

greenegg77 (718749) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766332)

"Someone either made a major typo or pulled numbers from their netherregion...

It's all in the exchange rate... see a New Zealand P4 2.8ghz = US P4 1.9ghz. Factor in the Xeons and then compare that to PCs running in Mexico, where an NZ P4 2.8ghz = MX 486 20mhz and you easily get your 15,000 PCs.

Re:Explain this "new" math to me... (1)

garver (30881) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766595)

These are Xeons. I think they left out the word "consumption": ... eqivalent power consumption of nearly 15,000 PCs.

EASY (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766633)

Just use the same "average computer" performance values you did 10 years (or 5 years) ago.

K-Y (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766051)

No matter how many CPUs they throw at it, Jackson's King Kong remake will nenver rival the hilarity of K-Y's remake. Funniest late night ad, ever.

Blades are the future (1)

Shadez666 (736779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766054)

Blades are the way of the future, 250 blades take up 3 racks, we are on the way to a whole new meaning of SAN - Server Area Network.

tangent: "single-blade PCs" are also the future (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766232)

We already see this with routers, cell phones, PDAs, and other "fit in your hand, no/minimal screen/keyboard" computers.

20 years from now homes will be riddled with embedded systems that, but for a software change, could be relatively-low-performance general-purpose PCs.

The 2025 equivalent of "Home Computers" as we know it will either be small enough to fit into a keyboard or their function will be outsourced as a service and we'll all have terminals in our homes. Personally, I'm thinking the latter.

Real News!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766073)

CmrdTaco Grows A Sack
Film at 11. ewwww

quick question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766077)

.... can it run linux?

And to think... (1, Troll)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766079)

Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith was processed on
just a 140-processor Opteron AMD64 farm running Windows 64-bit beta.

Re:And to think... (5, Funny)

delire (809063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766135)


Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith was processed on just a 140-processor Opteron AMD64 farm running Windows 64-bit beta.
No wonder the film was so bad.

Re:And to think... (1)

shawng (814093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766185)

I could have sworn I read somewhere that the ILM guys used Linux machines to do their CGI for Star Wars. Maybe I am wrong though.

Re:And to think... (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766223)

You could probably process it on 1 P2, it would just take forever. The key is how long it takes to do the rendering. Maybe the Weta datacenter could render Star Wars III 10x faster than that 140-processor Opteron AMD64 farm.

Any idea how long it took that setup to do the rendering for RotS?

Re:And to think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766225)

Your information is incorrect.

The previz may have been done on that one, but the main render farm is several thousand AMD processors running linux.

Re:And to think... (4, Informative)

malducin (114457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766419)

Those numbers are misleadingly wrong. Star Wars Episode III was rendered between the old ILM location and the new Presidio facility. The Presidio has about 4000 processors used for rendering, while old ILM had about 2,500 processors. The data center of the Presidio came online (I think) late last year. So frames from Ep. 3 and The Island were rendered both at the Presidio and old ILM. So surely ILM rendered Ep. 3 on a few thousand processors.

I think the misleading part is that some articles stated that the initial order for AMD Opteron based machines for the data center was 140 processors. But their renderfarm is crtainly 4,000 procs which I think includes about 1,000 workstations that are used for overnight rendering.

Data Center Gets Star Treatment [computerworld.com]

Also while ILM does have an Opteron based renderfarm they run Linux on them, not Windows64 beta.

Re:And to think... (1)

rhyre417 (919946) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766478)

Comparisons with Star Wars aren't helpful. King Kong has more fur. Rendering fur is hard work.

Re:And to think... (1)

rfinnvik (16122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766552)

The acting was equally hairy, though...

Re:And to think... (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766631)

Rendering a monster ape that has millions of tiny hairs on his body takes a bit more work than NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Contact? (3, Funny)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766082)

Hmm, how to get them on my SETI team....

Nonsense Statement (2, Insightful)

deadline (14171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766097)

boosting its power by 50 per cent to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs

Such statements are utter nonsense. First, 15,000 PC's - what kind of PC? (dual core AMD, I think not). Second, how do you measure power ? (is this for their applications, or some other metric) If they ran the numbers they would find the cluster rather typical - unless there is more to the story.

Yes they have a a lot of processors, however, lots-o-processors != supercomputer

Re:Nonsense Statement (1)

flood6 (852877) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766213)

It's that dumbed-down unit of measurement.

...to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs.

Or 7 Volkswagens and 3.4 Libraries of Congress...

Re:Nonsense Statement (1)

Foosinho (87829) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766283)

Yes they have a a lot of processors, however, lots-o-processors != supercomputer

Out of curiousity, what does make a supercomputer then? That statement, combined with your URL, intrigued me.

Re:Nonsense Statement (2, Interesting)

deadline (14171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766573)

A good question. I believe at one point Gorden Bell said "anything with 6 zeros in the price".

The lines have blurred due to clusters. My definition is "a collection of hardware that provides a non-trivial level of performance on a single problem" Of course, "non trivial" has various interpretations. And, working toward solving a single problem is important. Rendering is a trivial parallel application as it is really a bunch of small independent problems. Most supercomputer applications would probably run "sub-optimal" on this system (I assume it has GigE as an interconnect) because they require much more processor to processor communication. BTW, I run the ClusterMonkey [clustermonkey.net] site that talks about clusters and HPC if you want to learn more about clusters.

Re:Nonsense Statement (1)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766306)

I think we have a new unit of measurement. In addition to "bucks in quarters" and "libraries of congress" we now have "thousands of PCs".

NeoArithmetic! (1)

NOPteron (838244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766459)

250 Blade Servers, + 1144 Intel 2.8GHz processors = 15 000 PCs is INTEL-math.

They're multiplying the NumberOfProcessors, times the Frequency ( multiplied by pipeline-stages ), times the number of milli-amps used by each!

: P

sheer power (1)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766125)

I guess they'll live up to their promise of amazing gorilla hair... one blade server for each hair rendering...

Beowulf (-1, Redundant)

JoaoPinheiro (749991) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766131)

Can anyone imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?! Oh, wait...

Netcraft confirms it (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766169)

...Imagining a Beowulf cluster of King Kongs terrifies old people in Korea.

It must be one heck of a movie to require 250 blade servers to render it effectively. But then again, when you're working with graphics, it doesn't hurt to have a lot of horsepower.

Re:Netcraft confirms it (2, Funny)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766219)

I think it's sheep-power in New Zealand. And hey, after that, Hollywood can reuse them to fleece movie-goers.

1100 odd processors for Redhat (0, Offtopic)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766184)

Man, I would love to see how fast Gentoo would compile on that.

New Zealand targeted by ONU !! (2, Funny)

Dam's (921393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766192)

In other news, New Zealand is accused by the ONU for not respecting the Kyoto treaty.
It appears that New Zealand is now the World n1 heat producer, the origin of that heat is currently unknown.

Well, joke aside, I hope for them than the clim won't break...

The massive power of creating digital realism (4, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766208)

The amount of power that is needed to create a realistic outdoor scene with multiple actors is simply astounding. King Kong will most likely be candy for the eyes when it is done. Halo, the next Peter Jackson movie, will probably just as amazing.

An interesting article on building a digital animation studio (IBM) is here:
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/wa-a nimstudio1/ [ibm.com]

Re:The massive power of creating digital realism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766565)

Hello Sir,

Please get up off your knees and stop sucking Peter Jackson's cock off. His movies are not as good as you lead yourself to believe.

Good day sir!

Re:The massive power of creating digital realism (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766591)

I liked LOTR trilogy, I am not sure about his other movies though, you are right.

I am a big fan of the massive scale, sci-fi adventure.

Distributed computing... (2, Interesting)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766220)

Given the high degree of parallelism and the social aspects, you'd think that distributed computing would be ideal for hollywood rendering, given that you could implement sufficient security restrictions. (Security restrictions which should be perfectly managable.) How many people out there do you think would like to be able to say "I rendered part of this movie!"

There are some issues, of course, but it strikes me as worth exploring.

A cluster? (1)

nathan s (719490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766377)

Isn't it customary to just grow a pair?

Sweet! (3, Funny)

Black Francis (694247) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766382)

The IBM Xeon blade servers, each with two 3.4 gigahertz processors and 8 gigabytes of memory...
... now they might even be able to run Vista!

Wow (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766442)

The IBM Xeon blade servers, each with two 3.4 gigahertz processors and 8 gigabytes of memory

*drool*

Did any of the admins go to school? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766463)

added another 250 more blade servers to their render farm


a new regiment from M$

Hire a proof reader or use some grammar checker. Even Microsnot Word flags this one.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766480)

It's about time those wimps over at Weta grew a cluster.

this doesn't add up (1)

six (1673) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766498)

They have been added to the centre's existing bank of 1144 Intel 2.8GHz processors, boosting its power by 50 per cent to create a supercomputer with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs.

so they had 1144 processors, they add 500 of them (250 dual cpu blades) ... how do they get these 1644 PC processors to perform "with the equivalent power of nearly 15,000 PCs" ?!

they are either comparing with Pentium 200 processors, totally bullshitting, or maybe they meant 1500 ?

Top 500 list (1)

Belldoor (922110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766533)


The purchase means the centre is back among the 100 largest supercomputing clusters in the world.

The last report of the top500 got it at the 99th position, althought it may be a bit out of date, as is from June.

15,000 PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13766602)

Since when does 1394 dual CPU systems = 15,000 PC's? That means each blade is 10 times faster than a normal PC. What are we measuring here. If your basing it on raw CPU power. You might be able to say it is twice as fast, but not 10. Even twice as fast is a stretch because dual processor contention with each other over resources and clustor management overhead.

They may have faster memory and IO buses, but the amount that would effect you depends on your application. In some cases it may not make much of a difference after the app initializes. I hate bogus claims like this.

4,903.2 GHz (1)

Ythan (525808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766634)

Any ideas how I can convince Peter Jackson to join my Folding@home team?

The movie will still be a train wreck (2, Funny)

kindbud (90044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766638)

I mean, come on. Why King Kong? Was the world really lacking yet another King Kong adaptation? This movie will make Gozilla look like Independence Day.
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