Distributed Processing Solution for RenderMan and Other Applications
Tractor 1.0 is Pixar's totally new, next generation, distributed processing solution for rendering and other network intensive applications. Derived from years of experience in managing the computational demands of the worlds largest render farms, Tractor is specifically engineered to address the extreme scalability and performance requirements of multi-core networks of tens of thousands of processors and more. Functionally, Tractor consists of three primary components:
- The Tractor-Engine maintains the central job queue and dispatches tasks.
- The Tractor-Blade is a Python based execution server running on each remote node.
- The Tractor-Dashboard is a customizable web browser user interface providing centralized control of the Tractor-Engine.
Tractor's streamlined architecture is designed for rapid deployment, delivering very high performance with a queuing engine capable of dispatching over 500 tasks per second. Tractor utilizes proven, open web standards and is highly customizable. Systems administrators can easily add Python extension modules to Tractor-Blades and customize the specifics of how various tasks are executed.
Yes. Each seat of RenderMan Studio includes one Tractor license.
No. As a server application Tractor is available separately for RenderMan Pro Server. For each job you plan to run as the same time, you will require a license of Tractor. Note that a Tractor license is included with each seat of RenderMan Studio.
Tractor is intended to replace Pixar's existing Alfred and Alfserver products. In addition it is a cost effective standalone solution that can be deployed to control a wide variety of non-render tasks such as physics simulations or compositing tasks.
Because Alfred and Alfserver are still committed to production, Tractor will be phased in to replace these products over an extended transition term ending on June 30st 2012. Tractor has a significantly simpler licensing model:
For more information, check out the Tractor FAQ
Because of Tractor's simplified task centric licensing model, the transition plan provides all Alfred and Alfserver licenses on current maintenance with the option of a "like for like" free conversion to Tractor at any time within the transition term ending on June 30th 2012. This option can be exercised at any time during this term and is not reversible. Alfred and Alfserver will remain supported over this period at the end of which both products will be no longer supported or sold.
The simplest way to relate "like for like" to your current license entitlement is that 1 Alfred license translates to 1 equivalent Tractor license. Likewise 1 Alfserver license translates to 1 equivalent Tractor license. It does not matter if Alfred and Alfserver were purchased as standalone products or included as part of RenderMan Studio, RenderMan Artist Tools or RenderMan Pro Server. In all situations the free "like for like" principle applies. For example:
Only licenses on current maintenance qualify for the free transition to Tractor, which from its inception is intended to be a standalone product with an independent release schedule, allowing Pixar to deliver timely product updates for greater operational flexibility. For further information on the transition plan and how it impacts your existing entitlement please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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