Topic: Providing HPC services to the film industry
Speaker: Anastas Mishev (UKIM)
HPC center: HPGCC, FCSE, UKIM
Category of Best Practice: SME awareness
Faculty of computer science and engineering at the University Ss Cyril and Methoduis in Skopje manages the national supercomputing cluster for the research communities, but with open possibilities for the usage of this resource by the SMEs. One such use case was the usage of the HPC cluster by a company called fx3x. Fx3x is a full service visual effects and cg animation company that was founded in 1997. It currently employs 100+, most of them visual artists. They have been working on over 35 feature films, and several TV series for one of which we were nominated for an EMMY award.
Due to the special requirements for the OS and the software stack, we agreed to go for a bare metal lease of the cluster, based on the node/day usage. The 95% of the cluster was leased to the company, it has been installed with their own OS image along with the necessary software and job scheduling system. The data was brought physically through a NFS server to the clusters network. The job submission and monitoring was done through a VPN connection, since there was network isolation of the cluster due to legal requirements and intellectual property clauses. The work was accomplished in 1 month, with flexible daily usage of the cluster.
Fact Sheet: HPC for the film industry