Autodesk and Mellanox Deployment Example

Version 8

    This post shows an example of a deployment using Mellanox hardware with Autodesk software for the Media and Entertainment market. Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of 3D software for global markets.

    The Autodesk Flame® 3D visual effects software has tools for fast interactive visual effects, compositing, advanced graphics, color grading, conform, editorial, and look development used largely in M&E post-production.





    This post will cover some of the requirements for the Media & Entertainment post-production market in general, and a specific solution deployed at a large post-production company.

    The media industry, and more specifically post-production, are now looking to Mellanox for higher throughput and lower latency/jitter for their 4K requirements. Video footage is filmed in 4K today, and the requirement and general interest to play back and edit 4K as an uncompressed medium is ever-growing. So what is 4K and how does Mellanox fit the bill? Well, 4K comes in different flavors, and the sizes in MB (at rest) or Mb/s (in transit) is largely due to:

    • Frame resolution
    • The number of frames per second (FPS)
    • The color depth

    As shown below:



    As well as 4K throughput, Mellanox also has an advantage and unique selling point (USP) with the IB <=> Ethernet gateway solution. This gateway is important in the post-production market where the end-user has deployed Apple Mac machines for the artists, and the storage and/or other products and services are deployed on InfiniBand (such as Autodesk Flame).

    Post-production is also quite diverse, and, depending on the specific use case, may not need 4K and the compute, network, and storage to go with it. Mellanox can still offer a compelling solution here with the ability to offer 10Gb/s today while future proofing the solution with 40/56G tomorrow.


    Post-Production House Requirements

    • Existing 1Gb network to be retained
    • Improve performance limitations on the SAN file gateways
    • Scale Autodesk systems: Flame, Flare & Flame Assist
    • Improve the Autodesk wire network
    • Integrate the high performance connectivity technologies: IB, ETH
    • ROI


    Why Choose Mellanox?



    • Allows a single network core to service a 48Gb Wire network and a broader 10Gb Ethernet network


    • Existing kit could be integrated into the core via 10Gb Ethernet.
    • Support for multiple protocols, IB and Eth, providing an integrated single switch solution

    Future Proofing:

    • Connectivity for whole Shanghai site into a single core, providing 10Gb into the future
    • Support for faster Ethernet standards over QSFP

    The Results:

    • The setup was relatively simple.
    • Remote monitoring and management has been simplified.
    • The render farm bottlenecks have been removed.
    • We expanded the premium Autodesk offering.
    • We introduced scalable lower cost platforms with high performance interconnects.
    • The switch has allowed us to cost effectively scale the network where we needed to scale performance.


    The final solution consisted of both IP / Ethernet and IPoIB via an SX6036G.

    Where possible, systems were connected with the ConnectX-3 VPI adapters at 56Gb/s.