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Feb 27 2016

NVIDIA Introduces Iray® Server

Computer clusters have been around for nearly five decades, but so far only very few vendors have applied the underlying concept to graphics processing and built so-called render farms. This week, market leader NVIDIA made things a little easier for anyone who uses their GPUs with the introduction of Iray® Server.

According to the official NVIDIA Blog, the product works as a distributed rendering software that "coordinates a network of machines as a 'cluster' to speed the creation of images" and "runs on the hardware of your [the users', N.N.) choice." As a result, images can be processed in a fraction of the time it would cost on a single workstation. To make things even easier, users may also stream content that was placed in Iray® Server to other machines for interactive rendering, provided all of these are equipped with NVIDIA professional GPUs (namely its Quadro product line). Plus, it lets users add jobs to a rendering queue that can be managed using a web or mobile browser; modify and resubmit jobs without returning to the host application (see below); and join or leave the cluster at any point in time without disrupting the rendering process.

NVIDIA® Iray® Server is the first standalone commercial implementations of NVIDIA® Iray®, the company's "physically based rendering technology" for generating photorealistic images that was first introduced in spring 2015. Previously available as a plug-in for software like Autodesk® 3ds Max® and Maya® or Dassault Systèmes CATIA, Iray® is basically a ray tracing program that simulates the behavior of light and materials, thus extending the capabilities of the main (or "host") application. While the Iray® plug-in requires a potent workstation and a 64-bit Windows to achieve best results, Iray® Server will also work on midrange desktops and laptops so long as they feature a Quadro GPU, powerful enough processor, 64-bit Linux or Windows 7, and 8 GB RAM.

NVIDIA® Iray® Server is available immediately for a 90-day trial period that is free of charge. For more information, please see the first review over at Techgage, who were treated to an Iray® bundle back in December. NVIDIA® Iray® and Iray® Server will also be key topics at NVIDIA's upcoming GPU Technology Conference in the first week of April.


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