Part 4: Monitor and Control 3D applications and machines

The Dashboard

This is the main control panel where you will see and can control your machines, and the 3D applications running on them.

If you have a lot of machines and want to make them all fit in one screen you can use your browser zoom feature (Ctrl + Scrolling the mouse wheel in Chrome) to resize the interface.

Render Node Monitor Dashboard

Main functions

Selections

You can click on the rectangles representing the application or machine statuses to select them. You can optionally Click on one of them and drag your mouse pointer to paint select multiple applications or machines.

It is also possible to click the application name to select an entire column or press the “Deselect All” button to do so.

If you enable the “Auto Deselect” switch at the bottom of the dashboard, then the selections will automatically clear after every issued command.

Reserving machines (User dropdown)

If you have multiple users in your RNM organization you can assign the machines to different users, so that you could know who is using which machine to render.

If you enable the “Machine Autofree” function for a group in the settings, then if no renders will run on the machine for the specified time, then it will be assumed to be “abandoned”, and the user will be set to free.

If you enable notifications for rendering events and errors, then only the user who is “occupying” a machine will get the notifications.

Application management

APPLICATION COMMANDS

You can press the giant “Restart” or “Stop” buttons on the bottom of the dashboard to send the command to the selected applications.

APPLICATION MONITORING

The rectangle of the application is grey by default, this means it is stopped. If you send a start command, or you launch the application manually, then it will light up green, and have an “On” status.

Supported applications can have different statuses, like “Rendering”, or “Error”. If you encounter an error you can discover what happened by going to the “History Log” page and read the log line that indicated the erroneous state of the rendering application.

In some cases when an error occurs, or the spawners do not connect into your distributed render, is enough to simply restart the spawner on the impacted machines to resolve the issue.

MACHINE COMMANDS

You can shut down, restart, or wake up your machines. If you press the “Stop” button on the dashboard when a machine is selected it is in fact not turned off but sent to sleep. This happens, because waking up a stopped computer requires more configuration than waking up a computer from sleep mode.

You can turn off a machine completely by selecting the machine in question, then opening the “Other commands” menu, and pressing the “Turn off machine” command.

To wake up a machine which is off, select it, and press the “Restart” button. If you have any issues regarding this, please refer to the [How turning on stopped machines work (WOL)] article.

You can access other machine related commands, like: Turning off Windows Update, initiating a HDD Defrag, etc… To learn more please refer to the [Other Commands] article.

MACHINE MONITORING

To see if your machines are indeed connected into the rendering jobs, and they are doing their job, you can watch their usage indicators:

  • CPU Usage %
  • GPU Usage %
  • RAM Size, and Usage %
  • VRAM Size, and Usage %

You can get the following additional information of your machines if you click the “( i )” icon in the rectangle containing the machine name:

  • Local network IP Address
  • SWAP Size, and Usage %
  • You can enter custom “Post-it” like messages, for example to indicate if a plugin is outdated for your colleagues.
ONE CLICK REMOTE DESKTOP

By clicking the little monitor icon next to the machine name, you can open a remote desktop connection to the machine. This functionality requires no configuration, it just works.

You have a limited amount of remote desktop connection hours available per machine per month based on your payment plan, so try not to keep connections open for long unnecessarily.

Action Steps: Issue a command to a 3D application

1. Stop / Restart an application

Select the rectangle of the 3D application in the right side of the Dashboard, and if the application is stopped, then press the “Restart” button, if it is running, press the “Stop” button, and see the magic happen.

2. More use cases

It is hard to immediately see the value RNM brings to the table, so you can expect individual case studies, and webinars with real world use cases where we show how you can bring out the maximum from your render farm by the help of RNM.

3. Continue to the next tutorial article

Part 5: What to do if you run into issues >>