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Sat, June 23, 2018

| Formosa 3 Cluster

Formosa 3 is the NCHC’s self-built cluster cloud computing and 3D rendering system. Combining the NCHC’s solid strength in cluster computing and cloud technology, it provides complete, reliable, cloud computing, and 3D rendering services.

Currently, Formosa 3 provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), thus, offering its users virtual machine management, complete customization and control, and easy installation and integration.

In recent years, Taiwan's animation and film industry has been extremely active! There are currently more than 140 design-related departments within Taiwanese universities working on film and animation. Within these departments there are skilled people whose professions in digital content and culture creativity are recognized worldwide. In the past, a well-integrated, easy-to-use, high speed render platform has been missing. In response to the needs for high speed rendering in Taiwan’s design schools and culture creativity industry, the NCHC developed and released its Render Farm service in November, 2011. Render Farm is a 3D rendering cluster based on the Formosa 3 cloud computing cluster. The NCHC incorporated Linux, a professional render queuing system, and a graphic user interface, or GUI, into its Render Farm in order to provide total rendering services.

Render Farm users can use various operation systems such as Linux, Windows, or Mac OS to connect to Render Farm and monitor the processes of their rendering jobs. In the future, the NCHC will focus on integrating dynamic 3D special effect simulations and special effect rendering technologies into Render Farm.

Render Farm's key characteristics

  1. Self-built hardware: The Formosa series computing cluster makes up the Render Farm hardware. Render Farm’s overall performance is 200x faster than that of the average duo-core PC.
  2. Graphical User Interface (GUI): Render Farm’s GUI provides for easy job submission and monitoring. Users can easily access the details of their rendering via the Render Farm GUI.
  3. Enhanced performance: Both a professional render queuing system and an NCHC-developed middleware are integrated into Render Farm in order to increase its overall rendering performance.

Render Farm supported rendering software

  • Maya Software render (Maya2010, Maya2011, Maya2012, Maya2013)
  • Mental Ray Batch for Maya
  • Vray 2.0
  • LuxRender
  • Blender

Formosa 3 hardware configuration

76 computing nodes; each computing node consists of:

  • Model – IBM System x3550 M3
  • CPU – Intel Xeon x5660 six cores 2.8GHz x 2
  • Main Memory – 48GB
  • Hard Disk – 80GB SSD
  • Network – 4x QDR (40Gb) InfiniBand HCA x 1

4 storage nodes; each storage node consists of:

  • Model – SuperMicro X8DTU-F
  • CPU – Intel Xeon x5660 six cores 2.8GHz x2
  • Main Memory – 48GB
  • Hard Disk – SATA 6Gb/s 600GB x14, 80GB SSD x2
  • Network – 4x QDR (40Gb) InfiniBand Card


  • Gigabit switch – D-Link DGS-3100 48 ports 10/100/1000Mbps switch x6
  • InfiniBand switch –Voltaire Grid Director 4036 x8

Formosa 3 software configuration

  • OS – CentOS 5.5 x86_64: Linux kernel 2.6.18
  • VM Hypervisor – KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine)

Queuing system

  • Qube 6.x.x


IaaS service user guide

Formosa 3 cloud management system – http://formosa3.nchc.org.tw/doc/guide.html

Contact information

Mr. Te-Ming Chen 886-6-5050940 ext.648 * gavin@narlabs.org.tw

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