Since 2006, Ranch Computing, a French renderfarm located in Paris, has imposed itself in Europe as one of the major actors in the calculation of computer generated images and animations, mostly for the architectural, animation and cinema or product design VFX. After having doubled its CPU calculation capacity at the end of 2016, the company, which is the French leader of Cloud rendering, keeps increasing its calculation power by now doubling its GPU calculation capacity.
At Ranch Computing, in our Paris offices, we did not give in to the trend of mining crypto currency however we do calculate images. If the computer graphics concept has appeared in the 1970’s, it is only at the beginning of the 1990’s that software and tools enabling to desing 3D images have been developped. This is the reason why CGI has experienced a significant growth, leading to an exponential rise of rendering needs.
These rendering needs led to the creation of Ranch Computing. The company decided to sell a priceless concept to CG artists: time. Indeed, the rendering phase is a crucial step in the creation process of the images because it often happens at the end of the process or so (as extra steps such as compositing may occur afterwards). At the end of the creation process, artists and graphic designers tend to be more under pressure about meeting their deadlines and their budgets. By letting professionals take care of the rendering, CG artists can save up to days or even months in their creation process and thus can keep focusing on their creation work as their computers are not busy calculating. For comparison: one week of rendering on a basic computer equals to 20 minutes on Ranch Computing’s servers at full power.
Until recently, images calculation was almost exclusively made with CPU, that is to say servers processors. By the way, in 2016, Ranch Computing has invested 1.6 million euro in high density servers equipped with Intel Dual Xeon E5-2697A V4 processors. This farm, entitled POWERFarm, supplements the older servers which were partially kept and now form the LEGACYFarm.
But for less than two years, fueled by the gaming market, the GPU capacities increased a lot.
GPU are giving impressive results for real-time images calculation but also really high perfomances for 3D rendering. Editors were right when they decided to create more and more software dedicated to GPU rendering.
Ranch Computing, which started to propose rendering services at the end of 2016, now doubled its power in order to fit with increasing GPU rendering requests.
The 68 GPU servers, which corresponds aproximatively to a 50,000 OctaneBench score, represent about 1 million GPU cores available 24/7 for customers. Indeed, just like for the CPU rendering service, the GPU rendering service is fully dematerialised and enables customers to send their files directly in the cloud whenever they need and from wherever they are. This is the reason why most of the company’s customers are not-French (75%, mostly in the USA and Europe). This acquisition ranks Ranch Computing as the leader of GPU rendering services in Europe.
Ranch Computing was founded in 2006 by Julien de Souza and Frédéric Louguet. The concept was quite innovative at the time because there were really few commercial renderfarms on the market and none of them was fully automated. Rendering needs were not the same as nowadays, but proportionally, the computing power neither. The first version of the RANCH was only composed of Core 2 Quad/Extreme servers which included 4 cores of 4 GB RAM…
As for now, Ranch Computing is composed of:
Julien de Souza (on the left side of the picture) has now been working for 30 years in the computing field. Prior to co-founding Ranch Computing, he accompanied several customers (such as the designer Philippe Starck) by selecting and installing appropriate computer solutions fitting to their needs. He is now the Managing Director of Ranch Computing.
Frédéric Louguet (on the right side of the picture) has been a journalist for 20 years in the computing field. He is also the developer of Chess Wizard, a software that won three times the French contest of the best chess programs but also wrote various articles and books about computer generated images. After co-founding Ranch Computing in 2006 and designed the automated manager of the renderfarm, he is now the Chief technology Officer.