Linux Renders Titanic

Already way over budget, the Titanic special effects crew couldn't afford a supercomputer to do the critical rendering, and anything less would take far too long.

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Like all high end animators and special effects houses, the Titanic team had a slew of SGI Indigo workstations (as well as a pile of new Windows NT workstations for the low end jobs), but Titanic was far more demanding than most projects. A much greater degree of realism was required than for the typical science fiction epic, and realism is expensive. Rendering the water scenes was obviously a job for a supercomputer, but with Titanic already far over budget, a $10,000,000 computer wasn't realism.

The performance problem was solved by assembling a cluster of DEC Alpha based computers (far faster than Intel's best) into a Linux cluster. Instant supercomputer at a small fraction of the cost.

Red Hat now offers a commercial version of the clustering software under the title Extreme Linux.

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