Introducing Xesktop - our solution for GPU server rental!

Introducing Xesktop - our solution for GPU server rental!

2019 is a year of new horizons for us, one of which has been long in development. Our official launch of Xesktop, our desktop as a service solution is the culmination of problem-solving and refinement after a couple of years of working with feedback from our GarageFarm.NET customers, who were in need of a GPU rendering solution that could bypass the common technical pitfalls of network rendering.

Introducing Xesktop

Our infrastructure now houses fifteen servers that host ten GTX 1080 ti graphics cards that can be used to accelerate anything from GPU rendering for 3d programs to heavy calculations needed for any other application that could benefit from the hardware.

Presently, our dedicated servers with GPU have specs and benchmarks are as follows:

– CPU: 2x Intel Xeon CPU E5-2620 v4 @ 2.10 GHz
– RAM: 128GB
– GPU: 10 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, 11GB
– NVIDIA CUDA Cores: 10 x 3584
– Octanebench score: 1753 (2075 in OctaneBench 4.0)
– Price: $6 USD/h
– HDD 500GB with option for shared

OctaneBench Score for single GPU cards:

– GTX 1080 Ti = 185 (207 in OctaneBench 4.0)

Have a look at more benchmarks:

We’ve taken pains to ensure the process of connecting and setting up to a server is as simple as possible:

  1. Register: Create an account on Xesktop and log in, or log in using an existing GarageFarm.NET account.
  2. Create system image: Click the “new” button. This will create your first Windows system image.
  3. Connect & Setup: You will be provided with a .rdp (Remote Desktop Connection) file with credentials to connect to your Windows image on the server, which you can configure according to your needs. Contact our Live Support for any questions or concerns.
  4. File transfers: You can transfer files to and from the server using third party FTP services, cloud drives (i.e. Dropbox or Google Drive) or by copying directly via RDP.
  5. Payments: You will be charged a $6 hourly rate. You may transact via PayPal, bank transfer or credit card (dotpay).

Reasons why we created our server rental service:

Remote Collaboration

Remote collaboration is emerging as a viable option for studios and individuals. Larger studios tend to pass projects between their teams from opposite ends of the world, and any part of a production pipeline that requires some heavy GPU processing can be managed in the cloud, instead of having to constantly archive and send files between office spaces overseas. In some cases, studios are doing away with a physical workspace entirely, and doing what was not so long ago dismissed as impossible!

As remote collaboration moves closer to becoming the norm, the need for project data to reside in a cloud-based virtual platform increases. In this way, any member of the team can have on-demand access to files they work on, and hit the ground running as soon as they log in to their virtual workstation.

Hardware costs and overhead

Any studio or production house deals with massive overhead on hardware alone, in film and games, often needing to upgrade their systems a few times in a decade. The benefit of a cloud-based solution in this regard is the money saved in hardware acquisition and maintenance. A good internet connection and a standard office computer can replace workhorse rigs for any CG work, and on top of that, no sleep is lost over a few workstations that are about to kick the bucket and will soon need to be replaced.
For starting studios or a small team of freelancers, GPU server rental can also mean minimizing the need to rent a space to work in, and employing system administrators to set up and maintain a network of machines.

Bulletproof file handling

In many cases, we’ve observed what would have been a fast project miss the deadline simply because it wasn’t prepared with network rendering in mind. Custom project directories and assets littered everywhere might not be handled by even the most sophisticated render farm tools, or extra time is taken in the midst of a looming deadline to bake thousands of frames worth of simulations to ensure proper rendering over a network. In cases like this, the benefits of rendering on a high powered GPU workstation might even outweigh those of a render farm, and when the guys from post are at your heels, reorganizing your projects so they can render over a network is probably the last thing you want to be worrying about.

Access to real-time support

Like all our services, we endeavour to provide the best support we possibly can. That means anytime you have questions or are experiencing issues with one of our servers you can contact our team on chat at any time of the day, any day of the week. Our support consists of system administrators, and 3d technical artists that can help you with anything from setting up your licenses to troubleshooting issues with your actual project files.

We want this service to be accessible to any demographic from the 3d industry. You don’t need to be a studio to take advantage of renting a server. If you’re one of the following, we think Xesktop could be of use to you:

Freelancers

One of the most frustrating things about being a 3d artist or designer is when sometimes your hardware just can’t keep up with your client’s vision. Investing in a better rig might be way above the budget for the time being, but the occasional job you’d have to turn down because of your machine’s limitations is a wasted opportunity for a good relationship with a client, or for even the cold hard cash for the bills, bills bills!

With your skills, an hour or two on a high powered GPU workstation could get the job done for the price of a couple of sandwiches. You can take in more work, and develop a lucrative partnership with a returning client, without breaking the bank on new gear!

Educators

Running a small school can be just as costly as a studio, and unfortunately, not always as profitable. We believe that education is one of the noblest of callings, and are happy to be able to provide a solution for small scale training operations. The use of our servers not only guarantees high-performance GPU workstations for your students and yourself but also affordable rates that you could easily factor into your hourly fees. We’ve always tried to be of help to educators, and so as we grow, so will the possibility of special discounts and sponsorships.

What some of our customers have to say

To ensure that we were up to the task of providing high-performance servers for our customers, we offered them to some of the most skilled and imaginative 3d artists we knew and learnt from what they had to say. Here are a few words from our early testers and customers:

“It has been a very interesting experience, I had been looking for a service like yours for some time and I found it, not only for GPUs, but also for CPUs. The work has been very simple and the doubts in support were solved very fast” – TURVIRTUALTUR

“Xesktop launched at a time when I was actively looking for a good service that was scalable, yet affordable. I made a spreadsheet to compare the features and costs of more than 10 services. Your service had the best spec at the most affordable rates and the availability of more servers meant I could launch jobs in parallel. That was nice.” – Taiwo Folu

“The GPUs are really performant and you offer the best price / compute power of the market !” – Omegafoxx

“A friend of mine tested various services and found Xesktop to be the best option for our projects. Setup was easy, but since I was on a budget I figured I pre-upload all the project files to the server before starting it in order to save some of the credits. This resulted in an issue with the network drive and I couldn’t access my files. However, support worked very fast and got the issue resolved in about an hour.” – Grigori Shevtsov

“As I wanted to render my work in a beta version of Blender I required the assistance of the team at Xesktop. Everyone who helped me with making the server and solving issues in it was incredible and very helpful, and most importantly – nice and polite.” – Michael Berezovsky

Since our launch, we’ve had a steady trickle of happy server renters, and we’re very pleased to have helped bring to life amazing 3d art by the likes of Sarper Baran and Jared Tod. We hope to be able to help other artists, designers, data analysts, and whomever else in breaking through traditional constraints imposed by the hardware requirements of their specializations. Our aim is to empower users with mobility, speed, and accessibility through our servers.

We hope to grow our server count and hardware significantly in the years to come, and foster a community that can help us be of more service. Thanks for reading, and happy trails from all of us at Xesktop!


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