There has been a bit of discussion about being able to run Adobe software on Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit.
I am happy to announce that I am installing Adobe Creative Master Suite CS5 right now on the Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit.
It is about 21% complete and I will update again once completed and tested.
For those of you wondering why we would do such a thing, consider the following:
- Depending on the version of Windows Server 2008 you install (i.e. Standard, Enterprise, Webserver, Datacenter) you can leverage more processing power and RAM to help you complete your production task faster.
- For instance, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition allows for up to EIGHT physical cpu's and up to 2TB of RAM! Imagine being able to encode, decode, export, render...etc all that much faster!
If this works out, here are a few tips:
- You can download Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit for FREE as a 9-day trial from Microsoft's website.
- The download INCLUDES all versions. Microsoft's website includes a technical comparison of each, I would recommend the Enterprise Edition (non-core version) for maximum performance, although the Standard Edition (non-core version) can handle FOUR physcial cpu's but 'only' up to 32GB of RAM as opposed to 2TB from the Enterprise Edition.
- The Standard Edition is cheaper at $400 and the Enterprise version is $3000.
- Currently, the most 'practical' hardware solution to harness the power of Windows Server 2008 is to go with a 4-way (FOUR Physical) CPU motherboard. There are currently two affordable solutions, one by Tyan and one by Supermicro. Both are AMD based CPU's however, but currently will allow for up to 48 physical CPU's and up to 512GB of RAM.
- Supermicro H8QGi-F and Tyan TYAN S8812 (S8812WGM3NR) are the motherboard models
- Both can take up to 512GB of ECC/Registered DDR3 memory or 128GB of the cheaper non-ECC/non-Registered memory (this is the regular RAM that every consumer-level PC has)
- I would recommend the Supermicro motherboard as it comes with 6 x SATA connectors versus only one on the Tyan motherboard.
- Also, coming this Summer 2011, AMD will have a 16 core CPU codenamed 'Interlagos" that can easily be popped into these motherboards giving you a theoretical 4 x 16core = 64 core system!!!!
- The NVIDIA QUADRO graphics cards are officially supported under Windows Server 2008 R2. However for those with the normal Geforce graphics cards, you can just use the Windows 7 64-bit drivers as I did with my Geforce GTX 295, and it works great so far!
Inserting disc 2..... I'll keep you guys posted!
Interesting effort. Let us know how you progress, but I'm not convinced you will see significant performance gains. BFTB-wise (bang-for-the-buck) this does not look appealing. We have one dual AMD Opteron system with 16 cores in the PPBM5 Benchmark and that system is still around three times slower than a finely tuned i7-950 or i7-920, despite 40 GB memory. If you add the cost of Server Enterprise and the ECC memory, it looks like you are better off with a superb disk I/O system and then SATA connectors are completely irrelevant. Even quadrupling the number of cores by using eight physical CPU's with 64 cores will not result in a four time performance gain to bypass a lowly 920.
Well what I notice about benchmarks is that they are merely objective. Of course measurements such as encode time or export time
matters, however what benchmarks can't measure is the user's experience.
Consider the case when your workflow becomes choppy or non-responsive, or being able to process a queue of exports while working on another edit, these are things I believe more cores and more RAM can help.
Imagine being able to ingest, edit, export and write to a distribution media (i.e. burning a bluray disc) all at once. This is something more cores and more ram can do for sure.
Again, this project is for the professional who's time is exponentially more valuable than most, whereas the average joe may not find this solution cost efficient.
I should also add that with the increasing presence of higher quality recording devices/camcorders such as the Atomos Ninja (4:2:2 ProRes) and Sony PMW-F3 with S-Log 4:4:4 recording, files are getting ever larger and larger. The upcoming RED Epic is going to record video at well over 1GB a second! Even the prosumer RED Scarlet is going to be near half a GB per second!
So more cores and more RAM is going to be necessary in the very near future to deal with such large and high resolution video files!
I should also note that many users who install Windows Server Operating Systems as their workstation OS have reported that it is more stable and more quicker than the consumer Windows counterpart. It is also more stable and harder to crash. This performance + reliability may also attract professionals looking for a robust yet more efficient work environment.
OK, there was a slight change in the installation as I installed the Collection Master Suite CS5.5 instead. Installed as trial version as my CS5 disc 2 was scratched and could not be read (any idea how I can get disc 2 replaced????)
Tested Premiere Pro CS5.5 with GPU hack as well and it works. Placed an AVCHD and .mov file into timeline and it works!
Now a few tips to get it working on Windows Server 2008 R2:
- Install the Adobe software like usual.
- After install or before install, ensure that the 'Desktop Experience' is installed as this will install Windows Media Player. Without WMP, Premiere Pro will NOT start.
- Also ensure to enable Audio Services for Windows Server 2008 R2 as audio is disabled by default.
**See http://www.win2008workstation.com/ for more information on how to convert Windows Server into a Windows 7-like environment, a very simple step-by-step tutorial.
- When playing back the AVCHD (from NEX-VG10 camcorder) and .mov (from Canon EOS 60D camera) I did not get any audio until I installed Quicktime and did the GPU hack to enable support for my Geforce GTX 295. Then audio worked!
- When installing Quicktime, the Windows 7 64-bit version will do.
- So there you have it guys, Adobe software does appear to work with Windows Server 2008 R2. I say 'appears' as I have only tested Premiere Pro CS5.5 and not the other software.
When you have finalized your installation and tuning, I would be very interested to see your results on the PPBM5 Benchmark
What might be especially interesting is to see the difference between 16, 32, 48 or 64 cores and say 24, 48, 96 and 192 GB of memory.
Well it won't be for a while as a 48 core system is very very expensive. Hopefully I can save up for next next summer!
PS: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise/Datacenter Editions support up to 2TB of RAM (far exceeding the 192GB limit of Windows 7). The motherboards listed in the first post can take up to 512GB!!! I would also guess that the person's workflow would definitely affect the performance of having that much RAM. For instance, someone working in R3D files at a 4K resolution will benefit more for sure than someone working in AVCHD.
I am also interested in your experiences w/Windows Server 2008 r2.
My institution would like to put together a renderfarm to support a variety of software, including Adobe products (where that is feasible). What's important to know is that mainstream vendors such as Dell only certify server OS (Windows Server 2008 or Linux) options on high density blade server configurations. This gap between software and hardware vendor certification is a recurring theme...
It is true that specialty hardware vendors, such as Boxx, will support Windows 7 with their high-density rackmounted products.
Thanks for performing your experiment and posting the setup procedure & results!
YES WORKS !
Works very very well . We bougth from TitanUS an A450 Workstation with 512Gb of RAM, with 4 16Cores Opterons, and a GTX580 witn 4 GB of DDR5 menory and 384 CUDA, and Tesla 2050 with more 4Gb DDR5 memory and more 448 CUDA all V3.1 and 8x500GB of raid 0 volume..
The 64 cores runs bealtifully. AMD is really far superior that Intel .
The windows server 2008 is in fact a very very very powerfull workstation software, around 10 times more stable that any other software , evem MAC.
After install , you simply enable Desktop experience , Themes Service, Image services, Audio service, Windows management Instrumentation, DCOM, and others workstartations services that are there , but disabled by default . The same way u can disable some only related server services , like IIS, RRAS, ROUTER, WINS, DNS, DHCP , AD, and Etc .
You can insyall any windows7 theme especially if u hack the desktop experience with Theme UX 64 Patch widely availabe over the net .
Afyer that , 99% of windows 7 software will run flawlessly in server
Here we have "finely tuned I7-950" overclocked , water colled running @4.2Ghz with 48 GB of 1600 DDr3 memory, and our 64Cores beast colled by 4 Cooler master 14cm dualfan , runing @ 4 Ghz , is around 36% faster than I7 edditing in 4K RED tile line . The stupid power of GXT580 and tesla is enoutg to dismiss any render in timeline , and with the Boost of Rovi TotalCode6.1 this machine is very very fast . For info , it capable to export a 36 minutes 4k movie in 11 ~ 14 minutes with all effects, color correction etc, in AVC HD or MPEG BluRay. In fact the export time is less than half the time the material to be exported. In the I7 machine, the time of export is about 85% to 90% of the time the finalized material . It's a really significant gain. Thanks to AMD with this magnificent project that is the Opteron Processor .
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