I'm tasked with figuring out the ins and outs of setting up a render server for our Production Department. We will be working in conjunction with a Tech company to install and manage the server hardware/software. We currently work in a Mac environment and would like to keep the Render Server the same. From my brief talks with the Tech guy, he wants to use a server and create Virtual Machines (VMs) for use with After Effects Net Render Engine. He had mentioned something along the lines of 10-15 VMs from a server. He's not to familiar with the software side of AE and I'm not too familiar with the hardware side of servers. I've done net rendering before on multiple physical machines using Watch Folders as well as Team Render and Net Render from Cinema 4D so I understand the idea of Virtual Machines being the "physical" nodes. What we're unclear of is what do we need to get started with the Render Server?
Are there hardware limitations as to how many VMs we could put on a server? (CPU = # VM)
Are there specific types of servers that would suit us best?
What types of software can we use to handle the administration of each VM for AE Net Render and possibly C4D in the future?
How can we handle the licenses from Plug-Ins such as Trapcode Particular, Optical Flares, etc?
If there's any information I can provide that would be helpful, I'll be happy to do so.
Thanks for your help,