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SheepIt network improvements

  • May 1st, 2020

Two of the most common complaints users have about SheepIt are:
1. download speed for the final mp4&zip
2. 'server overloaded', which prevents renderers from participating 24 hours a day

The next big iteration of SheepIt is aiming to fix those issues!

At the moment the "SheepIt network" is managed by a main server and a static data mirror (for Blender and Blend). The main server handles everything, from registration, project upload, rendering requests to mp4&zip generation. This is too much for a 7-year CPU (Intel Xeon E3-1270 V2), especially for the mp4 generation.

One solution could be to disable the mp4 generation, but we think this is an important feature.

We have changed the philosophy of the "Sheepit Network" by creating a new type of server: "Shepherd". This server will handle the render upload and mp4&zip generation. The goal is to allow Sheepit to continue to grow without any loss of performance.
As the main server does not store final assets, the download of mp4&zip should be faster as the shepherds are physically closer to you. There are several shepherds around the world that share the processing load and bandwidth usage.

You can check the servers we are using on the servers page.
If you have some extra server or bandwidth, feel free to tell us on the Discord.

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