Preliminar Note: In CentOS 7.xxx, the network is configured trough the NetworkManager tool, which is accessed trough the network icon of the linux bar. It is pretty similar to any other OS, so we will only comment some differences and some tips:


Note: Systems with the Mistika-Raidix storage option will need to use the Raidix GUI (the MistikaStorage icon on the desktop) for the network configuration (no network icon is provided in the linux bar).


Wired networks, network interface names,  and hostnames



- The hostname can not be changed with any of the above tools. Instead, use mConfig to change the hostname (mConfig->General->Hostname.  This will also propagate your name changes automatically to the /etc/hosts, batch manager, totem, and other systems in the renderfarm that will need to be aware about the hostname change.


- Ethernet eth0 / eth1  mac addresses may appear swapped in comparison with Suse11.  But that is not a problem for Mistika licenses, which should continue working normally.   


- Hp workstations will name network interfaces starting with  "eth" as usual, but other models (laptops and other desktops) may assign  "strange" interface names,  that could fail to be regognized by the Mistika licensing tool.  If that is the case, you can solve it by adding the parameters biosdevname=0 and net.ifnames=0 to the grub launch options. (if you do not know what is the "grub" then it is better to contact the support guys) 


Please note that the important names are the ones shown by executing this command in a console:


ifconfig



How to setup a wireless wifi network in a Mistika workstation


When using laptops it should be trivial, but adding a wireless port to a workstation is not always easy.  Many wifi pen drives are known to be difficult to install, and they can be slow and unstable. But there is a chipset with good support for CentOS 7.xxx, that is totally plug & play:


Ralink RT5572


Wifi pen drives using that chipset should work straight out of the box with no need for any driver installation on CentOS 7.xxx, and they only cost a few Euros.   If you need Internet from a wifi router, just plug it and all the wifi networks around  should appear in the NetworkManager (the network icon in the linux bar) inmediately.  


If you want the opposite (to offer an Access point for your phone or other wifi devices ):   In the network options of the same icon just add a "Shared Connection",  select the "AP mode", and do not change anything more. Your phone and wifi devices should be able to connect the workstation now.


Note: Avoid wifi pen drive models that do not have an antenna, or at least an extension cable.  Otherwise half the signal is absorved by the z840 workstation itself, and they are really slow an unstable.


Note: Systems with the Mistika-Raidix storage option do not have the NetworkManager activated by default. And the Raidix network interface does not offer interface for wifi connections. For these cases, you can still activate the NetworkManager in the mConfig->MistikaRaidix panel (but we recommend to only use it for the wifi connections, and let the other wired ethernet connections configured with Raidix)



10 Gb networks


In general, most 10Gb adapters work well out of the box in Mistika workstations. But we recommend to use the same model that you are using  in the other side of the network.  Regarding the model,  Intel and Atto model are pretty popular among our clients, and for the particular case of Linux to Mac connections the "SmallTree" brand can be good option.  


Using the proper cable is an important point to check, (we have seen many failures due to clients trying to reuse  old 1Gb cables, which in fact where inherited with even  older 100mb infrastructures...) . A decent 10Gb network should provide hundreds of MB/sg transfers, but the application is important. Doing  drag & drop of files is the worst method, it is slower and can create fragmentation. Instead, we recommend to use a dedicated application for file transfers like a decent ftp tool , or the Mistika mtransfer applicaion if you are doing it in the Mistika system. Other options are rsync and grsync (which has a nice GUI).  For fastest transfers, just import footage and render with Mistika directly from / to network drives. That is usually the fastest method.  


For the particular case of the Hp Z8 workstation, there is a nice purchase option which is the Hp 10Gb ethernet BaseT module. This option provides 2 x 10Gb RJ45 ports directly from a dedicated chipset integrated in the motherboard, so it is cost effective and no PCIe slot is wasted for this. But it needs to be ordered with the workstation (not available as post sale purchase).


 

40 Gb networks


In CentOS 7.xxx it is already possible to work at several gigabytes per second trough a 40Gb  ethernet network.   But this is more difficult to make it work at nominal speeds, as in general you will need the storage unit, the 40Gb HBA, the OS software and drivers  and the transfer application working on sync and very optimised for the particular combination. 


Any small detail that is not optimal in any protocol layer will surely destroy the performance.  These kind of infrastructures really need to be designed as a whole. For this reason, we offer a turnkey Mistika-NAS  solution which can provide 4 Gigabytes per second  sustained with just  one 40Gb ethernet link,  or to divide a 40 Gb port into 4 x 10Gb ports efficiently.   And it is also compatible to be connected into a Mistika-SAN infrastructure for ultimate performance