Using Compressor AutoClusters

The AutoCluster feature in Compressor gives you an easy way to take advantage of the distributed processing capabilities offered by Apple Qmaster without requiring a lot of knowledge about how clusters are configured, how to set up file sharing, and so on.

Using AutoCluster is a two-step process:

  • Automatically creating Apple Qmaster service nodes as you install Final Cut Studio or Apple Qmaster

  • Selecting “Include unmanaged services on other computers” when you submit a Compressor batch for processing

These two steps let you harness the processing power of any number of computers on your network without any additional effort or knowledge on your part.

Stage 1: Creating Service Nodes During Installation

Both the Final Cut Studio installer and the Apple Qmaster Node Installer include the Compressor Service Sharing pane, in which you can quickly set up the computer as an unmanaged Apple Qmaster service node, which is essentially a free agent “processing slave,” available on the network for any computer that requests its services.

Figure. Compressor Service Sharing pane of the Final Cut Studio installer.

If you select Yes in this pane, the Apple Qmaster pane of System Preferences is configured as follows:

  • Share this computer as: Services only
  • Compressor service: Selected, unmanaged
  • Start Sharing: Started

You can change any of these settings at a later time in the Apple Qmaster pane of System Preferences. For more information, see Apple Qmaster Pane of System Preferences and Administering Clusters.

Important: Although the Final Cut Studio installer requires a separate serial number for each computer, you can use the Apple Qmaster Node Installer (available in the Extras folder) to install the necessary Apple Qmaster software to make any computer on your network into an Apple Qmaster service node.

Stage 2: Submitting Compressor Batches for Processing

When you submit a Compressor batch for processing, a dialog appears that allows you to name the batch and select the computers to process the batch. At this point, you can harness the processing power of all the computers you set up as service nodes in stage 1 to complete the batch.

Figure. Compressor submit dialog window.
To process the batch using AutoCluster
  1. Leave the Cluster pop-up menu set to the default selection (This Computer).

  2. Select the “Include unmanaged services on other computers” checkbox.

    Compressor and Apple Qmaster coordinate the distribution of the processing tasks between the available computers and deposit the resulting output files at the location(s) you designated in Compressor.