A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Version: Deadline 6 and later

Introduction

As render farms grow larger, and more render jobs are being pushed through, viewing all that information in the Deadline Monitor can get to be a bit much. Filters are one mechanism to only show the information that you’re interested in, and we’ve covered them in a previous blog entry. However, you might want to simplify the view even further, and in that case, graphs are a great tool. In this blog entry, we’ll go into detail on how you can use graphs in the Monitor to view your data at a higher level.

Show Me The Graph!

While using the Monitor, you have probably noticed that many of the information panels have a series of buttons in the top left corner. One of these buttons looks like a pie chart. If you toggle it on, the panel will switch to a graphical view of the data. For example, this is what you’ll see if you click on the Graph View button in the Jobs panel.

graph-job-panel.png

Instead of seeing information about each individual job, you can now see a higher level view of the state of all the jobs. In addition, this isn’t the only graphical view available to the Jobs panel. If you click on the far left button (with the down-arrow), a menu will be displayed. Hover over the Graph Types sub-menu to see the available graph types.

graph-job-types.png

If you select the Jobs Groups Graph option, you’ll see this instead, which shows you the ratio of jobs per Group.

graph-job-groups.png

Other panels in the Monitor also support the Graph View. Here’s the graph view in the Slaves panel that shows the number of Deadline Slaves in each Group.

graph-slave-groups.png

Here’s the graph view in the Tasks panel that compares the task times for a specific job.

graph-task-time.png

Take some time to explore the other panels that are available in the View > New Panel menu in the Monitor. Most will have a Graph View option, and some will support more than one graph type!

graph-monitor-view-menu.png

What Else Can I Do With Graphs?

While there are plenty of graphs in the Monitor to keep you entertained for hours, you may come to the point where you want to do a little more with your graphs than just look at them. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you busy.

Saving Graphs

If you’re putting together a report for your render farm, or you’re just looking for a snazzy new desktop background, you can easily save any graph in the Monitor to disk. Just right-click anywhere on the graph and select Save Graph As Image. When the File Save window is displayed, chose the directory and file name you want to save to. Note that you can save the image as a PNG, JPG, BMP, or TIF.

graph-save-image.png

Line Graphs

Any line graph (like the Task graph above) can be zoomed in and out, and there are a few ways to do so:

  • You can hover the mouse over the graph and use the scroll wheel. Scroll up to zoom in, and scroll down to zoom out.
  • You can use the mouse to drag over a specific area, and when you release the mouse button, the graph will zoom over the selected area.
  • You can right-click on graph to reset the zoom at any time.
graph-zoom.gif

You can also use the right-click menu on line graphs and use the View Series sub-menu to show and hide specific data. For example, you can configure the Task Times graph to only show the total Task Time.

graph-view-series.gif

Pie Graphs

As mentioned in the Introduction, filters are an option for viewing specific information in a panel, and pie graphs can be used as a tool to set these filters. Let’s go back to the Jobs panel from above, which shows that there are completed, suspended, and failed jobs. If you were monitoring the health of your render farm, you’d probably be interested in those failed jobs, and you can filter the Jobs panel by simply holding down the SHIFT button on your keyboard and using the mouse to click on one of the pie wedges.

To remove the filter, simply click on the far left button (with the down-arrow) and choose Clear Filter.

graph-filter.gif

Conclusion

The various Graph Views provide an alternative method for viewing the information in the Monitor. For some, it’s a way to view the information at a higher level. For others, sometimes it’s nice to look at something other than lists all day.

For more information, refer to the Graph Views section of the Monitor documentation.