Setting up one framestore for multiple flames?

I’ve been using flame (linux) for years but with the luxury of an IT department for all behind the scenes related tasks and setups. I’m now in the situation where I’m the first flame artist at my new job and I’m on a mac flame for the first time.

I’m looking to set up a framestore on the network, maybe a pegasus nas, that all flame installs can access so I can work in any suite but still access all flame projects. At the moment there will not be several flame artists accessing at the same time but I’d still like to have a good fast connection.

I don’t really know anything about flame besides the actual software so I don’t know how the framestore works (I guess it’s like a database that keeps track of things), what stone+wire acually is, I guess backburner is like a normal render farm for flame related tasks, but overall I’m pretty clueless to all the ins and outs of the backend of flame.

Any tips on hardware, how to actually set it up and explanations on the different components that make flame work would be greatly appreciated! I guess it would make this a pretty broad thread but the main focus is to set up the actual framestore.

Please let me know if there is any additional information you need and I’ll do my best to provide it. Sorry if this is posted incorrectly in any way!




Welcome! What you are suggesting is very possible, but might not be your best foray into such a project. A couple of initial thoughts.

First, a Pegasus isn’t a NAS. It’s a DAS, or Direct Attached Storage, accessible via Thunderbolt. Sure, one can access it another Mac, but, it’s not really the kind of option that scales well or that anybody I know uses in a production environment with a lot of Flame artists hitting it. In order to have multiple artists working from shared storage you likely would need some kind of SAN or Storage Area Network, which is complicated and should be left to the pros. Or, depending on the number of users, a NAS might be sufficient.

Second, it all depends. Number of users? Budget? What kind of work do you do? Flame only? Multi apps? Physical space? Your IT skills? Do you need pcoip or remote access? You are building (potentially!) a studio so I highly recommend roping in a professional.

Third. What kind of Macs? Mac Pros with PCIe slots? Mac Studios? iMacs? The form factor matters as to its scalability for sure.

Fourth. What you are asking for is hard. There are likely only a dozen studios in the world working this way, and every one of them, except for maybe @ALan, have their own teams of dedicated IT support that live and breath this stuff.

Fifth. You can likely get away with, and by get away with, I mean, ITS A PROFESSIONAL AND RESPONSIBLE SOLUTION, is instead focus on 10gig networking to a NAS and do a publishing workflow, paging @Josh_Laurence, or work uncached and only cache when you need to.

Sixth. Workspaces. With any Flame on the same network, you can already access each other Flame’s setups and framestore when you launch your project. So, you are REALLY going to need to do some soul searching and define for yourself what this sentence means…“all flame installs can access so I can work in any suite but still access all flame projects.”… because currently that is currently possible and doable and achievable with varying levels of success right out of the box with a properly configured network of Flames.

7th. WELCOME! Nice to see you here! Welcome!!!



And I’m out. Randy you are a better human being than I.


Hi Randy!
Thanks for your awesome reply!

So at the moment I’m the only flame artist and I don’t know of any plans of having several artists working at the same time. The reason why I would like to have a networked framestore is because I share computer (MacPro 2019)/suites with our editors. So the idea was to have one framestore that only acts as framestore so I can use any free suite (we will swap based on amount of people in each session) and access the framestore in the same way whatever suite I’m currently in.

Aha. I was google:ing and saw that name pop up frequently so I just threw it out there as a possibility :slight_smile:

So there would only be one user at a time. I’m not sure about the budget but I would assume a decent one, whatever that means :slight_smile: The framestore would be used for flame only. There’s decent space but not room enough for a huge server rack. My IT skills are not good but we do have an IT guy but he has no experience with flame. The rest of the questions are over my head I’m afraid.

All I know is they are “cheese grater Macs”, the one I’m on right now is a MacPro 2019.

Ok, so how would that work? Would it be more like a “normal” server that is dedicated to flame rather than a framestore? As I stated above, I don’t really know exactly what a framestore is besides a form of bespoke storage. This seems like a good candidate. At my last job we always cached our footage from the server for speed, how would streaming from a NAS impact the “real time”-ness of flame?

If I would use a local framestore and access it remotely I assume I would essentially share the computing power of that local machine with whoever is working on that machine. Have I misunderstood?

Thanks a million for taking the time to help me with this Randy, you’re a life saver! Please excuse me being a total noob!




I would not “share computers/suites with editors.” If you need to move about to different rooms, I would explore an option where your flame is on a dedicated computer that no one else uses, and create the ability to use that one computer from multiple suites.

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Oh, thats interesting.
So basically buy a new machine, install flame and plop it down somewhere. From the computer in the suite I’d access the framestore of the flame machine and work remotely that way?
Would that require several licenses?

It’s one machine, one license.

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And keep one of the 2019 mac for yourself and give the editors something like a mac pro. They don’t need nearly the horsepower

Aha, and use some sort of remote access solution like a Teradici to access the “flame machine”?

yes. I am not an expert on the subject of the hardware, but that is the general idea. It may even be as simple as using some sort of remote desktop software.

Good idea! Will consider for sure, thanks for your input!

@ALan is a busy man.

If there is only one user at a time, awesome. Keep it simple. Since it sounds like your computers are under the desk, I wouldn’t do any remote desktop. On the Mac side, yes, Teradici does now support Mac as a PCoIP server, or sender, and does support Mac as a client, or receiver, of PCoIP. But, based on what I am imagining your expertise is, I wouldn’t suggest that. There aren’t a lot of studios out there doing Mac over PCoIP for various reasons which is another discussion. Some, yes, are using software only like Jump Desktop or No Machine, but, they are the exceptions and have dedicated IT gurus/owners.

Okay, Mac Pro 2019s. Awesome. I’d recommend a Highpoint NVME RAID card, like this…

They also make one for about $1,000 USD that fits x8 NVME sticks. Either is fine. Fill them with Samsung NVMEs and you’ll have a super fast internal framestore that is between 6 and 10Gbit/s. I have a few of these and I love them. I have heard of one other member of these forums have a bad experience with his but he can chime in with an update @finn.

The also good news is, your 2019 Mac Pros have built in 10Gb networking cards. 1Gb networking won’t likely cut it for you. That may have worked with NTSC or PAL in the 90’s but its pretty standard these days for business environments. You’ll just need Cat6a networking cables and a 10GB compatible switch. It’s not difficult to setup. I use Unifi equipment, they have a few options for 10GB switches but anything your IT friend wants to use will work.

Dumb question. If you have editors in suites, what kind of storage are they using? They must have some kind of shared storage, right? If so, just get access to that. That way everybody’s data is all in the same place, and you can connect to it to read and write files to, and simply cache things to your Highpoint RAID when needed.

And if I were you, I’d pick one biggest room or the one furthest from the machine room or bathrooms and camp out there permanently. Moving machines, especially Flames, is a pain.

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Awesome Randy, this is great!

Yeah, he did not seem to have time for my tomfoolery :grin: But I totally understand.

Great information and tips here. I’ll relay this to my IT colleague.

Like you said: They work from our server so I would cache the footage from there to my framestore. It’s not the fastest server and every one at the office access it constantly for different reasons so working un-cached from there would not be ideal.

One last thing if you don’t mind:
Let’s say we get raid cards for the macs in two of the suites. If I would work on mac 1 but have my project on mac 2 how would me using the framestore on mac 2 from mac 1 impact performance? Would I only utilise the raid card on mac 2 and leave the rest of the resources fairly un-touched for an editor to use? Or would it slow the machine down so neither I or the editor would be satisfied?

We sometime swapped suites at my last job but that was between two dedicated flames so we basically worked from each others flames and the performance impact was not too bad for a day or so (but not optimal of course).

The alternative would be to just archive down the project and move it to the other suite if necessary.

Thanks again, this has been super helpful!



There are a lot of factors at play that determine how the performance will be. At my last major facility we used it all the time. Most of the time nobody would notice. It was common courtesy to say you were connecting to their machine but its a great option that works a lot of the time for a lot of things. Since your editor won’t be using the RAID card then that doesn’t really matter. It’s all about networking throughput. So, try it. It will likely work fine forr a lot of things, and you’ll find out when it doesn’t work for you.

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Thanks for all your help and taking your time to explain everything Randy! It’s been super helpful.


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Just a little update:
We got the HighPoint RAID-controller, filled it with nvme-drives and set it all up. Works great so far! I marked it as solution.

Thanks for all the tips, you guys rock!