|C H A P T E R 1|
Sun Fire Visual Grid System Overview
This chapter provides an overview of the Sun Fire Visual Grid system.
The Sun Fire Visual Grid system consists of the Sun Fire 4800/6800, the Sun Fire V880z, and the Sun Fire Visual Grid software and networking interconnect.
The Sun Fire Visual Grid system enables a host (master) computer to use remote (slave) computers for rendering to displays using Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerators. The system runs over a high-speed, networked Sun Fire Visual Grid interconnect. The Sun Fire Visual Grid software makes this connection transparent to the master running the application; the application functions as if the Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerators are located local to the master. Thus, the software enables large numbers of displays to be addressable from a single computer in this system without modifying application software, and often with little or no performance degradation or change in user experience. Local Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerators installed in the master can also be used in conjunction with Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerators installed in the slaves.
The Sun Fire Visual Grid software implements a pseudo-frame-buffer device on a master host that acts as a proxy for a physical frame buffer device on a remote Sun Fire V880z slave host. One or more remote slave hosts are connected to the master host in such a way that the remote frame buffers on the slave hosts appear to existing APIs (Application Program Interfaces, such as X Windows, Sun OpenGL® 1.3 for Solaris, and Java 3D) and application software as if they were local frame buffer devices on the master host.
In complex display environments, up to 16 slave computers can be connected to the master computer, each with one or two remote Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerators, each of which could drive two monitors or projectors, for a total of 64. For configurations beyond the limits listed in Supported Configurations, see Support Services at: http://www.sun.com/service/online
The Sun Fire Visual Grid interconnect for 3D graphics is a Myrinet PCI network card. The Gigabit Ethernet is also supported for the X Windows portion of the network.
Refer to the following documentation for detailed server hardware service information (select "Servers" at http://www.sun.com/documentation):
The Sun Fire Visual Grid system installation kit includes:
The Sun Fire Visual Grid system uses the Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator to render the system graphics. If necessary, for the latest Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator CD and software patches, go to:
1. Verify the Sun Fire Visual Grid system software requirements (Chapter 2).
2. Verify the hardware and network requirements (Chapter 3).
3. Verify that the site is properly prepared for the hardware installation and establish an administration workstation (Chapter 4, Site Hardware Preparation and Administration Workstation).
4. Set up an Ethernet network for the Sun Fire Visual Grid system (Chapter 4, Setting Up an Ethernet Network).
5. Install the Myrinet cards (Chapter 4, Installing a Myrinet Card).
6. Install a USB card, where applicable (Chapter 4, Installing a USB Card).
7. Install the Sun Fire Visual Grid software (Chapter 4, Installing the Software).
8. Use the dzadmin configuration tool to configure a Sun Fire Visual Grid system (Chapter 5).
For assistance and other information not found in this document concerning the
Sun Fire Visual Grid system, see Support Services at:
For the most up-to-date version of the installation and user's guide, select "Servers" at:
For the latest software patches, go to: