Distributed rendering is a technique for distributing a single render job within a single frame across many computers in a network. There are different approaches of doing this, but the main concept is to reduce the render times by dividing different parts of the rendering pipeline and giving each participant different parts of the job. The most common way to do this is to divide the frame to be rendered into small regions (buckets) and give each machine to render a number of them; then get the results and combine them into the final image.
If you are rendering a large single frame in 3ds Max, you can use Strip Rendering to render your scene more quickly and efficiently.
First: click "Launch Render" choose your Project, Scene, and Software. You will be directed to the "Launch Render" page. After the Scene Analysis is complete (Note: you do not have to wait for the scene analysis) you can click on "Split Frame".
Next: Once "Split Frame" is selected, you can specify the amount of "Render Strips" you would like to use under Render Settings (the default value is 20). The minimum value that can be used is 2.
When using Strip Rendering, you need to save a Final Gather map so that no new FG points are calculated during the rendering process. Without a Final Gather map, your scene will suffer from subtle color and light differences due to differences in calculations for each strip.
Uploading Light maps, FG caches, etc. can really help reduce render time, and end up saving you quite a bit of money when it comes time to render. By having the files to reference, the program doesn't need to rethink the algorithms of the light bounces, saving time and money.
mental ray Rendering Options - Autodesk Knowledge Network link
Final Gathering (FG) Rollout (mental ray Renderer) - Autodesk Knowledge Network link
Global Illumination Panel - Autodesk Knowledge Network link
Reuse (FG and GI Disk Caching) Rollout (mental ray Renderer) - Autodesk Knowledge Network link
NOTE: The resolution you define on the Mission Control website MUST match the resolution set in the scene file. Changing this value on the website, will cause your full image to be distorted.