Before we get into the how, let's look at some reasons for why you might want to try this:
- You don't want to bother with downloading and installing software to try it out
- You want to run some software on a platform that you do not have access to (eg running 3ds Max on a Mac)
- You want to investigate increasing your compute power (eg do computationally heavy things like rendering or simulation on extra machines)
- You want to explore working with remote software
To try this out, there are a few things you need to do. It can seem a little overwhelming but it's actually pretty straightforward if you stay calm.
- Create a login and sign in to the AWS Marketplace
- Search for Otoy's Octane Cloud Workstation Autodesk Edition
- From that page, select the region that you would like to access a server in and press the big Continue button
- You'll need to do a little set-up on this next page, specifically setting up a Key Pair so that your instance is secure.
- Once that's done, you should be able to launch your instance with the 1 click button
(yes, it has been more than 1 click and you still have a couple more but the sentiment is nice)
- It should take 2-3 minutes to get your instance rolling so just be patient - if you've just setup your AWS account, it can take a couple of hours to get that verified (that wait was agonizing for me)
- When that is set, you can download the remote desktop launcher from AWS, point to your key pair file and decrypt the password to login to your instance
- You'll see a desktop something like this (I've actually shrunk mine down so it's easier to do a screen cap). From here, launch the software as you like.
- Here's a short video clip of Maya running.
- You have storage with the AWS account and instance so you can save your data between sessions. Here you can see a small MEL script I wrote. For the little demo movie, I made the character with Project Pinocchio and downloaded the file from my Autodesk 360 storage.
- When you are done, make sure to stop or terminate your instance so that you're not being charged for further computer time. If you stop it, your data will be there for future sessions. If you terminate, you're wiping everything.
This is pretty cool to try out and does open some possibilities for how things may work in the future!
Should you want to know more, here are some additional resources:
- Otoy documentation
- AWS EC2 documentation
- My colleague Shaan Hurley talking about some of the details including references to various announcements
Update: I've posted a follow-up on running your software in a web browser with this same technology.