Licensing on AWS Portal

Version: Deadline 10.0 and later

Introduction

There are a couple ways to license products, such as Maya, V-Ray, and Deadline on AWS Portal. These are Usage Based Licensing and Bring Your Own Licensing. Today we will cover both options to help you figure out which one is right for you and how to use the option that you need so that you’ll have a smooth rendering experience on AWS!

Note that today’s feature blog assumes you have AWS Portal installed and ready to use.

What Are These Options?

Usage Based Licensing (UBL)

Usage Based Licensing (UBL) lets you pre-pay for Deadline and 3rd Party on-demand render time by the hour by visiting the Thinkbox Marketplace. After purchasing render time, the render nodes will consume this render time on a per-minute basis, and they will ONLY do so while they are rendering jobs (they will not consume this render time when they are idle or offline).

UBL is a great option if you only need to use a certain product for a one time shot, or if there is an increase in production and you need to spin up many instances at once, but don’t want to buy additional licenses.

Bring Your Own Licensing (BYOL)

Bring Your Own Licensing (BYOL) allows you to use perpetual floating 3rd Party and Thinkbox licenses that you own with AWS Portal. As of this writing, BYOL is currently supported for the following products:

  • All Thinkbox products (including Deadline)

  • Redshift

  • V-Ray

Note that the license server that hosts these licenses must be running in your on-premise network.

BYOL is a good option if you already have perpetual licenses for the aforementioned 3rd Party or Thinkbox products, or if you will always be using a pre-determined amount of instances with AWS Portal.

One Last Note

It should also be noted that the use of UBL and BYOL is not mutually exclusive. You can use them in tandem! For example, if you already have some V-Ray perpetual licenses but you have an increase in production you can use UBL to augment your perpetual licenses so you can render with more instances! You can also combine them with different products. For example, you can use BYOL with V-Ray and UBL with Maya at the same time.

Usage Based Licensing (UBL)

This guide will walk through the process of purchasing UBL from the Thinkbox Marketplace and configuring Deadline and AWS Portal to use it.

Instructions for setting up BYOL can be found further down in the blog.

The Thinkbox Marketplace

Before you can purchase any Usage Based Licensing render time, you must first create a Thinkbox Marketplace account. Visit the Thinkbox Marketplace and click the Create Account link in the top-right corner. Specify your name and email address, and then click the Create button.

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After your account has been created, you will receive an email confirming that your Marketplace account was created successfully. The next step is to log into your Marketplace account and purchase some render time.

Purchasing Render Time

Now that your Thinkbox Marketplace account has been created, you are ready to purchase some render time! Simply visit the Thinkbox Marketplace, log in with your Marketplace account, and choose the Usage Based Licensing products you wish to purchase. When you’re ready to purchase, please review your Cart first, and then agree to the Terms and Conditions.

You can now proceed to the Check Out page, where you can enter your billing information. In addition, if you have any discount codes, be sure to enter them in before entering in your payment details and completing your order.

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Once your order has been processed, you should receive an email confirming your order. If this is your first Usage Based Licensing purchase, you should receive a second email within five minutes that confirms the creation of your Customer Portal account. This email will also contain the URL for your Cloud License Server, and an Activation Code. The Customer Portal can be used to view your order history and track the usage of the render time you have purchased.

The URL and Activation Code will look like this (in the URL, XXXXXXXXXXXX would be replaced with your Cloud License Server ID):

https://thinkbox.compliance.flexnetoperations.com/instances/XXXXXXXXXXXX/request
XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

If you happen to misplace your URL and Activation Code, you can retrieve them from the Customer Portal.

Configuring Deadline

Note that AWS Portal Render Nodes use UBL by default instead of BYOL. If you would like to use your perpetual floating licenses with AWS Portal Render Nodes, see the BYOL section below.

Certificates

To use 3rd Party Usage Based Licensing with Deadline, you will first need to obtain Certificates for each product you will be rendering with. These Certificates ensure a secure connection with Thinkbox’s Cloud-hosted License Server Gateway.

Note that these certificates are automatically added to your Thinkbox Customer Portal when you purchase 3rd Party render time from the Thinkbox Marketplace, but note that it can take up to 30 minutes before the certificates will appear in your Portal account.

To download them Log in to the Customer Portal Customer Portal.

Go to your Home page shown below.

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Click on the ‘certificate’ link and you will be shown the certificates download link.

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Note though that it can take up to 30 minutes after purchase before the certificates will appear in your Portal account. If after 30 minutes you do not see the certificates, please contact Thinkbox Sales.

Once you have your certificates downloaded, extract them to a folder on the machine that will be creating the AWS Portal Infrastructures. Open the AWS Portal Settings, go to the Advanced tab and input that directory to the Sync Certificate Directory field. If you are unsure what an AWS Portal Infrastructure is, more details can be found in the AWS Portal Usage Documentation.

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The License Forwarder

If you are using 3rd Party UBL outside of the context of AWS Portal, you would normally have to setup and run the License Forwarder. However if you are just using AWS Portal, you skip this step as AWS Portal runs its own License Forwarder. If you do plan on using 3rd Party UBL outside of AWS Portal, please refer to the License Forwarder documentation.

3rd Party Limits

3rd Party render time is consumed per minute and only while Deadline is rendering a task for a job that requires special Limits. Deadline Slaves will consume 3rd Party render time until the job has finished (or until the render time has been exhausted). Once you have your 3rd Party Limit set up, you need to assign that Limit to any Deadline Jobs that use that 3rd Party product. See the documentation for an example of setting up 3rd Party Limits Using Krakatoa.

Note that you must be in Super User Mode in the Deadline Monitor to create and modify Limits. For more information about configuring Limits in general, see the Limits Documentation.

You now ready to get rendering with UBL and AWS Portal!

Bring Your Own Licensing (BYOL)

This guide will walk through the process of setting up AWS Portal to use your existing floating licenses.

Configuring Deadline

To configure BYOL, first open the AWS Portal Settings, found in the AWS Portal Panel (see the highlighted button below).

PortalSettings.png

Open the Advanced tab on the right, select the Servers tab below, and click Add.

ConfigSettings.png

Specify the IP Address and Port of the license server that’s running on your on-premise network that you would like to use, and make sure the Is this a License Server? option is checked. From the Licensed Product drop down menu, select the product you would like to use BYOL with. Then input the Vendor Daemon Port for that product (you can get the License and Vendor Daemon port from your Systems Administrator that set up your license server).

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You should now see the license server in the table under the Servers tab.

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AWS Portal Link Configuration

If you have previously blocked outbound connections on the AWS Portal Link machine, make sure that the firewall on that machine allows outbound connections for both the Server Port and Vendor Daemon Port.

Note that you would have set up AWS Portal Link as part of the AWS Portal setup and installation.

Configuring BYOL For Use With Deadline Licenses

If you are only using BYOL with non-Deadline products, you’re finished! In addition, if you’re only using UBL to license Deadline (by following the UBL instructions above), no additional license setup is required.

However, if you have perpetual Deadline floating licenses that you want to use, there are two additional steps to set up Deadline BYOL for AWS Portal.

First, open your Repository options from the Monitor (requires Super User privileges).

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Select the Usage Based Licensing option on the left. Make sure you check Dynamic Licensing Mode and then set Standard Threshold to the number of Deadline floating licenses you have.

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Dynamic Licensing ensures that your render nodes will always use your Deadline floating licenses before using Deadline UBL. If you are using Deadline UBL in conjunction with Deadline BYOL, you can set the UBL Limit accordingly. Check out the Dynamic Licensing blog entry for more information.

You are now ready to use AWS Portal with BYOL!

In Conclusion

AWS Portal provides two flexible options to license the products you wish to use for rendering. Hopefully this guide has helped simplify the setup process and allowed you to start creating! For additional reading, please refer to our documentation on AWS Portal SetupAWS Portal Use, and Usage Based Licensing.

Maya is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

V-Ray is a registered trademark of Chaos Software Ltd. in Bulgaria and/or other countries.

Redshift is a registered trademarks of Redshift Rendering Technologies, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.