Setting up Deadline Usage Based Licensing with Nimble Studio - Amazon Nimble Studio

Setting up Deadline Usage Based Licensing with Nimble Studio

Usage Based Licensing (UBL) is a service from Deadline that gives render workers access to Deadline and third party licenses purchased from the AWS Thinkbox Marketplace. UBL connects to the Cloud License Server (CLS) through license forwarders on a Remote Connection Server (RCS) without directly accessing the external internet. By using UBL, you can have multiple instances render at the same time, and you’ll pay for what you use.

This tutorial explains how to configure your Amazon Nimble Studio so that you can use it with Deadline Usage Based Licensing.

Prerequisites

  • To complete this tutorial, you must have an AWS Thinkbox Marketplace account. If you don’t have a Thinkbox Marketplace account, follow the instructions in The Thinkbox Marketplace tutorial.

Step 1: Enable UBL support in your studio

You can enable UBL when you deploy a new studio using StudioBuilder, or when you update and edit an existing studio. To enable UBL, choose Yes, I want to enable UBL support for my studio. The CDK will output a command that is similar to the following:

aws secretsmanager put-secret-value --secret-id arn:aws:secretsmanager:<studio_region>:<account_id>:secret:StudioBuilder-UBLLicense-<UBL_license> —secret-binary fileb://[file-name]

Copy the command that the CDK outputs. You will use the secret ARN from it in Step 4: Upload certificates to Secrets Manager.

Step 2: Purchase UBL

In this section, you will purchase the UBL from the AWS Thinkbox Marketplace.

  1. Go to the AWS Thinkbox Marketplace.

    1. Sign in with the email and password that you used when you created your AWS Thinkbox Marketplace account.

      
                        Thinkbox sign in page.
  2. Choose Usage Based Licensing.

    
                  Thinkbox marketplace.
  3. Select the application that you’d like to purchase.

  4. Select the number of hours that you would like to purchase.

  5. Choose Add to cart.

  6. Select Cart at the top-right corner of the page.

  7. Read the terms and conditions. If you agree to those, select both boxes.

    
                  Thinkbox agreements.
  8. Choose Checkout.

  9. Select Confirm.

  10. You will receive an email with a URL and license server. Save this email. The URL and license server will be used in Step 7: Enable UBL on Deadline Monitor.

    1. The URL will look something like this: https://thinkbox.compliance.flexnetoperations.com/instances/XXXXXXXXXXXX/request

    2. The license server will be a 16 digit number. Example: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

Step 3: Download UBL certificates

Next, download the zip file for UBL certificates. You will upload this file to AWS Secrets Manager later, in Step 4.

  1. Go to the Thinkbox Customer Portal.

    1. Sign in to AWS Thinkbox Marketplace.

  2. Choose Home in the left navigation pane.

  3. Choose certificates.

    
                  UBL home certificates.
  4. In the File Name section, download the UBL certificates zip file.

    
                  Download zip.

Step 4: Upload certificates to Secrets Manager

Because Thinkbox Marketplace and Nimble Studio are two separate entities, you will first upload your UBL certificates to AWS Secrets Manager so that Nimble Studio can fetch them.

Upload certificates using CloudShell

Note

CloudShell isn’t supported in the eu-west-2 or ca-central-1 regions. If you’re in either of those regions, follow the instructions in Upload certificates using the AWS CLI.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Go to Services → CloudShell.

    
                     CloudShell.
  3. Wait for the CloudShell session to load.

  4. Go to Actions → Upload file.

  5. Choose the UBL certificates zip file.

  6. Run the following command: aws secretsmanager put-secret-value --secret-id <secret-arn> --secret-binary fileb://<file-name>

    1. Replace the <secret-arn> with the ARN provided by StudioBuilder. This is the arn:aws:secretsmanager:<studio_region>:<account_id>:secret:StudioBuilder-UBLLicense-<UBL_license>arn:aws:secretsmanager:<studio_region>:<account_id>:secret:StudioBuilder-UBLLicense-<UBL_license> value that you found in Step 1: Enable UBL support in your studio.

    2. Replace <file-name> with the name of the UBL certificates zip file that you downloaded in Step 3: Download UBL certificates.

Upload certificates using the AWS CLI

If you’re in the eu-west-2 or ca-central-1 regions, use the AWS CLI to update the UBL certificates. The following steps instruct you on how to install and configure the AWS CLI.

  1. To install or upgrade the AWS CLI on your local machine, follow the instructions in Installing the AWS Command Line Interface version 2 in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

  2. Configure the AWS CLI by following the instructions in New configuration quick setup.

  3. Verify the installation or upgrade by running aws nimble help. This command displays a list of available Nimble Studio commands.

  4. Run the following command: aws secretsmanager put-secret-value --secret-id <secret-arn> --secret-binary fileb://<file-name>

    1. Replace the <secret-arn> with the ARN provided by StudioBuilder. This is the arn:aws:secretsmanager:<studio_region>:<account_id>:secret:StudioBuilder-UBLLicense-<UBL_license>arn:aws:secretsmanager:<studio_region>:<account_id>:secret:StudioBuilder-UBLLicense-<UBL_license> value that you found in Step 1: Enable UBL support in your studio.

    2. Next, replace <file-name> with the name of the UBL certificates zip file that you downloaded in Step 3: Download UBL certificates.

Step 5: Restart the UBL cluster

To reload the updated license file, you must restart the UBL cluster on the Elastic Container Service (ECS) console.

  1. Go to Services → ECS .

  2. In the left navigation pane, under ECS, choose Clusters.

  3. Select the cluster named <your-studio-name>-UseageBasedLicensingCluster.

  4. Select the Tasks tab.

  5. Select all running tasks.

  6. Select Stop.

    
                  Stop tasks.

The UBL service will create a new task to reload the certificate.

Step 6: Restart workers in the fleet

You must manually restart your workers in the fleet to register them with Deadline Secrets Management in RCS. Follow the Remote Controlling Workers, Pulses, and Balancers tutorial to restart your workers in the fleet.

Note

This step is only required if you’re adding UBL support to an existing studio with fleet instance type On Demand.

Step 7: Enable UBL on Deadline Monitor

  1. Log into the Nimble Studio portal by following the instructions in Step 2: Log in to Nimble Studio portal as Admin.

  2. Launch a workstation by following the instructions in Step 4: Launch a virtual workstation.

  3. Choose the Start menu, located in the lower-left corner of your desktop.

  4. Enter Deadline to search for Deadline Monitor, and then choose it from the top of the search results.

  5. If this message pops up choose OK.

    
                  New Deadline User Created.
  6. In the Tools menu, go to Tools → Super User Mode.

  7. Next go to Tools → Configure Repository Options.

  8. In the left navigation pane, choose Usage Based Licensing.

  9. Enter your license server URL in the URL field. Enter your activation code in the Activation Code field. This is the information that was emailed to you in Step 2: Purchase UBL.

    
                  Usage Based Licensing Settings
  10. Select OK.

  11. Deadline will ask you for your Deadline Secrets Management admin credentials.

    1. You can obtain your admin credentials by following the instructions in the Accessing Administrator Credentials tutorial in the Render Farm Deployment Kit on AWS Developer Guide.

Step 8: Set limits

Studio owners can specify how many licenses they want to provide permission for by setting license limits. For more information on Deadline limits, see the Deadline documentation.

  1. In the monitor choose the Panels icon.

  2. Choose Limits.

    
                  Add limit.s
  3. Select the + icon to create a new limit.

  4. Choose New License Limit.

    
                  New limit.
  5. Set License Name to the application that you want to render with. Example: Arnold.

  6. Check the box next to Use Usage Based Licensing

  7. Set UBL Application to the application you entered in step 5.

  8. Select Unlimited UBL.

    
                  Create new limit.

When you Submit a render, make sure that you specify the limit for the application that you’re using.