Amazon Web Services|Cloud Computing

Amazon Nimble Studio Enables Distributed Digital Content Creation

Amazon Nimble Studio is a new service that businesses and creative studios can use to produce digital content and CGI animations entirely in the AWS cloud. In the past, businesses relied on building and maintaining local server farms that consisted of high-performance systems in order to produce digital content. This typically required either expensive hardware purchases or rentals along with cloud storage to extend their resources and share projects between remote developers.

Amazon Nimble Studio solves these issues by providing a ready-made digital content infrastructure as a service. This cloud infrastructure consists of high-performance workstations, storage, and servers that are designed to create and render digital content. Nimble Studio can enable businesses to get their content production up and running in just a few hours instead of weeks or longer by providing on-demand access to virtual workstations, elastic file storage, and render farm capacity. It also enables the business to leverage a geographically remote workforce by allowing the hiring of remote developers and enabling them to work as if they were in a local data center.

Nimble Studio is built on top of the AWS cloud infrastructure. The AWS infrastructure provides elastic production scaling where your Nimble Studio can scale the developer’s workstations, storage, and rendering needs based on demand. Nimble Studio uses EC2 for compute, Amazon FSx for storage, AWS Single Sign-On for user management, and AWS Thinkbox Deadline for render farm management.

For high-performance remote display, the service uses the NICE DCV protocol and provisions G4dn instances that are available with NVIDIA GPUs. Content developers can use their preferred creative software tools on an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual workstations. Nimble Studio supports Windows (Windows Server 2019) and Linux (Amazon Linux 2, CentOS) as well as software from independent software vendors (ISVs) such as Adobe, Autodesk, Foundry, Redshift, and SideFX.

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Nimble Studio also comes with an artist-friendly console. Content developers don’t need to have an AWS account or use the AWS Management Console to do their work. Once Nimble Studio is set up, administrators create users in Active Directory and grant access to Nimble Studio with AWS SSO. After Nimble Studio has been setup the administrator can provide access to Nimble Studio resources for users and assign roles to control permissions.

Nimble Studio uses different pricing for Linux and Windows workstations ranging from a Linux g4dn.xlarge, 4 vCPU with 16 GiB of memory for $0.589 per hour to a Windows g4dn.16xlarge, 64 vCPU with 256 GiB of memory for $8.172 per hour. You can learn more at Amazon Nimble Studio.

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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
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