How to share license when running Rhino on EC2?

Normally I model on my laptop. However, occasionally I need more CPU power, for example for rendering, and then I boot an Amazon EC2 instance.

How do I best share my license between my laptop and the EC2 instance?

Options that I see:

  • Establish some kind of VPN or port forwarding between my laptop and the AWS instance, and run Zoo on my laptop. If so, what solution do you recommend?

    On Linux I would just SSH into the remote server, with reverse port forwarding, to give it access to the local port 80 over an encrypted communication channel. Well, it may be worthwhile to install an SSH daemon on Windows for that purpose. I also discovered RDP2TCP, a solution for tunneling TCP connections through RDP, but the project looks unmaintained, and I don’t trust it.

  • Reactivate Rhino each time I switch machines. I am not sure if that is permitted, say, several times per day.

From the Rhino 5 license agreement:

Robert McNeel & Associates grants you the non-exclusive license to use the Software on any
computers owned by you so long as the number of simultaneous users does not exceed the
number of licenses you own. If you run the Software on a server, the number of simultaneous
users must not exceed the number of licenses you own. Unless otherwise noted on your
license key, all licenses are single (1) user licenses. Educational Lab and Not For Resale Lab
licenses are thirty (30) user licenses.

Does this help?

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No,this does not answer my question, which is a technical one.

You need to use a Zoo server if one one of the following is true:

1.) You have more users than licenses of Rhino.
2.) You want to manage many licenses in one place.

The Zoo is not needed for an individual user with multiple computers.

If you choose to run a Zoo server, and you need to have access to it from outside of your office, then you might want to consider setting up a VPN.

We do not make recommendations on on VPN software. There are many VPN products and my guess is most will work for what you want to do.

We use a product called OpenVPN. But again, there are many VPN products…

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Oops, I didn’t carefully read your first response: “[…] grants you the non-exclusive license to use the Software on any computers owned […]”

That’s great!

Background: On the EC2 server I got an error message when trying to activate Rhino 5, which I had installed some months ago and first used in trial mode. Reinstalling Rhino and then activating it right away with my license key fixed the issue.

Then again, Amazon would probably not feel that you own the hardware that you are running on…

That’s right. Also consider that - at least in Germany - leasing desktop computer equipment is quite common, surely also among users of Rhino. The company or individual that leases a computer also doesn’t own it…