Working through VPN

Hi all,

my company has started encouraging people to work from home. Sooner or later, this might well become compulsory, and the office will be closed.

We are currently accessing our Rhino workstations via VPN and Microsoft box-standard RDP. Needless to say the experience is underwhelming. Can’t get anything done.

I have perused McNeel’s Using Rhino Remotely During COVID-19, which is rather well done. Thank you, guys. Unfortunately (or rather, for a reason), it doesn’t address VPN access other than for Zoo licenses.

Has anyone ever tried to work remotely, as in ‘Rhino runs on this machine (in the office)’, and the display is on that machine (on a remote computer)’?

There is also this thread

which essentially concludes that this is not doable. Well, yes but no. The concept, of course, has been around for decades with the UNIX Xservers, but was near meant for graphics-hungry applications.

Has anyone (been forced to) look into this?

Are there protocols other than VPN/RDP, such as TeamViewer that might speed things up a bit? How would I even measure ‘display speed’. assume there is no point in running Holomark? Pinging my workstation through VPN, I get an RTT of 23 ms, which doesn’t sound too bad. But it’s also throughput, isn’t it?

My previous company experimented with Dell rack-mounted workstations, even for CAD use. I was not involved in the specifics, but here is a link: https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/workstations-isv-certified/precision-3930-rack-workstation/spd/precision-3930r-workstation
My understanding is that those workstations come with some proprietary compression protocol-thingy.
Not sure what the conclusions were, and if this was ever rolled out.

So are there any proprietary (or open) protocols and/or software solutions that might make a remote display more usable? This is most likely a question of dynamic compression. Think MOV vs MP4. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend

Install Rhino on your remote computer.
Establish a VPN connection to the office LAN.
Configure your remote Rhino to get a license from the office Zoo, just like your office compouter.

Thanks, John. I agree this would be the obvious solution. However, there are security implications which our IT chaps are still evaluating. Also, most people’s personal laptops are not CAD workstations. We need at least 16GB of RAM, for instance. Our models are massive.

Yes, but getting new machines might still be cheaper and better than trying to up the bandwidth… especially as some areas are limiting bandwidth because of the high demand caused by a lot of people working from home…

The cost of setting up servers stuffed with Quadros–the only cards you’re “allowed” to do virtual desktops with–and enough bandwidth to make it remotely usable…you might as well upgrade the laptops. And just use the Cloud Zoo, if it’s good enough for my old employer it’s good enough for yours.