We have done quite a lot of things now on AWS with 3dsmax/Corona/Vray - It’s been really helpful to be able to scale when things get busy.
The setup is fairly easy (read the docs and watch the tut videos) - I didn’t have any experience with AWS before setting it up, but I know my way around it now and you know what to look out for if something goes wrong.
Once all the backend account stuff is setup, I just take the deadline base image on AWS and install 3dsmax/Corona/Vray and any other misc plugins. Once thats done you just make it a proper image for your account (this is what the slaves get started up with.)
License forwarding is easy for vray (you just tell it to point to the gateway in the asset server), but Corona was a bit more picky - you have to tell it to point to the gateway that is started from Deadline, and do some auth token thing. I usually have to fiddle with this Corona bit as it likes to throw up errors and locks out new slaves that try to render…
Once all that is done, just get your RCS running and make sure all the services are online in the Monitor before you start the infrastructure.
We have found that getting 10-15 c5.18xlarge nodes is better than trying to manage loads of cheaper ones.
Once it’s all running, you just sub the job from the Deadline monitor. (I have an event script that catches the group it is assigned to, which then adds the deadline and 3dsmax limits - these limits are for the on demand credits you buy for on the thinkbox marketplace)
Barring any problems, the slaves should just get on with rendering the job, then dump the files back into whatever save location specified in the 3dsmax job - no need for vpns or anything else. Basically if a render comes back from one slave right, the rest of the job will be correct.
The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is sending files with xrefs attached, as it doesn’t seem to find them and remap paths - so everything is sent merged.
It isn’t cheap though when running slaves with windows! - It will be more cost effective for us when Corona standalone comes out on Linux (as those instances are 3x cheaper than windows ones)
I find it a lot better than sending jobs to Rebus etc, as you have more control over the rendering (and you don’t have to faff with collecting all files and uploading all the time - Deadline does it for you)
Hope that is somewhat informative for you!