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NX on the Cloud with Amazon AppStream 2.0

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

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Have you considered using CAD on the cloud before? Now is the perfect time to try it! Amazon Web Services (AWS) just launched the new graphics instances on AppStream 2.0, which enables you to run NX from your web browser. It performs as if you were running the software locally on your own machine, however you get the added benefits of lower costs, increased accessibility, and improved collaboration with your team.

 

CAD on the cloud has tremendous potential for companies. Oftentimes, suppliers encounter situations where they need additional CAD licenses—whether for a temporary increase in projects or a client that uses a different system than they do—but it doesn’t make sense to purchase them for long-term use. Or perhaps a company traditionally does not use CAD, but they have a special project in which CAD is required. Or, in the case of smaller companies, it may not be feasible to purchase the hardware and software required to do the job. In each of these cases, a pay-for-service cloud model is ideal. That is exactly what you get with NX on Amazon AppStream 2.0.

 

The main benefit, of course, is that NX performs very much as if you were running the software on your own machine. Whether you are dynamically sectioning a model to get a better view of its inner workings or making a design revision, you can see how fast and smooth the updates and changes take place. Watch the video below to see my colleague Paul Bevan take you through a typical design review of a gas turbine engine.

 

(view in My Videos)

Since you are installing and using NX on virtual machines on AWS, you do not have the admin and IT costs normally associated with having NX loaded locally on your machine.

 

As a hosted service, you pay only for what you need and use. This has huge savings potential, which gives companies widespread access to our best-in-class CAD tool.

 

Increased accessibility to NX improves sharing and collaboration among teams. Anyone can participate in design reviews and make changes, provided they have an internet connection. There are no delays, large files to download, or time-consuming installations required to get started. Instead, users have a responsive and fluid experience as if working directly in NX.

 

nx appstream.png

Amazon’s AppStream 2.0 is also very secure, which is a serious concern for companies when it comes to doing this type of work on the cloud. Both applications and data remain on AWS – only encrypted pixels are streamed to end users. Application streams and user input flow through a secure streaming gateway on AWS over HTTPS, making them firewall friendly.

 

AppStream 2.0 is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and AP-Northeast (Tokyo) Regions. Watch the video and click to learn more about Amazon AppStream 2.0

 

Comments
Siemens Experimenter

Hi Amy, very interesting, but i tried to login to AWS and the NX\ST is missing:

 

Capture.PNG

 

 

Why i dont' see the our cad?

 

Thanks Massimiliano Candini 

Solution Partner Creator

Hello Amy,

how can you test this?

Is there a Siemens Test login?

 

Best regards

 ...Christian

Community Manager

Hi @ourcy2 I am told Paul Bevan reached out to you, and your issue was resolved. Please let me know if you need additional assistance. 

 

Hi @ChristianS

To test NX with Amazon AppStream please visit the following link: https://aws.amazon.com/appstream2/ and select Try It Now. Your region has to be set to US East Virginia or US West Oregon I believe. 

 

Thanks!

 

Amy 

Solution Partner Creator

Hi Amy,

 

thank you. I will try it.

 

Christian

Valued Contributor

I tried this today, unfortunately is was way too slow to be of any use to me. I am wondering what the angle here is for Siemens by enabling this type of service. If it is too slow for the majority of people who try to use it then it defeats the purpose of remote useability. My Hardware set up is a HP ZBook Studio G3 modile workstation, Intel Xeon processor, 32 GB of RAM. Internet connection is rate at 100 Mbs down and 20 Mbs up. I logged into AWS server and tried running NX using this setup above via the AWS portal. I used the Oregon (West Coast) server as the East Coast option was not available. I am located in Texas.  NX took forever to load and when it finally did load it took 45 seconds to start a sketch on a plane. That is totally unacceptalbe from an easy to use, efficiency standpoint. It would take forever to review an assembly or even take cross sections of a part at that rate. Sounds promising but at the current speeds and performance it just isn't a realistic option for most people.

Update: As I was finishing up my comment above I went back to the AWS session that was running just to double check to see if it was any quicker and the session crashed then a lovely Amazon window popped up asking me how my experience was and wanted a rating. Needless to say they didn't get a good rating for my experience.

Siemens Legend

Sorry to hear this nikemike, I have requested that someone looks this issue. As soon as I get a reply I will let you know. I must admit I created the movie that was posted and I found the performance to be very good indeed s per my description.

 

Best regards

 

Paul

Valued Contributor

Paul,

 Thank you for the response. Perhaps it's a performance issue caused by AWS having server issues today. I did notice that the East Coast Server was not an option for me and it only allowed me to select the West Coast server (Oregon). I will try it again tomorrow to see if performance/speed is better.

Siemens Pioneer

I did a couple of quick sessions with Solid Edge and NX CAD and found it quite responsive.  Keep in mind, I was only modeling a simple single part, no assemblies.  I did find the software quite responsive though, even though I was working over a wireless internet connection and sitting outside my residence.  I did have one occurance where "connection was slow/lost" but it quickly re-established and allow me to continue.

 

I'm sure it will improve with time and would be even more responsive on a hard-wired connection.  Very Cool!

Dreamer

Hi nikemike – I am posting here on behalf of the AppStream 2.0 team. Sorry about the issue you faced. Most users should expect NX to launch within about 15 to 20 seconds, but some might experience a longer launch time due to a few factors, we are focussed on eliminating. Also, note that trial experience launches from a fresh install of NX, similar to how you might launch for first time after installing on your workstation. Finally, regarding the crash you mention, the trial is limited to 30 minutes, and there should be a warning on the screen that the trial is going to end five minutes prior. The screen changes to the feedback input after the trial ends.

 

Let us know if you are able to give this another try. If you still experience an issue, we can reach out and provide you a link to test that has our latest updates.

 

Regards,

Deepak

Siemens Phenom

I just tried the free-trial version of NX 11.0 using the Amazon AppStream 2.0 tools and it worked great and I'm running this using Firefox on my Apple MacBook laptop.  I didn't try too much but the display looked great, response was extremely fast (I have a 100mb connection to the Internet via a cable modem), and mouse dynamics worked fine (I tried using a Spaceball but it only recognized it as a mouse with no 3D behavior) but my normal Three-button mouse, with scroll-wheel, worked just fine and as expected.

 

Anyway, this was just a test as I no longer have access to a real license of NX since I retired.

Gears Phenom

I wonder how this performance compares to the new Onshape Modeling software that is in production and being developed?  Very interesting techonolgy and great information.  Instant updates, zero cost updates.

 

Wodering how it works for customization to thread tables? customization to different templates and pax files?

 

 

 

Thanks

Valued Contributor

deepaksury- Thank you for the response. I tried the AppStream 2.0 NX app today again.

Notes from experience:

-Understood about the 30 min timeout for using the NX via Appstream demo

-I had to select the US West server (Oregon) in order to run the NX app, when I selected the US East  (N. Virginia) server, NX was not showing up as a software option. 

-Performance of NX on the AppStream 2.0 varied based on the web browser that I was using. When I used Mozilla Firefox browser the performance was slow and jerky when I tried to create features in the NX software. When I switched to the Microsoft Edge browser the NX software performance was better. Creation of features was quicker and the overall performance was better.

-One problem that I did see while using the full screen version of the NX application was that when I pressed the escape button (which is used quite a bit in NX to deselect or exit an active feature) would exit the full screen mode in the browser. This would need to be addressed either in the AppStream software for exiting fullscreen mode or in the NX software with another method for deselecting highlighted objects and for cancelling/exiting active feature dialogue boxes.

I will continue to test it out but the AppStream NX app is promising. 

 

For the Siemens reps that are on here, does this option of AppStream NX app open the door for a rental avenue for the NX software? Would this be an add on to the license charge for a seat of NX or could this be offered as a standalone option for customers?

Siemens Dreamer

Is this approach NX in the cloud also valid for NX Additive Manufacturing? If yes for how long can a single user test this very promising environment??

Siemens Enthusiast Siemens Enthusiast
Siemens Enthusiast

Hi. These are my test resutls and conclusions

 

Short:

Nice and easy to use for a short Demo of NX standalone (30 mins on preconfigured)

No fancy stuff there but upload and download of partfiles worked. Edit and small assembly ok.

 

 

Longer:

+ Firefox ESR (53x) worked fine

+ No additional Plug-Ins needed

+ Upload and download of files worked pretty nice

-- Except a simple txt. Did not upload for whatever reason

+ Click NX11 --> NX usable = ~ 20 Seconds

 

o Needs AWS Account (Thats logic)

o You have to be cautious with ESC and “FullScreen” as already mentioned

o No information about what happens to created content

o Screen resize takes sometimes up to 15 seconds

 

- Immediate Test only in us-west and us-east

- No clue what a montly bill would be if we built up our own NX Demo in eu-west (Ireland)

--- Like described in the blog

- Network speed very varying

---- Best:      Fluent working possible while constructing a simple Assembly

                     Early afternoon (2p.m. UTC+2) <-->, Amazon Appstream us-east-1 - 93 ms Ping (avg.), 0% packet loss, no network load

--- Worst:     Unusable Diashow

                      Late Afternoon (5p.m. UTC+2) <-->, Amazon Appstream us-east-1 - 920 ms Ping (avg.), 20% packet loss, no network load

- No NX Managed possible (Most of our customers want that too)

- No Active Workspace Intergration

 

Best Regards

Ramon

Enthusiast

Hi Amy, I tried Siemens NX via AppStream early December 2017 for testing and it was working. Now I tried again and it has disapeared. The Amazon suppot team says it has stoped, not any longer available for testing. Is that true?

Thanks Rolf

Siemens Legend

Fanuzir,

I believe you are correct. We have stopped the current ability to test. I will see if we have any view on having another test environment at some stage.

 

Regards

 

Paul 

Dreamer

By any chance, the cloud services available for South Asia region. I need to access NX at cloud from India. 

 

Thanks and Regards

 

Kishore MN

Junior Design Engineer

Siemens Technology and Services Pvt Ltd. India

Siemens Valued Contributor

Kishore,

 

Amazon cloud services are available in South Asia. Appstream 2.0 is available from warehouses in Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore. If your intention is to setup your own servers, then you can use one of these warehouses to use Appstream.

Theorist

Paul, what size graphics instance did you use for your example? I see under Graphics Design Instances you can choose from large, xlarge, 2xlarge and 4xlarge.

Gears Legend

@Paul_Bevan

 

Will there be support for 3Dconnexion devices? (Spacemouse Pro Wireless and CadMouse?)

What about running macro's that I run on a local machine? I have some own macro's e.g. for renaming parts, have easy changes to dimensioning in drafting...

We also run a VB script with custom dialog box that will search a local SQL database to populate NX part properties...

 

Are things like this also possible?

 

I will be beta testing soon in Solihull later this summer. I'll probably get a very good introduction then.

 

Thanks for the new approach, it looks very promissing.

 

 

Experimenter

Marty Martina

Project Engineer DP Tool. 

 

Can someone please help alleviate my confusion?

At the header at the start of this discussion, (dated, 2017) a portion reads as below.

“Oftentimes, suppliers encounter situations where they need additional CAD licenses—whether for a temporary increase in projects or a client that uses a different system than they do—but it doesn’t make sense to purchase them for long-term use. Or perhaps a company traditionally does not use CAD, but they have a special project in which CAD is required. Or, in the case of smaller companies, it may not be feasible to purchase the hardware and software required to do the job. In each of these cases, a pay-for-service cloud model is ideal.”

 

There’s a suggestive tone to that paragraph – “Or, in the case of smaller companies, it may not be feasible to purchase the hardware and software required to do the job. In each of these cases, a pay-for-service cloud model is ideal”  - that this is a pay-for-what-you-use service.  

 

But, when reading the “Appstream 2.0 development guide” to set up your account, the instructions specifically state,

“An active NX Network(floating)License.This license file is required for the NX products that you want to import into AppStream 2.0 and will be deployed along with the Siemens PLM License Server on AWS. Contact your Siemens PLM Software reseller or account executivefor more information about NX licenses.”

 

So, is a NX license required or not? Sounds as though it’s a requirement? If so, is it truly a “pay for service?”

Thanks.

 

Siemens Valued Contributor

Hello @MMartina,

 

At this time, NX can be deployed on AppStream 2.0 only with a customer’s existing license of NX as mentioned in the guide.  This approach provides the flexibility of installing and running NX from the cloud to users who may want to reduce hardware costs and enhance collaboration by allowing easier access to more users.

 

The NX Product Management team is actively looking into other usage models of NX. I would encourage you to submit an enhancement request through the GTAC portal with your specific needs. This will help the Product Management team in shaping the best solution for users.

 

Regards,

Himanshu Iyer

Product Marketing, NX