Using Workstations to Interact with Simulations

Updated: October 20, 2022

Overview

This page walks you through how to use Rescale Workstations. In order to access the Workstations feature, log in to your Rescale account (Rescale Platform). If you don’t have a Rescale account, you can create an account at here: Rescale Signup.

Rescale Elastic Cloud Workstations (ECW) is a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution that lets you access your applications and hardware from any location with the cloud, consolidating Rescale’s Classic and End-to-End Desktops functionalities, allowing for better collaboration and simplification of data management in order to streamline your workflows.  

Workstations offer single-node compute and GPU hardware, as well as multi-node batch compute clusters with desktop visualization on the head node of your cluster, providing an interface for you to interact with jobs set up directly from the analysis software.

Some of the benefits of using workstations include:

  • Interactive solving: Scale up your machine’s hardware in order to run simulations in a visual environment.
  • Multi-cloud workstations: Optimize your latency, performance, and cost using workstations, built with multi-cloud support. Workstations connect seamlessly with AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud.
  • Easy access from Rescale Jobs → Workstations: Access all of your Rescale files directly from a workstation so that you no longer have to drag and drop files.
  • 1000+ Applications and On-Demand Licensing: License over 1000+ engineering software applications on the fly using the newest hardware, only paying when you use it versus paying upfront.
  • Visualization with NiceDCV: View your workstation directly in your browser or through a local client with low latency. You can also run graphics-intensive applications remotely, eliminating the need for expensive dedicated computers.

Use cases

Some of the general use cases of workstations include:

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Pre-processing
  • Interactive solving
  • Post-processing

For these use cases, pre-processing accounts for around 20% of usage, post-processing for around 70%, and interactive solving for around 10%. Interactive solving is the smallest use case by session, but results in the largest number of core hours being used and is primarily meant for users who want to interact with their simulation versus using batch jobs.

Supported operating systems

Windows 2019, Linux CentOS

Supported cloud service providers

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

In-browser latency

Expectation is <100ms

Start-up time

Expectation is <15m

Workstations Home page

From the Workstations Home page, you can view, manage, and configure new and existing workstations.

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Available workstation filters include:

  • Active Workstations
  • My Workstations
  • All Workstations
  • Workstations Shared with You
  • Stopped Workstations
  • Archived Workstations
  • Classic Desktops

When you select a workstations tab, all of its associated workstations appear in list form, displaying the following information for each workstation:

  • Name: Shows name manually entered for the workstation and the name of the selected software.
  • Continue: Appears when a workstation setup is saved. Click the Continue button to pick up where you left off in the setup.
  • Hardware: Shows the coretype selected, including the total number of cores.
  • Run Time: Shows the current run time or amount of time it took for the workstation to run. For active workstations, you can increase your wall time to finish your work, if needed, to avoid data loss.
  • Status: Shows the status of the workstation. Statuses include Starting, Active, Stopping, and Stopped.
  • Shared: Shows the icons of people with whom you have shared the workstation and people who have shared the workstation with you. Hover over any icon to see the name and email address of the person. 
  • Output Size: Shows the output size of your workstation.
  • Created: Shows the date and time the workstation was created.
  • Actions: Hover over the right end of the workstation’s line to view action buttons. Available actions include:
    • Save as Template: Save the workstation’s configuration to use as a template for future workstations.
    • Duplicate: Create a new duplicate workstation from the selected workstation.
    • Share: Share the selected workstation with people in your workspace.
    • Archive Workstation: Move the selected workstation to the Archived Workstations tab. By default, the workstation’s output files are moved to the trash when it is archived. You will also have the option to move input files to the trash upon archival. Note that storage costs will continue to be accrued until the files are deleted from the trash.
    • Stop Workstation:  Stop a workstation session that is in progress. 

Managing columns and filters

On the Workstations Home page, select the () icon to customize your filters and filter column headers.

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Note: The Name column field is selected by default and cannot be removed.

Setting up workstations

You can set up a new workstation manually or by using a template.

Creating a new workstation

To create a new workstation, select New Workstation from the top left of the Workstations Home page.

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Select Create New Workstation from the top of the drawer to create a new workstation.

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Creating a new workstation using templates

You can also create a workstation from workstation templates, displayed below the Create a new Workstation section, by selecting Create from Template on the selected template. You can also search existing templates. Each template displays the template’s name, software, and hardware.

Create from Template 1

Hover over the top right corner to see the Action icons, which allow you to pin a template to the top of the template list, edit the template, or archive the template.

Template actions 1

To save an existing workstation as a template, clone the workstation by selecting the Duplicate button. When the duplicated workstation appears, enter a template name in the title and then select Save as template from the Save button.

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The saved template will then appear in your template list.

Sharing a workstation

You can share a workstation with a user, team, or Support by selecting the Share icon on the Workstations Home page next to any of your workstations.

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There are three permissions that can be enabled for sharing workstations:

  1. Include both input files and results when sharing
  2. Allow in-browser SSH access
  3. Allow recipients to connect to workstation

If the second and/or third permissions are enabled for a user, team, or Support, you will be able to see Connect and/or SSH tags in their user information in the Share Workstation panel.

Group 2

If a user, team, or Support was incorrectly given a permission, you can revoke all of their permissions by clicking the X in their user information next to the tags and then reassign the appropriate permissions.

Group 1

Configuring workstations

To configure a workstation, you need to select the software and hardware you want to use, as well as upload input files, if needed.

Selecting software

From the Software Settings page, you can select and configure your workstation’s software.

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On the Select Software tab, choose from the list of available software, displayed in alphabetical order. You can also search for specific software (1) or filter by operating system (2) or industry (3) at the top of the list. 

When you select the software for your workstation, you will need to select the operating system and software version needed and enter the licensing information.

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You can use either an on-demand license provided by Rescale or use an existing license provided by your organization.

Once you have finished setting up your software, select Next to continue to Hardware Settings.

Selecting hardware

When you select your workstation’s software, the Hardware Settings page will automatically update to offer hardware compatible with the work you want to complete, based on their performance on your selected software, operating system, and regional preferences.

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Once you have selected and configured your workstation’s hardware, select Next to continue to the Attachments page.

Uploading attachments

On the Attachments page, you can specify your input files through one of four options:

  • Add from cloud storage: Choose from files already uploaded to the Rescale platform. 
  • Upload from this computer: Choose a file from your computer’s file explorer.
  • Attach from storage device: Choose a file from a local storage device, if available.
  • Attach jobs: Choose a job from a list of your existing jobs.
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Additionally, you can also attach files or jobs after launching your workstation from both your computer and Rescale files, although you must specify any storage devices to be attached at the workstation’s launch.

attached

Once you upload one or more input files, you will see each file’s information displayed in list format, including the file’s name, ID, and size. Additionally, you can compress/decompress, download, or remove files from the Actions column.

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When you have added all necessary files, select Next to continue to the Review page.

Reviewing selections

On the Review page, you can review your workstation’s input files, software settings, and hardware settings before submitting the workstation for creation.

You can also select output filters that allow you to archive specified selectors separately into a single zip file.

output1

Write your filter in the Selector box and select Add to apply the selector. The applied filter will be shown in the Selector(s) list. You can add as many file filters as you need. For multiple filters, it will take all matches and place them into a single archive. If you need to remove the selector, click the X key under the Action column. For more information, see Managing Your Job Results.

Once you have reviewed your workstation’s input files, software settings, and hardware settings, select Submit to run and create the workstation. Additionally, you can select the Save icon to save your workstation’s settings as a template for future use. 

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Within 15 minutes, your workstation will be configured to your specifications and you can connect and visually interact with your simulations, just as you would do on your normal computer.

Connecting to your workstation

Once the server has started, you can connect to your workstation either in-browser or via a client on your local machine.

Connecting in-browser

Connecting in-browser is frequently the lowest-effort connection, but it provides a lower-resolution workstation session. To connect in-browser, click the Connect button once it appears, as shown below. It should appear once the OS is installed and updated and the Rescale runtime is configured.

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After you click the Connect button, you can use the remote desktop right in your browser.

Connecting with a client

Connecting with a client on your own computer can offer much better graphics than an in-browser connection, but it requires more setup.

DCV: Port 8443

If your company does not allow traffic through one of these ports, that method of desktop visualization will not work.

To connect to your Windows or Linux desktop via NICE DCV on your computer:

  1. Click the dropdown next to the Connect button and select Connect to Local Client for the connection method you plan to use. You can also expand the instructions.
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  1. Download the NICE DCV client here.
  2. Click Download File for your chosen client. 
  3. Click Generate Password.
  4. Double-click the file to open the Workstation. You will be prompted to enter the password generated in Step 3. Note that the password is case sensitive. The same password is used on the sign-in page.
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