Setting Up You Own Machine On The Cloud With Amazon Web Services And Parsec

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Parsec now manages GPU instances in the cloud for you to make cloud gaming a lot easier, but if you’d like to do it yourself using our AMI, please follow the instructions below. Also, if want to have your own AMI (this is usually helpful for Spot Instances), here are the required dependencies. You can also run Parsec on any cloud provider with GPU instances. Parsec’s server software is open and available for anyone to install on their personal gaming PC or any cloud provider to set up on their GPU instances. The Parsec Server Application runs on any machine with a hardware encoder, Windows Server 2012 or 2016 (or Windows 8.1 and Windows 10). Download the software here.

Setting up Parsec on AWS using our AMI is pretty simple. Follow the step-by-step guide below. For Microsoft Azure, check out this guide.

Things To Know

AWS uses pretty old hardware. The Kepler-based K520 is approximately 3 years old, and much better hardware from Nvidia has replaced this card at almost every other cloud provider, including AWS. We’ll be making an AMI that works with the newer P2 Instances in the near future. The benefit of AWS is their scale, reach, and pricing. AWS charges different rates for G2 Instances in every region, but it’s typically less than $1 per hour + bandwidth costs. You’ll also have to pay for storage fees on your EBS volume. Be very careful with this G2 instances. If you leave them running, you’ll be charged. That’s one of the benefits of the Parsec managed instances. We charge the same rates as AWS does while shutting down the instance for you automatically when it’s not in use. Please remember that AWS charges for the full hour whether you use the machine for 2 minutes or for 59 minutes.

To launch a G2 Instance, you’ll need to request access from AWS prior to following this guide.

Launch Instructions For AWS

  1. Before you begin, make sure the Parsec Client is installed on your computer.
  2. From the AWS EC2 Console, select Instances then Launch Instance. Make sure you are in the AWS region closest to you.
  3. When prompted to select an AMI, choose Community AMIs, then search for parsec-g2-ws2016-11.
  4. Choose GPU instances->g2.2xlarge as the instance type. This may require requesting a limit increase on this type of instance. It usually takes about 1 day for AWS to increase the limit to 1.
  5. On the Configure Instance Details page, scroll down to the Advanced Details section. Paste your configuration settings from the add computer flow and click the link at the bottom of the first step to reveal the configuration file.
  6. On the Add Storage page, specify the size of the root drive (C:). The default is 30 GB, which is just enough for Windows. Note that you cannot add storage in a Windows instance after launch.
  7. When configuring your Security Group, make sure ports 8000–8040 for UDP are open.
  8. Just before launch, make sure to proceed without a key pair when prompted so the server automatically logs in.
  9. The server usually takes about 4–6 minutes to appear on your servers list. During initial usage, disk access can be slow, probably due to some copy-on-write logic with AWS block storage — it should speed up over time. On our managed instances, we eliminate this problem.
  10. Please remember the g2.2xlarge instances are very expensive on an hourly basis. You should shut down your AWS instances when you’re done. Save your drive when spinning it down. You will have to pay for this storage. Also, a Parsec user created a Terraform project in Github to make this process easier. Again, we take care of this with our managed instances if you want an easier setup.

Borderless Windowed Mode

If you install games, when you launch the game, we recommend going into the game’s video settings and changing the default to Borderless or Fullscreen Windowed Mode. It will have much better performance.

Backup — Use VNC

The Parsec AMI comes pre-installed with VNC for troubleshooting purposes. VNC runs with elevated privileges and is able to function in certain situations where Parsec cannot. VNC uses port 5900, and has a default password of 4ubg9sde. Make sure to only allow connections to port 5900 from your IP, and change the default password immediately on login — please do these two things. It’s a major security risk if you don’t.

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