Set up labs for Autodesk

Note

This article references features available since the April 2022 Update (preview), in which lab plans replaced lab accounts. For more information, see What's New in the April 2022 Update (preview).

This article describes how to set up Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit software for engineering classes.

Autodesk is commonly used in both universities and K-12 schools. For example, in K-12, AutoDesk is included in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum.

To set up this lab, you need access to an Azure subscription. Discuss with your organization's administrator to see if you can get access to an existing Azure subscription. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

License server

You'll need to access a license server if you plan to use the Autodesk network licensing model. Read Autodesk's article on Network License Administration for more information.

To use network licensing with Autodesk software, AutoDesk provides detailed steps to install Autodesk Network License Manager on your license server. This license server is ordinarily located in either your on-premises network or hosted on an Azure virtual machine (VM) within in Azure virtual network.

After your license server is set up, you'll need to enable advanced networking when creating your lab plan.

Autodesk-generated license files embed the MAC address of the license server. If you decide to host your license server by using an Azure VM, it’s important to make sure that your license server’s MAC address doesn’t change. If the MAC address changes, you'll need to regenerate your licensing files. To prevent your MAC address from changing:

  • Set a static private IP and MAC address for the Azure VM that hosts your license server.
  • Be sure to create both your lab plan and the license server’s virtual network in the same region. Also, verify the region has sufficient VM capacity so that you don’t have to move these resources to a new region later.

For more information, see Set up a license server as a shared resource.

Important

Advanced networking must be enabled during the creation of your lab plan. It can not be added later.

Lab configuration

Once you have an Azure subscription, you can create a new lab plan in Azure Lab Services. For more information about creating a new lab plan, see Tutorial: Set up a lab plan with Azure Lab Services. You can also use an existing lab plan.

Lab plan settings

Enable your lab plan settings as described in the following table. For more information about how to enable Azure Marketplace images, see Specify the Azure Marketplace images available to lab creators.

Lab plan setting Instructions
Marketplace image Enable the Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro N image, if not done already.

Lab settings

For instructions on how to create a lab, see Tutorial: Set up a lab. Use the following settings when creating the lab.

Lab setting Value and description
Virtual Machine Size Small GPU (Visualization). Best suited for remote visualization, streaming, gaming, and encoding with frameworks such as OpenGL and DirectX.

Warning

The Small GPU (Visualization) virtual machine size is configured to enable a high-performing graphics experience and meets Adobe’s system requirements for each application. Make sure to choose Small GPU (Visualization) not Small GPU (Compute). For more information about this virtual machine size, see the article on how to set up a lab with GPUs.

Template machine configuration

Once you create a lab, a template VM will be created based on the virtual machine size and image you chose. You configure the template VM with everything you want to provide to your students for this class. For more information, see Create and manage a template in Azure Lab Services.

  1. Start the template VM and connect to the machine.

  2. Download and install Inventor and Revit using instructions from AutoDesk. When prompted, specify the computer name of your license server.

  3. Finally, publish the template VM to create the students’ VMs.

Cost

Let’s cover an example cost estimate for this class. This estimate doesn’t include the cost of running a license server. Suppose you have a class of 25 students, each of whom has 20 hours of scheduled class time. Each student also has an extra 10 quota hours for homework or assignments outside of scheduled class time. The virtual machine size we chose was Small GPU (Visualization), which is 160 lab units.

  • 25 students × (20 scheduled hours + 10 quota hours) × 160 Lab Units × USD0.01 per hour = USD1200.00

Important

The cost estimate is for example purposes only. For current pricing information, see Azure Lab Services pricing.

Next steps

The template image can now be published to the lab. For more information, see Publish the template VM.

As you set up your lab, see the following articles: