Amazon Elastic Graphics allows you to easily attach OpenGL 4.3 acceleration capabilities to your Amazon EC2 instances. Elastic Graphics functions similarly to physical GPUs in a desktop or server in that it accelerates graphics operations by using special purpose hardware for graphics commands. Elastic Graphics accelerators are attached over the network and exist independently of Amazon EC2 instances. As a result they are supported by multiple instance types. Once attached, you can use Elastic Graphics accelerators to accelerate your 3D applications in much the same way as if there’s a GPU local to your EC2 instance. Elastic Graphics supports Windows instances with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 or later. Linux instances are currently not supported.
Amazon Elastic Graphics accelerators are created when you launch EC2 instances and specify the size of Elastic Graphics accelerator you want to use. Elastic Graphics accelerators are created in the same Availability Zone as your EC2 instances, and can be from 1 GiB to 8 GiB in graphics memory size. Once created and attached, the Elastic Graphics driver will detect the presence of an Elastic Graphics accelerator and establish the connection between your EC2 instance and the Elastic Graphics accelerator. At that point, the instance can interact with the Elastic Graphics accelerator's OpenGL library in much the same way as locally attached GPUs.
Elastic Graphics accelerators can only attach to one EC2 instance, and each EC2 instance can only have one Elastic Graphics accelerator attached to it. Elastic Graphics can be used in conjunction with many desktop streaming protocols, such as NICE DCV, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and Virtual Network Computing (VNC).
Elastic Graphics accelerators come with different sizes, from the smallest eg1.medium with 1 GiB of graphics memory, to eg1.2xlarge with 8 GiB of graphics memory. Therefore, Elastic Graphics is ideal for cost-effectively adding the right amount of graphics acceleration resource to your workload. This flexibility allows you to accelerate the graphics performance of applications such as virtual desktops, gaming, industrial design, or HPC visualization, for a fraction of the cost of stand-alone graphics instances.
Elastic Graphics Driver
Elastic Graphics accelerators come with a driver, which is an OpenGL acceleration library in your EC2 instances. The driver intercepts OpenGL calls, and execute the graphics commands on GPUs that are remote to your EC2 instances. The frames rendered by graphics commands are passed back to the Elastic Graphics driver.