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I have an app where we allow users to create videos by choosing an AE template and modifying the text, images, etc. We run AE on a windows server which renders the final video.

For other scenarios where we do not use AE, we use AWS Lambda of which we can spin off 100 instances simultaneously and they all use their own resources. Whereas for AE we use a Windows server and all parallel rendering use the same resources and hence very slow.

Are there any PaaS where I can run AE and spin up multiple instances?

  • Are you looking exclusively for an Azure PaaS? – PrestonM Jan 26 '18 at 15:31
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In general a solution runs the application code on top of a provider-supplied sandbox infrastructure which complements your app code so that together they implement the complete app functionality. But this puts specific requirements (often quite restrictive) in front of the application code, for example:

  • a limited choice of (typically high-level) programming languages
  • certain pieces of mandatory functionality in your app code (like health checks, etc)
  • certain limitations of what the app can do (for example not allowing writes to the local filesystem)

So when looking for a solution you need to be looking from both the app perspective and the sandbox perspective.

Now your case brings additional requirements to the game:

  • running a 3rd party app which you cannot modify, so you need to find a PaaS offering whose requirements are met with the application as-is, unmodified
  • a Windows-based sandbox - rare, most providers use open-source infrastructure, I suspect primarily because of the licensing terms. Your highest chance of finding such offering would be on Azure, but not necessarily the only one
  • AE licensing terms - how many AE instances can you run?

Due to the extra requirement on the sandbox a solution would be, IMHO, a better fit for your case (you're actually using it presently, maybe just scaling it would be a much simpler solution for you?).

AFAIK the only offering (outside of Azure, with which I'm not familiar) that comes very close to an but still is, in a way, a is Google App Engine Flexible Environment:

  • meeting the app requirements might be possible by actually writing an app implementing a rendering service which uses AE under the hood, as a dependency
  • it supports (docker-based) custom runtimes, you might be able to build one with AE/Windows (maybe how it's done for ASP.NET apps would help)

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