AWS News Blog

New – Run Visual Studio Software on Amazon EC2 with User-Based License Model

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Today we are announcing the general availability of license-included Visual Studio software on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. You can now purchase fully compliant AWS-provided licenses of Visual Studio with a per-user subscription fee. Amazon EC2 provides preconfigured Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) of Visual Studio Enterprise 2022 and Visual Studio Professional 2022. You can launch on-demand Windows instances including Visual Studio and Windows Server licenses without long-term licensing commitments.

Amazon EC2 provides a broad choice of instances, and customers not only have the flexibility of paying for what their end users use but can also provide the capacity and right hardware to their end users. You can simply launch EC2 instances using license-included AMIs, and multiple authorized users can connect to these EC2 instances by using Remote Desktop software. Your administrator can authorize users centrally using AWS License Manager and AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory (AD).

Configure Visual Studio License with AWS License Manager
As a prerequisite, your administrator needs to create an instance of AWS Managed Microsoft AD and allow AWS License Manager to onboard to it by accepting permission. To set up authorized users, see AWS Managed Microsoft AD documentation.

AWS License Manager makes it easier to manage your software licenses from vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and IBM across AWS and on-premises environments. To display a list of available Visual Studio software licenses, select User-based subscriptions in the AWS Licence Manager console.

You can see listed products to support user-based subscriptions. Each product has a descriptive name, a count of the subscribed users to utilize the product, and whether the subscription has been activated for use with a directory. Also, you are required to purchase Remote Desktop Services SAL licenses in the same way as Visual Studio by authorizing users for those licenses.

When you select Visual Studio Professional, you can see product details and subscribed users. By selecting Subscribe users, you can add authorized users to the license of Visual Studio Professional software.

You can perform the administrative tasks using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) tools via AWS License Manager APIs. For example, you can subscribe a user to the product in your Active Directory.

$ aws license-manager-user-subscriptions start-product-subscription \
         --username vscode2 \
         --identity-provider " \
                "ActiveDirectoryIdentityProvider" = \
                {"DirectoryId" = "d-9067b110b5"}" 

To launch a Windows instance with preconfigured Visual Studio software, go to the EC2 console and select Launch instances. In the Application and OS Images (Amazon Machine Image), search for “Visual Studio on EC2,” and you can find AMIs under the Quickstart AMIs and AWS Marketplace AMIs tabs.

After launching your Windows instance, your administrator associates a user to the product in the Instances screen of the License Manager console. You can see the listed instances were launched using an AMI to provide the specified product to users who can then be associated.

These steps will be performed by the administrators who are responsible for managing users, instances, and costs across the organization. To learn more about administrative tasks, see User-based subscriptions in AWS License Manager.

Run Visual Studio Software on EC2 Instances
Once administrators authorize end users and launch the instances, you can remotely connect to Visual Studio instances using your AD account information shared by your administrator via Remote Desktop software. That’s all!

The instances deployed for user-based subscriptions must remain as managed nodes with AWS Systems Manager. For more information, see Troubleshooting managed node availability and Troubleshooting SSM Agent in the AWS Systems Manager User Guide.

Now Available
License-included Visual Studio on Amazon EC2 is now available in all AWS commercial and public Regions. You are billed per user for licenses of Visual Studio through a monthly subscription and per vCPU for license-included Windows Server instances on EC2.  You can use On-Demand InstancesReserved Instances, and Savings Plan pricing models like you do today for EC2 instances.

To learn more, visit our License Manager User Based Subscriptions documentation, and please send any feedback to AWS re:Post for EC2 or through your usual AWS Support contacts.


Update (Nov 28, 2022) – AWS now offers fully-compliant, Amazon-provided licenses for Microsoft Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) on Amazon EC2.

Channy Yun

Channy Yun

Channy Yun is a Principal Developer Advocate for AWS, and passionate about helping developers to build modern applications on latest AWS services. A pragmatic developer and blogger at heart, he loves community-driven learning and sharing of technology, which has funneled developers to global AWS Usergroups. His main topics are open-source, container, storage, network & security, and IoT. Follow him on Twitter at @channyun.