Service Workbench on AWS

A web portal for researchers to accelerate their time to science

Service Workbench on AWS helps IT teams to provide secure, repeatable, and federated control of access to data, tooling, and compute power that researchers need. With Service Workbench, researchers no longer have to worry about navigating cloud infrastructure. They can focus on achieving research missions and completing essential work in minutes, not months, in configured research environments.

With Service Workbench on AWS, researchers can quickly and securely stand up research environments and conduct experiments with peers from other institutions. By automating the creation of baseline research setups, simplifying data access, and providing price transparency, researchers and IT departments save time, which they can reinvest in following cloud best practices and achieving research reproducibility.

Service Workbench on AWS overview (2:11)


On-demand research environment capabilities

A self-service, three-click, on-demand service for researchers to build research environments in minutes without having to know anything about cloud infrastructure or wait for research IT to respond.

Pre-built, secure, and compliant environments

Pre-built, secure, and compliant environments for researchers to have simple access to data and tools that can be replicated across internal and external research teams.

Transparent view of total cost

Insight into currently accrued cost by cost centers and individual environments to manage budgets and charge-backs.

Open source AWS solution

A no-cost, AWS open source solution (Apache 2.0 license)—customers pay only for utilized downstream AWS services.


The diagram below presents the architecture you can build using the code example on GitHub.

Service Workbench on AWS architecture

Service Workbench on AWS deploys a test environment of Service Workbench with default settings, which provides the website hosted on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), made available through Amazon CloudFront. The web frontend authenticates using Amazon Cognito and leverages Amazon API Gateway to invoke the microservices (AWS Lambda functions and AWS Step Functions).

These microservices interact with Amazon DynamoDB to manage the content, users and AWS accounts in AWS Organizations to access data in S3 and instantiate out-of-the-box compute instances for Amazon EMR with Hail, Amazon SageMaker with Jupyter notebooks and Amazon EC2 with Windows and Linux operating systems. The CloudFormation templates for these compute instances are hosted in AWS Service Catalog for flexibility and to allow the simple addition of custom templates.

After you install Service Workbench on AWS, you can log into the web frontend using the root password and URL provided by the install process, create administrator- and end-user logins, associate an AWS account with Service Workbench on AWS and start testing it and its capabilities.

Service Workbench on AWS

Version 6.0.0
Release date: 06/2023
Author: AWS

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Simplified account vending through AWS Organizations

Service Workbench on AWS provides a simple mechanism for creating new AWS accounts via AWS Organizations. This enables fine-grained control associating research projects with budgets and billing.

Data and compute sharing to speed collaboration

Service Workbench on AWS connects to multiple identity providers simultaneously enabling different organizations to collaborate. Users can share data and compute templates across accounts subject to administrator review and approval.

Compute provisioning leveraging Service Catalog and CloudFormation

Service Workbench on AWS provides an easy-to-use, self-service portal for researchers to provision compute environments. Administrators can use AWS CloudFormation and AWS Service Catalog to create environment templates that are secure and compliant with organizational policies.
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