Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Run Visual Studio Software on Amazon EC2 with User-Based License Model

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

AWS recently announced the general availability of license-included Visual Studio software on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) instances. Organizations can now pay a per-user subscription fee for fully compliant AWS-provided Visual Studio licenses.

Visual Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft, and Amazon now provides preconfigured Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) of the latest Enterprise and Professional 2022 versions. With these AMIs, customers can launch on-demand Windows instances, including Visual Studio and Windows Server licenses, without long-term licensing commitments.

Channy Yun, a principal developer advocate for AWS, explains in an AWS news blog post:

You can launch EC2 instances using license-included AMIs, and multiple authorized users can connect to these EC2 instances using Remote Desktop software. Your administrator can authorize users centrally using AWS License Manager and AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory (AD).


First, the administrators in an organization create an instance of AWS Managed Microsoft AD and allow AWS License Manager to onboard to it by accepting permission. Next, they can select a Visual Studio edition, add authorized users to the license of Visual Studio edition, perform the necessary administrative tasks using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) tools via AWS License Manager APIs, and launch a Windows instance with pre-configured Visual Studio software using the EC2 Console. And finally, after launching a Windows instance, they associate a user to the product in the Instances screen of the License Manager console.

Once administrators authorize end users and launch the instances, users can remotely connect to their Visual Studio instances using their AD account information shared by the administrator via Remote Desktop software. 

Moly Sheets, a principal product manager - Technical, Spatial Computing, tweeted

Game changer for complex remote workstation & QA environments.

Microsoft offers Visual Studio free through a community version - and professional and enterprise through licensing. Furthermore, through the Azure marketplace, customers can set up virtual machines with the community or enterprise edition of Visual 2022.  According to the Microsoft documentation Visual Studio in a preconfigured Azure virtual machine is a quick, easy way to go from nothing to an up-and-running development environment.

License-included Visual Studio on Amazon EC2 is available in all AWS commercial and public Regions. Customers are billed per user for licenses of Visual Studio through a monthly subscription and per vCPU for license-included Windows Server instances on EC2. Furthermore, they can use On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances, and Savings Plans pricing models for EC2 models.

About the Author

Rate this Article