Run Visual Studio software on Amazon EC2 with a user-based licensing model

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

Visual Studio is Microsoft’s integrated development environment (IDE), and Amazon now provides Amazon machine pictures (AMI) of the latest Enterprise and Professional 2022 versions. With these AMIs, customers can launch Windows instances on demand, including Visual Studio and Windows Server licenses, with no long-term license commitment.

Channy Yunone of AWS’s leading developer advocates, explains in an AWS news blog post:

You can launch EC2 instances using licensed 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, an organization’s administrators create an instance of AWS Managed Microsoft AD and authorize AWS License Manager to integrate with it by accepting authorization. Then they can select a Visual Studio edition, add authorized users to the Visual Studio edition license, perform the necessary administrative tasks using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) via AWS License Manager APIand launch a Windows instance with the pre-configured Visual Studio software using the EC2 Console. And finally, after launching a Windows instance, they associate a user with the product in the Instances screen of the License Manager console.

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

Molybdenum sheetsa main product manager – Technical, Spatial Computing, tweeted:

Game changer for complex remote desktops and QA environments.

Microsoft offers Visual Studio for free via a community version – and professional and enterprise via Licence. Additionally, through the Azure Marketplace, customers can configure virtual machines with the Community or Enterprise edition of Visual 2022. According to Microsoft Documentation Visual Studio in a preconfigured Azure VM is a quick and easy way to go from scratch to a working development environment.

Visual Studio licensed on Amazon EC2 is available in all AWS commercial and public regions. Customers are charged per user for licensing Visual Studio through a monthly subscription and per vCPU for licensed Windows Server instances on EC2. Additionally, they can use On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instancesand Savings plans pricing models for EC2 models.

Margie D. Carlisle