Step-by-Step Guide for Software Deployment to Amazon WorkSpaces

June 13, 2021 | Comments(0) |

Businesses globally are finding flexible ways of enabling their workforce to work from remote locations, using remote technologies for business continuity. This has led to a significant rise in the virtual desktop infrastructure issue as a large number of users connect to their systems simultaneously.

The possible reasons could be related to one or more issues as mentioned below:

  • Performance: they have not been placed under the demand of higher CPU thresholds and graphics requirements
  • Bandwidth: network connectivity factoring the download speed
  • Scaling: they cannot scale on-demand and provisioning the capacity is time-consuming and requires more resources

AWS offers a virtual desktop solution that enables you to provision workspaces on the spot for all the users with security. Amazon WorkSpaces is also known as Desktop-as-a-service, and it is the same as your office computer and functionality from the office computers. You can create Windows or Linux desktop configuration which will have all the software and application that your team uses in office and access to your file systems as well.

In this post, I have demonstrated the steps involved in the deployment of software on WorkSpaces using Systems Manager.

Here I am deploying a notepad++ application on a Windows 10 client.

Note: The WorkSpaces service is not available in all the AWS region so chose the region where the service is available.

How to deploy notepad++ to Amazon workspace using AWS System manager?

  1. Sign-in into the AWS console chose Amazon WorkSpaces, and then click Get Started Now
  2. On the Get Started with Workspaces window, select Quick Setup.
  3. Under Bundles, chose Standard Windows 10 Free tier eligible.
  4. Under the User Details, enter the Username for your workspace, email address and the name and continue to Launch Workspaces.
    Amazon Workspaces
  5. The launch process will take approximately 15-20 min to complete. You will receive a confirmation email to the given email address in step 4, and this email includes the profile activation link and the registration code for your workspace.
    Amazon Workspaces
    Amazon Workspaces
    Amazon Workspaces
  6. Click on the profile activation link, enter a password for your profile and select Update user
  7. After setting up the credentials, you will be redirected to https://clients.amazonworkspaces.com where you can check the connection status, download client devices.
  8. Now, you can download the client device and set up the Amazon WorkSpaces.

How to create an activation that enables you to centrally manage your WorkSpaces and EC2 instances?

  1. In the System Manager console, under Node Management, select Hybrid Activations. Then choose to Create an Activation
  2. Under the Activation Settings, enter a description for your activation, the number of instances to manage, and the IAM role which allows the communication between SSM agent and the managed instances and enter an optional default instance name
  3. After entering all these settings choose to Create Activation
    Amazon Workspaces
  4. When the activation is successful, ensure that the activation code and activation ID is copied. You need them in the next step.
    Amazon Workspaces
  5. Now, launch your WorkSpaces client application you downloaded from https://clients.amazonworkspaces.com and Register it.
  6. Then, enter your username and password of WorkSpaces and click on Sign In
    Amazon Workspaces
  7. Your AWS WorkSpaces will be launched in few seconds
    Amazon Workspaces

Activate the SSM Agent on the WorkSpaces server:

  1. Open PowerShell and run as an administrator from your WorkSpaces client application
  2. Copy and paste the following commands, but replace the activation code, activation ID and AWS Region which you have copied in the System manager Hybrid Activation process. Press Enter


    Amazon Workspaces

The WorkSpaces is now a managed instance. It is displayed with the prefix “mi” in Systems Manager.

Let us run the command using system manager to install the Notepad++ application:

  1. On the System Manager console, choose Run Command
  2. Then, select the AWS-RunPowerShellScript document
  3. Under commands, enter the below commands

    Command Parameters
  4. Let the Working Directory and Execution Timeout fields take their default values, and then select Choose instances manually.
  5. Leave other fields at their default values, and then choose Run.
    Amazon Workspaces
    Amazon Workspaces
  6. Once the status becomes Success, Verify NodePad++ is installed on your  Workspace
    Amazon Workspaces
    Amazon Workspaces

Now you can control the WorkSpaces environment with the help of the System Manager which makes it easier to execute the commands in a centralized panel. When setting up the WorkSpaces, you will have the option of AlwaysOn which will be for full-time flat fee use or the AutoStop option which gets charged only when the instance is running.

Conclusion

This solution of WorkSpaces and System manager will help you to deploy software resources your teams need. And it helps to overcome the technical challenges in managing multiple virtual desktop environments such as patching the OS, monitoring and many others. It is crucial to make your team have everything they need to help your business to be productive and successful.

Learn more about Amazon WorkSpaces: Transforming Traditional IT Environments here.


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