CloudFormation Template

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CloudFormation Templates

Note that this is not a managed instance of DCV on AWS, rather the CloudFormation template is provided so that customers can quickly get up and running with DCV for internal testing before moving on to a production configuration or setup. With this CloudFormation template, you can start deploying your EC2 instances with DCV pre-installed and fully configured. Here are some of the things the template does on your behalf:

  1. Provide multiple networking configuration options to conveniently place the EC2 instance
    • Use a default VPC and public subnet
    • Create a new VPC and public subnet
    • Enter a user specified public subnet
  2. Deploy an EC2 instance running a public DCV AMI
  3. Configure the instance for use with DCV
  4. Configure the minimum required set of security groups

This automation template and deployment requires an account on AWS. You can sign up here, if you don't have one already.

Before you begin you need an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) account with sufficient permissions to log-on in the AWS Web Console and deploy the CloudFormation template. This account must have the right level of permissions to create all the resources, including an EC2 IAM Role. This level of permissions is typically granted to an IAM user with the AdministratorAccess managed policy.

Deployment procedure:

  1. Click on the template link after reviewing the relevant terms, to land on the first page of the CloudFormation template wizard: "Select Template", and select "Next". If you are not already logged-on in the AWS Web Console, you will be asked to authenticate.
  2. In the "Specify stack details" page, you must answer all the questions, and then click "Next"
  3. The third page, "Configure stack options", is important only if you do not have the full AdministratorAccess managed policy. Here you can choose an alternate role to continue with the deployment.
  4. The final fourth page "Review" contains a mandatory step: you must check the last checkbox about "Capabilities" to authorize explicitly the deployment of all required resources.
  5. After you click the "Create" button, you land on the main page of CloudFormation with the list of all your stacks. You may need to click the "refresh" button to see the progress of your deployment. Note that the deployment may take several minutes.
  6. When the stack will reach the status "CREATE_COMPLETE", you can access the section "Outputs" where you can find the web URL to access your newly created DCV Instance.
  7. To connect to your session, you can use either an HTML5 compatible web-browser or download from the native client application from the DCV download page
  8. DCV is set up with a self-signed certificate. You have to trust this certificate on your preferred browser in order to preceed to the login form.
  9. To access the instance you can use the username "Administrator" for any Windows instance or the username "dcvuser" for any Linux instance with the password you provided as a parameter on the CloudFormation template.

Modifying the Template

If you want to modify the deployment procedure, you can access the CloudFormation template and have a look at the in-line shell scripts used from AWS::CloudFormation::Init resource. Access to download the template is only available only via AWS API calls, or through the command-line interface (AWS CLI). In the following high-level description we will assume you will use the AWS CLI. First, you'll need to obtain a local copy of the template:

aws s3 cp s3://nice-dcv-cfn/dcv.template .

You can use the CloudFormation template as a starting point to personalize the deployment of DCV, for example changing security group defaults, modifying the instance size or extending it to support alternative AMIs, etc.