Amazon AppStream 2.0: The Future of Desktop Application Streaming

Welcome to our AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional tutorial series. In this tutorial, I’m excited to provide you with a high-level overview of the Amazon AppStream 2.0 workflow. We’ll walk through the steps in a visual format, helping you understand the various resources available in AppStream and how to deploy a managed AppStream environment for your users. Let’s dive right in!

Getting Started with AppStream 2.0

To deploy and manage an AppStream environment, an admin from your organization should begin by logging into the AWS Console. Start by working with an AppStream resource known as the “Image Builder.” The Image Builder is akin to a virtual machine powered by the Windows Server operating system. Here, you can install and configure the applications you want to stream to your end users.

Configuring Applications and Settings

AppStream supports a wide variety of applications, including popular ones like MATLAB, Adobe, and ArcGIS. You can also set default applications and window settings, ensuring that end users can quickly launch their desired applications once everything is configured on the Image Builder.

Creating an Image

The next step is to initiate a snapshot process, which results in the creation of another vital resource known as an “Image.” This snapshot process captures all the applications and settings configured on the Image Builder, effectively creating a golden image of your environment.

Understanding Fleets

Once your image is ready, it’s time to create a “Fleet.” A Fleet is essentially a group of streaming instances, and each streaming instance can be likened to a virtual machine that runs the applications and settings contained in the image. When configuring a Fleet, you can specify the minimum and maximum number of streaming instances.

Auto Scaling for User Demand

Fleets are designed to be dynamic. Based on user demand, the Fleet size can grow or shrink using auto scaling policies. All streaming instances within a Fleet run on the same type of hardware. For instance, if you choose a graphics x-large instance type, all instances within the Fleet will match this specification. Each streaming instance is dedicated to one user, and the total number of streaming instances available determines the number of concurrent user sessions a Fleet can handle.

Stacks for User Control

To provide control over end user actions during AppStream sessions, you’ll create a “Stack.” User actions can include capabilities like copy-paste, file upload/download, and access to cloud storage options. Since AppStream sessions are non-persistent, users can save and retrieve their files from various cloud storage options like Google Drive, OneDrive, or Amazon S3. Additionally, you can configure settings such as application persistence and customize the AppStream landing page with your branding.

Assigning Stacks to End Users

Finally, you’ll assign the Stack to your end users. These users can access the streaming sessions using their own devices, provided they support an HTML5 browser and have an internet connection. This includes devices like laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, and any device with a modern browser supporting HTML5. Each streaming instance remains dedicated to a single user, and the number of available streaming instances determines the concurrent user sessions a Fleet can handle.


In conclusion, this high-level overview of the AppStream 2.0 workflow provides you with the essential steps to deploy a managed AppStream environment for your users. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily provide access to applications and resources, enabling your users to harness the power of cloud computing

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