Using Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS - Using Microsoft Power BI with the AWS Cloud

Using Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS

Microsoft Power BI Report Server provides a private report server that Microsoft Power BI Desktop users can publish reports to and then share with a wider audience. Although it has traditionally been deployed on premises, Microsoft Power BI Report Server can reside within the AWS Cloud as well. This enables you to avoid hosting it in your data center while still making it accessible to both Microsoft Power BI Desktop users and the audience that needs to view published reports.

Microsoft Power BI Report Server can also connect to data sources that reside within the AWS Cloud. For a list of supported data sources, see Power BI report data sources in Power BI Report Server.

There are two licensing options available for Power BI Report Server: Microsoft Power BI Premium and SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance. Because of changes Microsoft made to their licensing terms in October 2019, Power BI Report Server can be deployed on EC2 Dedicated Hosts if the eligible SQL Server Enterprise Edition license with active Software Assurance was purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific bring your own license (BYOL) scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019. Note that this type of license is not included as part of any Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

For more general information about licensing about the licensing of this product, refer to Licensing Power BI Report Server. For questions regarding licensing the Power BI Report Server for use specifically on AWS, contact microsoft@amazon.com.

You can deploy Microsoft Power BI Report Server in an Amazon EC2 instance that resides within a VPC subnet. The following diagram shows Microsoft Power BI Report Server deployed in a public subnet so that users can connect to it over the internet. If you have AWS Site-to-Site VPN, or AWS Direct Connect, you can place Microsoft Power BI Report Server in a private subnet instead.

The options presented in this section illustrate Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Athena. For a full discussion of all AWS data sources, refer to Appendix: Microsoft Power BI supported AWS data sources


      A diagram depicting Microsoft Power BI Report Server deployed into a public
        subnet.

Microsoft Power BI Report Server deployed into a public subnet

The following table outlines some common considerations when running Microsoft Power BI Report Server in the AWS Cloud.

Table 6 — Considerations for Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS

Criteria Considerations for Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS
Network connectivity

Before deploying the instance, you must choose how Microsoft Power BI Desktop users and the report audience will connect to the instance.

For the report audience:

  • If your organization has an AWS Direct Connect connection, or a Site-to-Site VPN, then we recommend that you deploy the instance in a private subnet and the report audience accesses it over those networks.

  • If your organization does not have private connectivity, then the instance is accessed over the public internet. Deploy the instance in a public subnet with an Elastic IP address.

For Microsoft Power BI Desktop users:

  • If Microsoft Power BI Desktop is hosted on premises, it can connect to Power BI Report Server using the internet, Direct Connect, Site-to-Site VPN, or Client VPN.

  • If Microsoft Power BI desktop is hosted in the AWS Cloud, it can connect to a report server in either a public or a private subnet using native AWS networking, such as the VPC local route, VPC peering, or AWS Transit Gateway.

For AWS data sources:

  • Because Microsoft Power BI Report Server resides within an Amazon VPC it can access AWS data sources using native AWS networking, such as local routes within an Amazon VPC, VPC Peering, or Amazon VPC endpoints.

Security

IP access control

In order to limit access to trusted entities, you must configure the security group associated with the instance hosting Microsoft Power BI Report Server so that it only allows inbound IP ranges associated with trusted CIDR ranges.

Encryption in transit

AWS recommends that you configure Microsoft Power BI Report Server Web Service and web portal to use HTTPS. This ensures that connections from Microsoft Power BI Desktop and report viewers are encrypted in transit. For more information, see Configure TLS connections on a native mode report server.

Authentication and authorization

Authentication and authorization mechanisms for Microsoft Power BI publishing and reporting viewing are contained in the application layer for Microsoft Power BI Report Server. This can be configured to use Microsoft Active Directory services, which can also reside in the AWS Cloud.

Performance

Before deploying Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS, consider the following:

  • The Amazon EC2 instance types should be sized in accordance with Microsoft’s recommended hardware configuration. For information about available Amazon EC2 instance types, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types. To get started quickly we recommend that you narrow your focus to T3, T3a, C5, or C5a instance types, because these are likely to make good candidates.

  • The experience of report users is also dependent on the quality of the network connection to the Microsoft Power BI Report Server. Report users are typically external to AWS and are using public or private networks. In cases where you have a large number of reporting users, make sure that there’s sufficient bandwidth to handle peak requirements.

  • The experience of report authors publishing from Microsoft Power BI Desktop is dependent on whether the software is running on premises or in the AWS Cloud. For on-premises installations, calculate how much bandwidth is required by estimating the number of authors and how much data is being published at peak times. Microsoft Power BI Desktop running in AWS (either in Amazon EC2, Amazon WorkSpaces, or Amazon AppStream 2.0) has high bandwidth and low latency connections, so network sizing is unlikely to be a factor.

Cost

Consider the following cost factors when deploying Microsoft Power BI Report Server in AWS:

  • Amazon EC2 instance charges for the deployment of Microsoft Power BI Report Server. We encourage you to properly size your instances to get the best price and performance mix. Additionally, because Amazon EC2 instances associated with Microsoft Power BI Report server are likely to be running continuously, you should consider reducing costs further by purchasing Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances or AWS Savings Plans.

  • Content viewed by reporting users over the internet is subject to standard Amazon VPC egress charges. If content is viewed over Site-to-Site VPN, or Direct Connect, those charges will apply instead.