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How to use AWS Workspaces for advertisers who want to use Mac?

I think there are many advertising operators who want to use Macs, but continue to use Windows machines because of the campaign editor for Yahoo Promotional Ads. 

In this article, I would like to introduce AWS’s “WorkSpaces” that I have been using for a long time as a way to use Windows machines while mainly using Mac machines for such advertising managers.


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As of July 2019, the OS share is about 88% for Windows and about 9% for Mac. Looking at the share, most of them are Windows, but I think that there are more than a few people who actually want to use Mac, but are using Windows for various reasons. . In fact, in the corporate use, there are many companies that say “Windows is used due to the convenience of the information system department” or “In the case of Windows, flexibility such as discounts is effective, so Windows is basically used”.

One of the attributes of people who want to use Mac terminals but use Windows terminals for various reasons is advertising managers. Among the software that ad operators usually use is ” Campaign Editor for Yahoo Promotional Ads “. Unfortunately, the campaign editor has only launched a Windows application and no Mac application is available. Not being able to use the “Yahoo Promotional Ads Campaign Editor” is critical for ad operators.

For that reason, advertisers are forced to use Windows to use the campaign editor. I myself have been using a Mac as my main machine for about five years, and have created an environment where I can use the Windows OS only when necessary. Similarly, when I want to use a Mac machine as my main machine and use Windows OS only when necessary, what kind of options can I think of? I would like to introduce “Workspaces”.

Is Windows on Mac realistic?

In order to use the Windows OS while using a Mac device, in many cases, two patterns of using a “virtual environment” or using “Bootcamp” come up as common choices. I would like to consider these two options.

What is a “virtual environment”?

A virtual environment is a mechanism for starting another OS on one OS. In the flow of this talk, it refers to starting Windows OS as one of the applications in it while starting Mac OS. Since it is possible to operate while both Windows and Mac are open, it is easy to switch between OSes, but since multiple OSs can be started on one machine, the specifications of the machine are important.

To use a virtual environment on a Mac machine, it is common to use an application called “VirtualBox” or “Parallels Desktop”. While Parallels Desktop is more versatile and lightweight, Parallels Desktop is paid software. VirtualBox, on the other hand, is free software.

What is “Bootcamp”

Bootcamp refers to the method of choosing which of multiple installed operating systems to boot when powering on a machine. Since the OS itself is specified at startup, the machine specs can be fully utilized, but when you want to switch the OS, you need to restart the machine, and you cannot operate at the same time.

When you want to use Yahoo’s campaign editor, shut down Mac OS, start up again in Windows OS, work with Campaign Editor, then shut down Windows OS again and start Mac OS. Since it takes time and effort, in most cases, even if you start with the Bootcamp method, it is an option that is easy to fall into a situation where you are using Windows OS all the time without starting Mac OS without knowing it. .

Third Choice, Remote Desktop

“Remote desktop” refers to the method of preparing another terminal in a place other than your own Mac machine and connecting to the OS in another place from the machine at hand. Compared to virtual environments and Bootcamp, high machine specs are not required, and OS switching can be performed smoothly.

However, to use remote desktop, you need to prepare a connection destination machine separately. If you also need to prepare a Windows machine, you will have a cost problem. A possible solution would be to connect to a machine in the cloud rather than purchasing a machine to connect to.

As a cloud service that can be used to access Remote Desktop,

  • Sakura VPS for Windows Server by Sakura Internet
  • Onamae.com by Onamae.com Desktop Cloud for Biz

And so on. However, considering running Windows on the connection destination machine, a certain amount of specs are required, and the cost is a fixed amount of 8,000 to 12,000 yen / month, so it is not easy to use. I’m a little distracted.

Best Choice, Workspaces on AWS

AWS (Amazon Web Service) has ” Workspaces ” , which is a service that can be used by connecting to a Windows machine built on the cloud . The mechanism is almost the same as “Remote Desktop”. However, unlike “Sakura’s VPS for Windows Serverm” and “Onamae.com Desktop Cloud for Biz” mentioned above, billing is based on usage time . This is a great option for those who use Mac OS for their main usage and Windows OS for campaign editor.

If you use a Windows machine with 2vCPU, 7.5GB memory and 50GB disk, you will be charged a fixed monthly cost of $14 plus $0.74 per hour. Even if you raise the specs a bit and meet a Windows machine with 4 vCPU, 16 GB memory, and 50 GB disk, the monthly fixed cost is $ 14, which is $ 0.89 per hour. In my case, I use it for about 10 hours a month and use a machine with 7.5GB of memory, so it costs about $20 (about 2,400 yen at a conversion rate of 120 yen to the dollar) .

Furthermore, in the case of Workspaces, you can use a fixed IP address assigned by AWS. In the case of use as a company, there are cases where you want to use a fixed IP address. A fixed IP address may be required, especially when accessing a client company’s website under development. Workspaces can also use fixed IP addresses, so it is a convenient service in such cases.

Also, if you feel that the machine specs you are using are insufficient, you can easily change the machine specs through the AWS management screen.

How to get started with Workspaces

AWS account creation and billing settings

Since many other sites have introduced how to create an AWS account, I will omit the details in this blog and only introduce sites that can be helpful. Probably, if you create an account referring to the page below, you will not be confused and you will be able to proceed.

Workspaces machine creation

When creating a Workspaces machine, you may come across unfamiliar terms such as “Simple AD” and “Directory Service”. In this blog, we will omit the detailed explanation.

I think that you can create a Workspaces machine without any problems if you proceed with the settings referring to. In the above article, “Standard with Windows 10” is specified in the part where “bundle” is selected in the middle, but although it is subject to free use, I think that there are concerns about the machine specifications, so it will not be charged. However, I think that it is better to select a machine with slightly higher specifications (memory 7.5 GiB or more).

It seems that it takes about 20 minutes to complete the creation of the machine, so you need to wait for a while after creation.

How to log into the machine

A dedicated application is used to log in to the machine. Dedicated applications are available not only for Mac, but also for Windows, Android, iOS, Chromebook, and Fire Tablet, and can be connected from various operating systems.

Applications for connecting to Workspaces can be downloaded from Amazon WorkSpaces Client Download . After starting the installed software, proceed with the login process as follows. The registration code will be sent by email to the email address you entered when creating your Workspaces account.

After a successful login, the machine will start booting. It takes about 2-3 minutes for the machine to start up, so feel free to wait here.

Initial settings of the created machine

The keyboard layout of the created machine is an English keyboard at the time of the first startup. If you usually use an English keyboard, there is no problem as it is, but for many people, it is better to change to a Japanese keyboard. To change to Japanese keyboard,

  • Switching Japanese Input in WorkSpaces | Hack Note

It is summarized in an easy-to-understand manner, so let’s refer to it here.

After completing the initial settings, you can use it as a normal Windows machine. Of course, you can also install and use the long-awaited campaign editor for Yahoo Promotional Ads. If you get an error when installing Campaign Editor, try the “Run as administrator” option when launching the installer.

summary

This time, I introduced the AWS cloud service “WorkSpaces” as a general “virtual environment”, “Bootcamp” and “remote desktop” as a method for using a Windows machine from a Mac machine at hand.

For people involved in advertising operations, Windows machines are essential for work, but Macs are more familiar, so I think “WorkSpaces” is a good option in cases where you want to use both.

If you’ve given up on using a Mac just for Yahoo campaign editors, why not use WorkSpaces with this article as a reference?

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