Setting Up the AWS Discovery Agent
Start course

In this course we will learn to recognize and explain the migration services available from AWS and AWS partners, and how to run a migration using the AWS Server Migration Service. This course is a blend of instructional learning and demonstration. In this course we cover the following topics:

  • The AWS Migration Hub - which provides a simple way to manage migration of severs and applications.
  • The AWS Discovery Services -we explore the AWS Discovery Connector and the Discovery Agent which enable us to audit and quantify a migration project. 
  • The AWS Server Migration Service - which provides a way to manage migrating vmware and HyperV virtual machines to the AWS Cloud. 

Learning Objectives

In this course, we will learn to apply and use the migration services available from AWS.
First, we will explore the AWS Migration Hub service - which provides a simple way to discover, track and manage the migration of servers and applications.
Then we will learn to use and apply the AWS Application Discovery Service - which provides a way to discover and audit applications and servers running in both hardware and virtualized environments.
Following that we will apply and use the AWS Server Migration Service within the migration hub to manage migrating virtual machines from an on-premise or datacenter environment to the AWS public cloud.

Intended Audience

This course is suited to anyone running or involved in a cloud migration project. As a pre-requisite, I recommend completing our “Getting Started with Cloud Migration” course first so you have some understanding of migration projects and the benefits of the migration services to a cloud migration project.


I recommend completing our Getting Started with Migrating to the Cloud course prior to this course so you understand the basic concepts and benefits of cloud migrations. If you are new to Cloud Computing, I'd recommend completing our What is Cloud Computing? course first so you have an understanding of cloud computing concepts. 


If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


- [Instructor] Hello and welcome back. In this short lecture we're going to install the Migration Hub Discovery Agent. To discover resources using an agent you first need to download the agent and install it on a server that is part of the server fleet you wish to discover and ideally migrate to AWS. So, first off, let's choose Download the Agent from the Migration Hub dashboard and then in the dropdown select either the Windows Agent or the Linux Agent, so those are the two platforms the agent will run on. Today we're going to install the Discovery Agent on a Windows machine. So, first to do this we need to download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime for the x86 environment and then we can download the Windows Agent Installer. So, first off, let's install the x86 version of the library and that has a file name vc_redist.x86.exe. No point using the vc_redist.x64.exe version 'cause that won't work as I discovered when I did this. The C++ runtime will run regardless of the architecture of the machine that you're installing it on if you use the x86 version, not so if you use the x64 version. Okay, once we have the C++ library installed, we can download and install the MSI Installer for the agent code. So, first of all, we need to as the administrator open the command prompt on our Windows machine and navigate to the location where we saved the installation package once we've downloaded it. To install the agent we need to run it as a command line entry, so run msiexec.exe/i AWSDiscoveryAgentInstaller.msi which is the MSI package, space REGION equals us-west 2, space KEY_ID equals YOUR KEY ID, your AWS KEY ID space KEY_SECRET and add your secret key /q. Now, once that's installed, agents automatically download and apply updates as they become available and that may not be ideal for your environment. It's a great feature which I recommend leaving on but if you do want to disable it for any reason, i.e. to avoid downloading agents and applying updates automatically which could mess with some of your setup, for example, then include the AUTO_UPDATE equals false parameter when you run your installation. Now, remember, these agents need outbound access to send data back to the Migration Hub in the US West region. So, if outbound connections from your network are restricted by either the machine or by your firewall, you're going to need to update your firewall settings. Now, agents require access to a host in the Amazon AWS domain and they need that access on port 443. They don't need any inbound ports to be open, so it's outbound egress only and agents will also work with transparent web proxies. Now, as with any agent setup, there's usually a few things that go wrong. I certainly have struck a few rocks when I was setting this up. So, if you encounter problems while installing it or using the application Discovery Agent or especially on Windows, check your installation logs first. That's the definitely the one source of truth for what went wrong. So, the msiexec command can fail for example, the Windows Service Manager may be showing that the Discovery Service has not been created, so add a /L*V to turn on verbose installation logging and then if you're up and running, we can stop and start the server from the Server Manager. You can also look at operational logs on the Windows Server 2008 runtime. The agent log files can be found under C:\ProgramData\AWS\AWS Discovery\Logs and on Windows Server 2003 the agent logs can be found under C:\Documents and settings\All Users\Application Data \AWS\AWSDiscovery\Logs. So, log files are named to indicate whether generated by the main service, automatic upgrader or by the installer. Now, the configuration file for the agent is located in C:\ProgramData\AWS\AWSDiscovery\Config. All right, so after you've successfully installed the agent, return to the Data Collector's page on the Migration Hub console and choose the Refresh icon. From here you can select the agents which you wish to start by turning on the Select box and then choose Start Data Collection. If you want to install additional agents, then you can deploy new discovery agents from the Migration Hub dashboard. Okay, so that closes our installation of the agent lecture.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Andrew is fanatical about helping business teams gain the maximum ROI possible from adopting, using, and optimizing Public Cloud Services. Having built  70+ Cloud Academy courses, Andrew has helped over 50,000 students master cloud computing by sharing the skills and experiences he gained during 20+  years leading digital teams in code and consulting. Before joining Cloud Academy, Andrew worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.