Introducing Amazon WorkSpaces

Ian Massingham 14th August 2014

A guest post from Ian Massingham at AWS. WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud.

AmazonWorkSpaces allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need on a range of devices, including laptops, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android tablets. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can provision a high-quality cloud desktop experience for any number of users at a cost that is highly competitive with traditional desktops and half the cost of most virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.

 

 

Amazon WorkSpaces was introduced at last Novembers’s AWS re:Invent and made available to all users in March this year. Availability in the US regions was followed by the announcement of availability here in Europe in the “eu-west-1” region and in Sydney during May and users in these regions can now provision desktops in their local region and benefit from improved responsiveness in the user experience as a result.

 

We have also focused on adding features to the service that customers have told us are important to them. These include new Active Directory integration features that were announced in July, which were intended to make it easier for customers to integrate WorkSpaces with their on-premises Active Directory, and, more recently, the addition of support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Support for MFA enables you to use your existing RADIUS-based authentication solution with Amazon WorkSpaces.

 

One of the most powerful characteristics of the Amazon WorkSpaces is that your cloud desktops will be placed within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) on subnets that you specify. This feature allows you to place strong security controls around your end-users’ cloud desktops, for example with Security Groups or through the deployment of NAT instances to secure them from threats or to restrict which resources they are able to access. The VPC construct also allows you to integrated WorkSpaces with other services that you might be operating within your VPC. This makes WorkSpaces a great fit for running Business Intelligence tools integrated with Amazon Redshift or Amazon Elastic MapReduce for example.

 

If you want to learn more about Amazon WorkSpaces I will be running a Masterclass Webinar focusing just on WorkSpaces on November 5. You can get the details on this and other Masterclass webinars and register at this URL: http://aws.amazon.com/webinars/emea-masterclass/