Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution which runs on AWS. With Amazon WorkSpaces, you can easily provision virtual, cloud-based Microsoft Windows desktops for your users, providing them access to the documents, applications, and resources they need, anywhere, anytime, from any supported device. With just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can deploy high-quality cloud desktops for any number of users. With Amazon WorkSpaces, you pay either monthly or hourly just for the Amazon WorkSpaces you launch, which helps you save money when compared to traditional desktops and on-premises Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions.
In a recent whitepaper, sponsored by AWS, Enterprise Strategy Group draws on research to highlight how Desktop-as-a-Service offerings like Amazon WorkSpaces can benefit organizations today. This whitepaper is available for download here.
Amazon WorkSpaces provides a Free Tier, which allows first-time WorkSpaces customers to try the service at no cost. The Free Tier offer provides two Standard bundle WorkSpaces for up to 40 hours of combined use per month for two calendar months, from the time you create your first WorkSpace. To take advantage of the WorkSpaces Free Tier, simply provision a Free Tier-eligible WorkSpace using the AWS management console.
- Simple to Use: Amazon WorkSpaces makes it easy to manage your desktop computing infrastructure by eliminating the need for up-front investments and avoiding the complexity of maintaining, patching, and managing a large physical desktop environment or a complex Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution.
- Keep Your Data Secure: Amazon WorkSpaces provides each user with access to persistent storage in the AWS cloud. When users access their desktops using Amazon WorkSpaces, a remote display protocol is used to compress, encrypt, and encode data so that only images are transmitted. Amazon WorkSpaces also integrates with the AWS Key Management Service (KMS), providing the ability to encrypt WorkSpaces storage volumes.
- Deploy and Manage Applications: Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager (Amazon WAM) offers a fast, flexible, and secure way for you to package, deploy, and update your organization’s desktop applications for Amazon WorkSpaces.
- Choose the Hardware & Software You Need: Amazon WorkSpaces offers a choice of bundles providing different amounts of CPU, memory, and solid-state storage so you choose the right amount of resources for your requirements. Amazon WorkSpaces comes with a Windows 7 or Windows 10 desktop experience, or you can run your own Windows 7 or Windows 10 Desktop operating system (see requirements). In addition, Amazon WorkSpaces provides a bundle of basic applications for free, and you can also choose to add Microsoft Office for a monthly fee.
- Support Multiple Devices: Because Amazon WorkSpaces reside in the cloud, users can access their desktops from any supported device, including Windows and Mac computers, Chromebooks, iPads, Fire tablets, and Android tablets. Amazon WorkSpaces can also be accessed using Web Access through Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
- Integrate Your Corporate Directory: Amazon WorkSpaces securely integrates with your corporate Active Directory so that your users can continue using their existing enterprise credentials to seamlessly access company resources. This also makes it easy to manage your WorkSpaces using familiar systems management tools.
- Mobile Device Access: For users who wish to access their desktops from mobile devices such as an iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android tablet, Amazon WorkSpaces provides them with access to their desktop when they need it, on the device of their choice.
- Graphics Applications: Amazon WorkSpaces offers the option to include a high-end GPU, which allows you to run graphics-intensive applications, such as computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering software, on low cost hardware. Users get a better experience and can work anywhere, and it’s easier to collaborate on petabyte-scale projects.
- Remote Employees: For employees working at off-site locations, such as home-based employees, Amazon WorkSpaces enables you to provide access to the applications users need by delivering a cloud desktop. By not storing the data locally, the security of your corporate data is improved.
- Seasonal Workers: If you have seasonal workers in your organization, you can provision WorkSpaces for them with all the applications they need, and then terminate the WorkSpaces when they leave.
- Students: For training organizations or in an academic environment, WorkSpaces can easily be provisioned for students to access the resources they need and be removed at the end of the course or semester.
- Developers: You can provision WorkSpaces for developers and install the tools they need to build applications for your business. Your source code is not stored on developers’ devices helping you keep your intellectual property safe.