Desktop and Application Streaming

New features enhance Amazon WorkSpaces Family performance & productivity


AWS customers use Amazon WorkSpaces Family services to support a wide range of workloads from enabling remote workers with cloud-based VDI solutions to turning desktop applications into software as a service (SaaS) without refactoring. Recognizing that every AWS customer has unique requirements, AWS provides a broad portfolio of services and an exceptional customer experience, giving IT organizations the flexibility to choose the best solution for their specific needs.

This past September at AWS End User Computing (EUC) Innovation Day, we announced Amazon WorkSpaces Core and Ubuntu Desktop for WorkSpaces, which expanded the breadth of workloads supported by WorkSpaces Family services and the management tooling options for cloud-based VDI.

The AWS EUC team constantly innovates to help customers. With over over 30 launches to date, we improve things like performance, ease of use, and regional availability of our services. Today, I’m excited to share that we’re continuing that trend of innovation with the announcement of a number of exciting new features for Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon AppStream 2.0 that not only enhance the performance of our services, but also continues to maximize your productivity.

Streaming protocol improvements 

IT organizations and end users require their cloud-based VDI solution to perform as well as a traditional workstation or on-premises VDI solution. AWS built AWS End User Computing services to meet or exceed this expectation.

Since the launch of Amazon WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP), we’ve released a number of features to improve streaming performance, including WorkSpaces macOS client support for Smart Card and web client access for WorkSpaces. Today we’re announcing additional streaming performance enhancements for WSP. The new streaming performance updates are designed to significantly improve audio and video performance, while enabling IT organizations to deliver a consistent and highly responsive desktop experience regardless of network conditions. We also made significant improvements to the web access client for WorkSpaces, which provides a high-performance desktop experience without requiring software to be installed on the end-user device. 

Virtual meeting optimizations

AWS EUC’s customer obsession shines through with an exciting update from our collaboration with Zoom. Last week, Zoom announced extended support for virtual desktops with a Windows VDI plugin for WorkSpaces. WorkSpaces is now available with Zoom media optimization, which improves worker collaboration by providing a higher-quality audio and video (AV) experience.

With Zoom media optimization for Amazon WorkSpaces, video calls bypass the cloud-based virtual desktop, creating a direct connection between the Zoom platform and endpoint device, reducing latency, and improving worker productivity. Zoom media optimization also helps lower VDI expenses by reducing the CPU/RAM requirements of the virtual desktop and offloading video encoding/decoding to the endpoint device.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a permanent shift in the way people are working. More remote/hybrid work means more video conferencing and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).” Said Richard Vanderlippe, Technical Product Manager Zoom. “We teamed up with the AWS End User Computing group, asking the question ‘How can we make the remote work experience better for our joint customers?’, and I’m pleased to announce that Zoom now supports a Windows plugin for Zoom Meetings on Amazon WorkSpaces virtual desktops, reducing latency and improving AV performance. It was a real pleasure to work with AWS on this project and I look forward to future projects.”

Seamless logon and SSO enhancements

End users tell us they struggle to remember multiple user names and passwords and they add unnecessary time to the authentication and logon process. Employees spend an average of 11 hours per year entering and resetting passwords. For a company with 15,000 employees, that adds up to over $5.2M per year.1

AppStream 2.0 now supports single sign-on (SSO) using certificate-based authorization for a streamlined logon experience that removes the Active Directory logon prompt for the domain password. Certificate-based authentication allows you to take advantage of the logon features provided by your preferred SAML 2.0 identity provider, such as passwordless authentication. Using SSO with AWS EUC services helps you improve worker productivity with seamless access to virtual desktops and applications. Use of SSO also reduces help desk interactions to handle lost, stole, and forgotten passwords.

Resilience improvements

 44% of enterprises say hourly downtime costs top $1 million annually, with COVID-19, security hacks, and remote work as driving factors.2 Today, I’m pleased to announce Amazon WorkSpaces Multi-Region Resilience (MRR) to help your workers remain productive in the event of a service disruption. WorkSpaces MRR provides a low-cost standby virtual desktop instance in a separate AWS Region that you choose, with a 30-minute recovery time objective (RTO).

WorkSpaces standby configuration for Multi-Region Resilience automates the creation and management of a standby deployment, redirecting users to a secondary AWS Region when the primary AWS Region is unreachable due a disruptive event, with no configuration changes required. If a redirection to the secondary AWS Region is required, users are automatically redirected based on Domain Name System (DNS) failover policies for the fully qualified domain name (FQDN), using the latest image from the primary WorkSpaces deployment.

Maximus, a global provider of health and human services, is using WorkSpaces MRR. Wylie Hartwell, SVP of Information Technology at Maximus, commented on the new service.

“With thousands of remote workers in virtual contact center environments around the globe, service availability is critical to our business. If there’s an unexpected event, Amazon Multi-Region Resilience will failover our VDI deployments to another AWS Region without disrupting our workers. This new set of features gives us a new level of confidence in our business continuity initiatives.”

With WorkSpaces Multi-Region Resilience, your workers remain productive during unexpected events. 


By introducing innovative new features focused on maximizing performance and productivity across WorkSpaces Family services, we enable our customers to choose the optimal solution for their specific requirements. To learn more about the features discussed in this blog, check out the features page for WorkSpaces and the features page for AppStream 2.0 and get started today.

For those attending AWS re:Invent 2022, make sure to reserve a seat for re:Invent session EUC202 “What’s new with Amazon WorkSpaces, Amazon AppStream 2.0, and WorkSpaces Web”.  If you’re not joining us at re:Invent 2022, visit the AWS EUC services resources pages after re:Invent to watch this session on demand.


  1. Passwordless Authentication, World Economic Forum, January 2020. Report not independently verified by Amazon Web Services.
  2. The Cost of Enterprise Downtime, Laura Didio, September 30, 2021. Report not independently verified by Amazon Web Services.
Hassan TA - AWS Hassan TA joined AWS in 2014 and currently serves as the Head of Product for AWS End User Computing services, specifically Amazon AppStream 2.0, and Amazon WorkSpaces. He is responsible for charting out the product vision and direction as well as delivery of products, features, and services to best meet the needs of our customers. Hassan focuses on building products that delight our customers, and equipping IT teams around the globe to deliver high-quality experiences to their end-users. In the past, Hassan worked in several other AWS services including Amazon EC2 networking, and AWS Direct Connect. Before joining AWS, Hassan worked in various roles in Engineering, Operations, Product Management, and Marketing since 2002.