Amazon WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol

Amazon WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP) is a cloud-native streaming protocol that enables a consistent user experience when your end users are accessing their WorkSpaces across global distances and unreliable networks. WSP also enables additional features such as webcam support. As a cloud-native protocol, WSP delivers feature and performance enhancements without manual updates on your WorkSpaces.

Today, streaming protocols run as applications on users' hosted desktops. These protocols analyze the hosted desktop, network, and user’s device to select compression and decompression algorithms (codecs) that encode a rendering of the user's desktop and transmit it as a pixel stream to the user's device. Streaming protocols use many different codecs to deliver an interactive experience, because codecs are optimized for different scenarios. For example, some codecs are better at showing motion than displaying text, and others are better over low-bandwidth networks.

WSP decouples the streaming protocol from the WorkSpace by offloading metric analysis, codec selection, and encoding to microservices that run natively on AWS. This lets WSP apply a better understanding of each user’s session that adapts its industry-standard and purpose-built codecs in real-time to provide a consistent user experience across challenging network conditions.

Amazon WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol


Cloud-native protocol

WSP decouples the streaming protocol from the WorkSpace. This lets WSP offload metric analysis, codec selection, and encoding from the WorkSpace to specialized microservices on AWS optimized for global distances and unreliable networks. 

Consistent user experience

WSP adapts its codecs in response to real-time changes in each user's session. This lets WSP provide a consistent user experience across global distances, even from the unreliable networks often found in conference halls, public transportation, and crowded cafes.

Microservice architecture

WSP is improved by quick and independent microservice enhancements in the cloud. This enables frequent feature and performance enhancements that require fewer updates to your WorkSpaces.

This lets WSP quickly and independently improve each of these processes in the cloud. 
This lets WSP quickly and independently improve each of these processes in the cloud. 

How it works

Each user's session starts by reporting metrics on the user's device and network conditions. These metrics are analyzed with the actions taken on the user's WorkSpace to select the appropriate codecs. WSP processes the codecs to compress and transmit a pixel stream of the WorkSpace down to the user's device. WSP then reports the performance of the pixel stream, network conditions, and user's device back to WSP to maintain consistent performance across the user's session. 

Getting started

You can get started with the WSP by selecting WSP from the protocol drop down and choosing a Windows 10 Value, Standard, Performance, Power, or PowerPro bundle when creating a WorkSpace. Then, download and install the latest client for Windows or Mac OS to access your WSP WorkSpaces.

WSP documentation
Go to the WorkSpaces user and admin guides to get started
Amazon WorkSpaces desktop client
Download the WorkSpaces client for Mac OS X, and Windows 8 and 10


Q. Which types of WorkSpaces are supported for WSP?
A. WSP is available for both license-included (Windows Server 2016) and BYOL Windows 10-based WorkSpaces on all bundle types except for Graphics and GraphicsPro.

Q. What operating systems will the WorkSpaces client application be supported on?
A. Clients are available for Mac OSX and Windows (Windows 8 and 10) operating systems.

Q. Can the same user have both a PCoIP and a WSP WorkSpace?
A. Yes, this is possible, as long as a separate directory is provisioned for that user. A single user cannot have both a PCoIP and a WSP WorkSpace in the same directory. However, a single directory can have a mix of both PCoIP and WSP based WorkSpaces users.

Q. Can I switch between the PCoIP and WSP protocols on a WorkSpace?
A. Yes. One streaming protocol is selected when a WorkSpace is created. To switch a WorkSpace to a different streaming protocol after the WorkSpace has been created, you can use the WorkSpaces migrate tool which requires a rebuild of the WorkSpace as long as your WorkSpaces bundle supports WSP.

Q. What are the public IP ranges I need to whitelist to enable access to WSP WorkSpaces?
A. You will need to open port 4195. We also use a small range of Amazon EC2 public IP addresses for WSP gateway servers. This range enables you to set more finely grained firewall policies for devices that access WSP WorkSpaces.
Q. Where should I send feedback or how can I get additional support?
A. If you encounter any issues or want to provide feedback about the protocol, contact AWS Support.