Amazon WorkSpaces offers you an easy way to provide a secure, managed, cloud-based virtual desktop experience to your end-users. Unlike traditional on-premises Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, you don’t have to worry about procuring, deploying, and managing a complex environment – Amazon WorkSpaces takes care of the heavy lifting and provides a fully managed service. With Amazon WorkSpaces, you can deliver a high quality portable desktop, and applications, to your users on the device of their choice.

Whether you are managing traditional desktops or an on-premises solution for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), both of these approaches require significant capital investment and are often difficult to deploy and manage. Using a cloud-based virtual desktop environment eliminates the need for up-front investment and ongoing management of infrastructure, providing you with an easy, cost-effective way to bring a secure and broadly accessible desktop experience to your users.

For a low, pay-as-you-go fee, Amazon WorkSpaces provides a complete cloud-based virtual desktop service, including compute, persistent storage, and applications. Your users get a better experience and more functionality than a traditional PC, and you get a simpler way to provision desktops for users, at half the cost of an on-premises VDI solution. Please see our TCO Comparison: Amazon WorkSpaces and traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) blog post for more information on cost comparison.

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Please note that Amazon WorkSpaces is not currently available on the AWS Free Tier.


To get started, simply select from a choice of Amazon WorkSpaces bundles that offer different hardware and software options, and launch the number of Amazon WorkSpaces that you require. When Amazon WorkSpaces are provisioned, users receive an email providing instructions on where to download the Amazon WorkSpaces client applications they need, and how to connect to their Amazon WorkSpace. Users can access their Amazon WorkSpace from any Windows or Mac computer, Chromebook, iPad, Fire tablet, Android tablet, and Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Your users’ applications and data remain persistent, so they can easily switch between devices without losing their work.

Amazon WorkSpaces provides you with the choice of creating a standalone, managed directory for users who will use WorkSpaces, or you can integrate with your existing Active Directory environment so that your users can use their current credentials to obtain seamless access to corporate resources. This integration works via a secure hardware VPN connection to your on-premises network using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) or with AWS Direct Connect. You can manage your Amazon WorkSpaces with the existing tools you are using for your on-premises desktops to maintain full administrative control.


Amazon WorkSpaces offers a choice of service bundles providing different hardware and software options to meet your needs. You can choose from Value, Standard, Performance, or Graphics bundles that offer different CPU, GPU, memory, and storage resources, based on the requirements of your users. If you would like to launch Amazon WorkSpaces with an additional bundle of software already pre-installed, including Microsoft Office, Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, and a utilities bundle, you should choose from the Value Plus, Standard Plus, Performance Plus, or Graphics Plus bundles. You can also create a custom image from one of your Amazon WorkSpaces to create your own installed software bundle. 

 

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• 1 vCPU, 2 GiB memory

• 10 GB storage
• Utilities software bundle

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• 2 vCPU, 4 GiB memory

• 50 GB storage
• Utilities software bundle

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• 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB memory

• 100 GB storage
• Utilities software bundle

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• 8 vCPU, 15 GiB memory
• 1 GPU, 4 GiB video memory
• 100 GB storage
• Utilities software bundle

All Amazon WorkSpaces bundles include a Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 10 desktop experience, and the following applications: Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, and 7-Zip.

When you choose the Plus bundles, you can select either Microsoft Office Professional 2010 or Microsoft Office Professional 2013. Microsoft Office Professional includes Microsoft Excel, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft Access.

You can also install any other software that you already own licenses for on your Amazon WorkSpaces at any time.


You can now bring your existing Windows 7 and Windows 10 Desktop licenses to Amazon WorkSpaces and run the Windows 7 and Windows 10 Desktop operating systems on hardware that is physically dedicated to you. To be eligible, your organization must meet the licensing requirements set by Microsoft, and you must commit to running at least 200 Amazon WorkSpaces in a given AWS region each month. Eligible organizations will be entitled to a discount of $4 per WorkSpace per month, for a savings of up to 16%. To learn more about this licensing option, please see the Amazon WorkSpaces FAQ.

Provisioning desktops with Amazon WorkSpaces is easy. Whether you choose to launch one or many Amazon WorkSpaces, all you need to do is to choose the bundles that best meet the needs of your users, and the number of Amazon WorkSpaces that you would like to launch. Once your Amazon WorkSpaces have been provisioned, users receive an email providing instructions on where to download the Amazon WorkSpaces client applications they need, and how to connect to their Amazon WorkSpace. When you no longer need a particular Amazon WorkSpace, you can easily delete it.

Amazon WorkSpaces enables you to deliver a high quality desktop experience to your end-users as well as help meet compliance and security policy requirements. With Amazon WorkSpaces, your organization’s data is not sent to or stored on end-user devices. The PC-over-IP (PCoIP) remote display protocol used by WorkSpaces provides the familiar desktop experience to the user while the data remains in the AWS cloud or in your on-premises environment.

Amazon WorkSpaces integrates with the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to provide you the ability to encrypt the storage volumes of WorkSpaces using KMS customer master keys (CMK). You now have the option to encrypt the storage drives at launch of a new WorkSpace, ensuring that data in transit and at rest, along with snapshots created from the volume, are all encrypted.

Amazon WorkSpaces lets you integrate with your organization’s Active Directory environment by configuring an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) with either a hardware VPN connection or with AWS Direct Connect. Once configured, your end users will be able to use their existing credentials to access corporate resources, and you’ll be able to manage your WorkSpaces with existing tools just like any other desktop in your organization. You can perform various tasks such as deploying software or applying Group Policies to manage your users’ WorkSpaces, including configuration options that restrict users’ ability to use local storage on their devices. Workspaces also integrates with your existing RADIUS server to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Amazon WorkSpaces provides each user with access to varying amounts of persistent storage in the AWS cloud based on the bundle you select. In addition to being able to store user data on a 'user' storage volume attached to the WorkSpace, the free Amazon WorkDocs Sync client lets WorkSpaces users choose a folder to sync between their WorkSpace, Amazon WorkDocs, and other computers. This means that users always have access to their data regardless of the device that they are using. Data synced to Amazon WorkDocs is encrypted in transit and at rest. Other data that users store on the 'user' volume attached to the WorkSpace is automatically backed up to Amazon S3 on a regular basis. Amazon S3 is designed for 99.999999999% durability of objects, providing you with peace of mind about your users’ data.

Amazon WorkSpaces can be accessed from Windows and Mac computers, Chromebooks, iPads, Fire tablets, and Android tablets through the Amazon WorkSpaces client application. Amazon WorkSpaces can also be accessed using Chrome and Firefox web browsers. When Amazon WorkSpaces are provisioned, users receive an email providing instructions on where to download the Amazon WorkSpaces client applications they need, and instructions on how to connect to their Amazon WorkSpace.

The Amazon WorkSpaces client applications for Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks provide users with a high quality Windows desktop experience, and offers support for multiple monitors, audio, and video. The client applications for iPad, Fire tablets, and Android tablets provide users with a tablet-optimized desktop experience. Users can use multi-touch gestures to show or hide an on-screen keyboard, access a touch-based mouse interface, and scroll and zoom. A slide-out radial control can be accessed by a thumb swipe from the left of the screen and gives users access to a variety of commands. With a Fire or Android tablet, users can connect a keyboard or touch pad for a laptop experience from their tablet. Using Chrome or Firefox allows users to easily access their Amazon WorkSpaces on any network, without needing to download a client application first.

To provide users with a secure, high quality experience, Amazon WorkSpaces incorporates PC-over-IP (PCoIP) technology from Teradici. The PCoIP remote display protocol is used between users’ devices and their WorkSpaces. This protocol compresses, encrypts, and encodes the users’ desktop computing experience and transmits ‘pixels only’ across any standard IP network to users’ stateless PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and zero clients.

Your data never leaves your data center or the AWS cloud. The PCoIP protocol enables support for high resolution, full frame rate graphics and HD media, multiple large displays, and high definition audio, all connected over the corporate network or Internet.

For a complete list of zero clients that are compatible with Amazon WorkSpaces please visit the device finder here. (hosted by Teradici)

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