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 solid-state storage (SSD), 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.
Amazon WorkSpaces Bundles
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, Power, or Graphics bundles that offer different CPU, GPU, memory, and storage resources (SSD volumes), based on the requirements of your users. You can select the amount of storage that you need for both root and user volumes when you launch new WorkSpaces, and you can increase storage allocations at any time. With hardware bundle switching, you can switch between the Value, Standard, Performance, or Power hardware bundles as needed.
To launch 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, Power Plus, or Graphics Plus bundles. You can also create a custom image from one of your WorkSpaces to create your own installed software bundle.
|Video Memory GiB||4|
|SSD Root Volume GB*||80||80||80||175||100|
|SSD User Storage GB*||10||50||100||100||100|
|Software||Utilities software bundle||Utilities software bundle||Utilities software bundle||Utilities software bundle||Utilities software bundle|
Bring Your Own Licenses
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.
Secure and encrypted
Active Directory and RADIUS integration
Amazon WorkSpaces allows you to use your on-premises Microsoft Active Directory to manage your WorkSpaces and your end user credentials. By integrating with your on-premises Active Directory, your users can log in with their existing credentials, you can apply Group Policies to your WorkSpaces, you can deploy software to your WorkSpaces using your existing tools, and you can use your existing RADIUS server to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). You can integrate with your on-premises Active Directory in two ways – either by establishing a secure trust relationship between your on-premises Active Directory and your AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (Enterprise Edition) domain controller, or by using the AWS Directory Service Active Directory Connector.
Amazon WorkSpaces provides each user with access to varying amounts of persistent storage (SSD Volumes) in the AWS cloud based on the bundle selected. 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 users can also use Amazon WorkDocs Drive. With Amazon WorkDocs Drive, users can access all of their content stored on Amazon WorkDocs on-demand through a mounted drive connected to their WorkSpace. Users can use Windows File Explorer to copy a shareable link, lock, unlock, or open a file in the web client with a right click. All content on Amazon WorkDocs Drive is automatically synced to Amazon WorkDocs over an encrypted connection and available on their other devices. Data synced to Amazon WorkDocs is encrypted in transit and at rest.
Desktop, mobile, and web access
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. 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.