Boldly entering the desktop virtualization fray, Amazon Web Services just announced WorkSpaces. As its name hints, it is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud.
According to Amazon, WorkSpaces allows customers to provision cloud-based desktops so end-users can access the documents, applications and resources they need with the device of their choice, including laptops and tablets. And the e-commerce giant promises customers can do this for less than half the cost of most traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.
"Over the past couple years, the new service customers have requested most frequently is a virtual cloud desktop service," said Gene Farrell, general manager of Amazon WorkSpaces. "They've been frustrated by the available options -- traditional desktops that are hard to manage and keep secure, or virtual desktops that are expensive and deliver inconsistent performance. Amazon WorkSpaces aims to address these issues by offering secure, easy-to-manage, high-performance desktops in the cloud at a fraction of the price of traditional VDI."
Amazon Flexes Cloud Muscle
Amazon is positioning its cloud service as advantageous over on-premises VDI solutions, which offer the benefits of centralized desktop management and security at a high cost because they require companies to invest in network and storage infrastructure to support the delivery of a high-quality virtual desktop experience.
By migrating desktops to the cloud, Amazon said, WorkSpaces eliminates both the up-front investment and the ongoing management of infrastructure while still offering all the security and efficiency of a centralized model. WorkSpaces offers a complete cloud-based desktop computing service including compute, persistent storage, and software applications.
We asked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, for his thoughts on Amazon entering the VDI market. He told us there are a number of competitors in the space like Mainframe2 and OnLive -- but they lack the kind of market power and presence that Amazon enjoys.
"This kind of a service goes to the core strengths of a user-focused vendor of AWS's size and focus. You could argue that it would be an ideal business for the firm so they should be successful where others aren't," Enderle said. "However, this move will drive competitive moves by others who haven't wanted to do this and that could fundamentally change the PC market as we know it."
Huge Cost Savings Promised
Here's how it works: WorkSpaces customers choose a bundle that provides a choice of CPU, memory, storage and applications and then launch desktops with literally just a few clicks. Amazon WorkSpaces can integrate with a company's existing Active Directory so end-users can use their existing enterprise credentials to access the VDI.
Customers can choose to install their own applications or use applications available through Amazon WorkSpaces, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader and Firefox. WorkSpaces Sync client lets users sync their documents between their Amazon WorkSpace and other computers so that they always have access to their documents.
"Our enterprise customers have been asking for us to deliver a virtual desktop solution that is simple to manage, scales up and down as needed and doesn't require large capital investment or heavy operational support. Until now that solution has not existed," said Robert Groat, chief technology officer at Smartronix. "We're very excited to see a solution for virtual desktops done the 'Amazon Web Services way.'
"Beyond the productivity benefits, we believe enterprises will save over 40 percent of the life cycle cost for desktop services while also gaining additional benefits such as built-in security, telecommuting flexibility, high availability and simplified operations management."
Posted: 2013-11-17 @ 4:25pm PT
Improved idea in VDI or old Time Sharing Option (in mainframe applications) or Client/Server application and so on.....
using Cloud Computing