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Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
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satamusic
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satamusic,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2013 | 4:37:08 PM
Not yet available
When will it be available for the general public? I signed up weeks ago but have gotten no response from AWS support.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/18/2013 | 1:17:28 PM
re: Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
It strikes me that file data, rather than the desktop interface, is really what needs to be made available anywhere, anytime. DropBox > WorkSpaces, if you're not dealing with really esoteric apps. 
jemison288
IW Pick
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jemison288,
User Rank: Moderator
11/16/2013 | 2:36:00 PM
What is the future of virtual desktops anyhow?
I think whether virtual desktops are just a legacy of the past is an important question that seems completely unaddressed alongside this AWS announcement--perhaps because no one thinks that AWS is so revolutionary and innovative that there's no way it could announce a service that will be obsolete in short order?

If we are increasing moving to SaaS and apps for our own devices, why on earth do we want our IT departments to have to worry about managing desktops?  If we're being sold that we can "run our virtual desktops on iPads", why aren't we asking, "wait, if we have an iPad, and our applications are SaaS and apps, why the heck do we need another desktop to get in the way?"

I would submit that the centralized "desktop" metaphor for employees is a skeumorphism that is destined to die.  I think we gave up that front in the war when we accepted BYOD (or we will give it up when the last old-school CIOs retire and are replaced by CIOs who want to empower their organizations).  Instead, we have to figure out what we need for information security, and avoid wasting resources on things like centralized desktops.  So I would expect a need for centralized storage (made easier by SaaS) and for security requirements on access (e.g., SAML), but why on earth are we wasting cycles switching from VMware virtual desktops to AWS virtual desktops?  That's like switching slide-rule vendors.  Time to buy a calculator.
jemison288
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jemison288,
User Rank: Moderator
11/16/2013 | 2:29:52 PM
re: Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
I would think that BYOD would actually work very well with virtualized desktops, because you would essentially be saying, "here's your company desktop, and we're going to restrict it in certain ways, but whatever you want to do on your own devices, we don't care."  I imagine that IT could only allow access to privileged resources through the virtual desktop and then have essentially "guest" internet access for any traffic not going through the virtual desktop.

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
11/15/2013 | 9:11:10 PM
Great news
This has been too long coming.  Server space in the cloud is reaching a maturity level that removes much of the fear associated with virtualization but virtual desktops and especially those in the could are still rare.  We've seen stripped down custom web based OSes to run virtual desktops but nothing much in the way of VDI.  I'm glad a player as big as Amazon has stepped into the ring.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 6:52:14 PM
You can customize your Amazon Workspace
At Re:Invent, I had the chance to ask Matt Wood, chief data scientist, what happens if users depart from the Amazon Workspace templates and customize their desktops? If end users have in-house applications or individual apps and add them to their desktop, Amazon will capture and store the changes, and reactivate them the next time they call up their work space, he said. Amazon will be incurring a significant storage commitment, if it ends up supplying hundreds of thousands or millions of Workspaces. Furthermore, each Workspace will have its own applications, running on an Amazon server, not just the pixels from a shared Word or PowerPoint multi-tenant application. A Workspace in many cases will resemble the software assembly of the PC era, including Windows operating system, as I understand it. That may evolve, but right now, bring your Microsoft licenses to Amazon and that's what you'll get. I have to wonder about the latencies of receiving a desktop from a cloud data center 1,500 miles away. What will that look liketo end users?   

 
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 12:39:07 AM
re: Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
Matt Wood, principal data scientist, says Amazon will allow individual customizations within limits of a company's policies, capture and store them on its servers. Each time workers logs in, they get their individual desktop retrieved from storage. In other words, Amazon is going to use its ability to scale to store, reactivate on cue each desktop. Conmpanies will bring existing Windows and Office licenses to Amazon so that they are using licensed versions-- jplus whatever in-house apps they may had added to the desktop, Will this be compatible with BYOD? Amazon says yes, as long as users stay within their company's BYOD policies. Interesting that Amazon is attempting to implement virtual desktops in this way and on this scale.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
11/14/2013 | 11:58:26 PM
re: Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
Yes, if the users insist on customizing their own devices, which of course they will. I don't see how Amazon is going to deal with individual customizations. Looks like standard template desktops to me. Amazon's Adam Selipsky: You can already customize under WorkSpaces. My question: Where will those customizations be stored (nothing is stored on the device itself)? Selipsky: I'll get back to you.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/14/2013 | 7:21:22 PM
re: Amazon Launches 'WorkSpaces' For Desktop Users
Do you see the BYOD movement as an opposing force against Amazon's push back toward centralized IT control?


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