Virtual Desktop on Mac, iPad, Google tablet, or Kindle: Amazon Workspaces Available Starting at $35 per Month

Amazon WorkSpaces: Desktop Computing in the Cloud (ENT104) | AWS re:Invent 2013.

Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud, which allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need with the device of their choice. Amazon WorkSpaces uses Teradici’s cloud-optimized PCoIP technology, which easily scales to meet customer requirements, and provides best-in-class security and a superior user experience over a range of networks.

Desktop virtualization has long held the promise of productivity and security benefits, but has been held back by large CapEx requirements and complicated installation and management. In this session, Gene Farrell, General Manager, AWS, and Deepak Suryanarayanan, Sr. Product Manager, AWS, provide a detailed introduction to Amazon WorkSpaces, a new AWS service that combines the benefits of desktop virtualization and a cloud-based, pay-as-you-go model. You learn about the key steps for setting up and delivering a secure cloud-based workspace accessed through purpose-built client applications.

Amazon Workspaces uses PCoIP software clients -- software implementation of the PCoIP protocol for flexible client device support. Select OEM's include this in their products for x86 and ARM based thin clients, which is also the basis for the VMware and AWS Amazon Workspaces software clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android which use Teradici-developed core PCoIP protocol and decoding technology.

PC-over-IP (PCoIP) is a proprietary remote display protocol developed by Teradici, which is available in hardware silicon and in software. Images rendered on the server are captured as pixels, compressed and encoded and then sent to the client for decryption and decompression. Depending on the image, different codecs are used to encode the pixels sent. There are different techniques to compress video images compared to those for text.  The PCoIP protocol transmits ‘pixels only’ across any standard IP network, so that data never leaves the data center or the AWS cloud.

The service is available on multiple devices, including laptop computers (Mac OS or Windows), iPads, Kindle or Android tablets. Amazon Workspaces will also be available on secure, high-performance PCoIP zero clients, and PCoIP Optimized™ thin clients from Teradici’s broad partner ecosystem.

Some early reviews have reported that the service is laggy in its early implementation. There are currently no trial programs for the service, which costs a minimum of $35 per month for 50GB storage, 3.75 GB RAM and no additional software, except Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader and Mozilla Firefox.