Amazon WorkSpaces Clients – Taking a Look at AWS and Client Endpoints

Have you checked out Amazon WorkSpaces?

It is hard to believe Amazon WorkSpaces was released as a public beta almost seven years ago already. Amazon WorkSpaces is one of the end user computing services Amazon offers to its customers looking to provide cloud-based desktops running Windows 10 or Linux variant. Amazon WorkSpaces offers persistent cloud desktops only. (Persistent is a virtual desktop that can save data and user settings on the operating system. When using persistent delivery, messages are persisted to disk/database, so that they will survive a broker restart.)

The virtual hardware configurations offered for Amazon WorkSpaces have everything, covered from a 1 vCPU/2GiB Value machine all the way to a GraphicsPro bundle with 16 vCPUs and 122 GiB of memory! The Graphics and GraphicsPro Amazon Workspaces bundles offer 1 vGPU with 4 or 8 GiB of dedicated Video RAM. All Bundles come standard with SSD backed storage for the OS drive and persistent user drive.

What is WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP)?

More recently, during their annual AWS re:Invent, Amazon officially marked WSP (WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol) as generally available, but not for the Graphic bundles. This protocol was introduced in its beta form in late 2019. The WSP protocol is key to ensure the best possible user experience when the network might be unreliable, or users are not very close to the Amazon region where they are hosted. For example – Amazon says that user experience is best when 250ms (or less) for a desktop using the WSP protocol versus only 100ms RTT (round trip time) for PCoIP. WSP also supports the use of common secure access methods like CAC and PIV cards for authentication into the Workspaces desktop.

While the WSP protocol is still being developed, it is preferred when you have a more dispersed workforce with various network conditions or require the ability to use the CAC/PIV cards. The PCoIP protocol created by Teradici, is still preferred for graphic workloads, Amazon WorkSpaces Client Zero endpoints, and mobile devices. WSP utilizes ports 4195 TCP and UDP, whereas PCoIP will use 4172 for both TCP and UDP. (We will get to PCoIP Amazon WorkSpaces Clients soon…)

The Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager (WAM)

For application deployments within Amazon WorkSpaces, you have a couple different options. You could utilize more traditional Client deployment tools, like SCCM to install applications, since they are full persistent desktops. Or, you could take advantage of Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager (WAM) to deliver App containers either custom-built, or one you grab from the AWS Marketplace. You simply create the App yourself using the WAM Admin tool or find a suitable App from the marketplace to import into the Console. Then, you assign the App to a user or group from your directory and… voila! Without even needing to logout, the App is presented to the Workspaces desktop. You can view the utilization of an App and App assignments as well, from the Console. Profiles are simply stored in the UserProfile drive (D:), making desktop migrations easier and allowing users to preserve their data.

Amazon WorkSpaces Client Endpoints

Amazon WorkSpaces computing environments work perfectly with a supportive Amazon WorkSpaces Client endpoint like a Zero Client device, giving you all the benefits of cloud-computing combined with all the benefits of an AWS Zero Client, including higher security, lower IT costs, top computing performance, less IT support, and more.

As touched on above, Amazon WorkSpaces incorporates PCoIP® technology from Teradici. The PCoIP remoting protocol is used between end users’ devices and their Amazon WorkSpaces in the Cloud. The PCoIP protocol compresses, encrypts, and encodes the users’ Amazon WorkSpaces computing experience in the Cloud, and only transmits pixels across any standard IP network to Amazon WorkSpaces Clients. The Amazon WorkSpaces Clients receive encrypted pixels from the host and perform image decompression and decoding at the desktop.

Amazon WorkSpaces Client Endpoints by 10ZiG Technology

The 10ZiG V1200 PCoIP® Zero Endpoint Series as Amazon WorkSpaces Clients provide an ultra-secure, yet powerful and easy-to-manage device, well-suited for an Amazon WorkSpaces environment.

  • Low maintenance: No operating system, application, driver, anti-virus, or codec updates required, resulting in less IT support
  • Intrinsic security: PCoIP technology provides extensive USB security and authentication features allowing for the highest security of data
  • Lower IT costs: Operational costs are drastically lower when comparing to PCs as well as no need to constantly upgrade, allowing for an extended life span
  • High-performance, true computing experience: 10ZiG V1200 PCoIP® Zero Endpoint Series as Amazon WorkSpaces Clients provide high resolution and high-definition media over high latency networks, delivering a rich uncompromised user experience

10ZiG also offers a selection of Windows Thin Endpoint Series as Amazon WorkSpaces Clients forAmazon WorkSpaces environments. Contact us here for your customized solution and complimentary demo.

While WorkSpaces is not currently available in all Amazon Regions, the list continues to grow. Amazon provides a great real-time Connection Health check of RTT here, for those looking to pick the right region to use. Amazon WorkSpaces offers one of the most simple and straightforward approaches to getting up and started with Cloud Desktops in the industry. They offer a broad array of OS and hardware configurations for organizations looking to service different types of use cases. Like all Amazon services that continue to grow and mature, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Workspaces. Get your free Amazon WorkSpaces Client demo unit today at >