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Virtual desktop computing service: The next cloud disruptor?

Virtual desktop computing service: The next cloud disruptor?

“No hardware, no software, and half the price of traditional on premise desktop virtualisation systems,” says Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, at re:Invent conference.

Amazon Web Services leader Andy Jassy
Amazon Web Services leader Andy Jassy
announced today the company’s latest product – a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud called WorkSpaces.

His pitch? “No hardware, no software, and half the price of traditional on premise desktop virtualisation systems.”

No hardware, no software, and half the price of traditional on premise desktop virtualisation systems.

Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services

”Workspaces will eliminate upfront investment and ongoing management of infrastructure while offering security and efficiency of a desktop model,” says Jassy in his keynote at re:Invent, the annual tech conference of AWS being held this week in Las Vegas.

“Virtual desktops have not taken off than people have anticipated,” says Jassy. They were very difficult to set up and manage, and the enterprise still has to worry about hardware and software.

“As a result this business has not really taken off,” he says.

Gene Farrell, general manager of Amazon Workspaces, says in the past two years the virtual desktop service has been the most frequently requested by customers.

Farrell says Workspaces requires no upfront commitment and offers a monthly pay as you go pricing.

“You can access your workspace from any device and if you are using a laptop and you switch to an Android device, the session picks up where you left off,” says Jassy, of WorkSpaces. The operational performance will be “consistent” which he says was challenging in the old virtual desktop environments.

Because it is a cloud service, the data lives in the cloud and not on local devices, which is a concern for the IT administrator, he adds.

Related: Startups tackle ‘X’ factor challenge

AWS also announced at the event its new service AppStream, which provides developers the ability to stream resource intensive applications, such as 3D games, or interactive HD applications, from the cloud.

“Developers have told us that it is frustrating to build and deliver high-end applications for mass market devices given their hardware constraints,” says Mike Frazzini, general manager of Amazon Games. “Developers want to provide spectacular graphics, and responsive fluid experiences to the largest possible audience regardless of the device a person chooses to use.”

He says AppStream removes these limitations and allows them to stream their applications to low-end devices as if these consumers were using high-end devices.

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