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What is Amazon WorkSpaces?

Posted on October 25, 2022 by

Categories: AWS

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You may create virtual, cloud-based Microsoft Windows, Amazon Linux, or Ubuntu Linux desktops for your users, referred to as Amazon WorkSpaces, with the help of Amazon WorkSpaces. WorkSpaces does not need the purchase, deployment, or installation of complicated software or hardware. As your needs change, you may rapidly add or delete users. Users can use different devices or web browsers to access their virtual desktops.

For more information, see Amazon WorkSpaces. 

Features

  • Various hardware combinations, software configurations, and AWS Regions are available. Choose your operating system (Windows, Amazon Linux, Ubuntu Linux). For further details, see Create a custom WorkSpaces image and bundle and Amazon WorkSpaces Bundles.
  • Choose between the WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol and PCoIP (WSP). See Protocols for Amazon WorkSpaces for further details.
  • To continue where you left off, log in to your WorkSpace. A continuous desktop experience is offered by WorkSpaces.
  • WorkSpaces gives customers the choice of hourly or monthly paying for WorkSpaces. See WorkSpaces Pricing for further details.
  • Utilize Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager to deploy and oversee apps for your Windows WorkSpaces (Amazon WAM).
  • You may acquire licenses and programs for Windows computers from the AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps or provide your own.
  • To enable seamless access to corporate resources using your users’ current login credentials, either create a standalone managed directory for them or link your WorkSpaces to your on-premises directory. See Manage directories for WorkSpaces for further details.
  • The same tools you use to administer on-premises PCs may also be used to manage WorkSpaces.
  • For further protection, use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Data at rest, disc I/O, and volume snapshots may all be encrypted using AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS).
  • Choose which IP addresses users can use to access their WorkSpaces.

Architecture

Each WorkSpace for Windows and Linux is connected to a virtual private cloud (VPC) and a directory to house and manage data for your WorkSpaces and users. See Configure a VPC for WorkSpaces for further details. The AWS Directory Service, which manages directories, provides the following choices: AWS Managed Microsoft AD is often referred to as Simple AD, AD Connector, or AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory. Consult the AWS Directory Service Administration Guide for further details.

Users are authenticated by WorkSpaces using your Simple AD, AD Connector, or AWS Managed Microsoft AD directory. Users log in using their directory credentials to access their WorkSpaces using a client application from a compatible device or, for Windows WorkSpaces, a web browser. An authentication gateway receives the login data and sends the traffic to the WorkSpace directory. Streaming traffic starts through the gateway when the user has been authorized.

For all authentication- and session-related data, client apps utilize HTTPS over port 443. For pixel streaming to the WorkSpace and network health checks, client applications utilize ports 4172 (PCoIP) and 4195 (WSP), respectively. See Ports for client applications for further details.

A network interface for administration and streaming (eth0) and the primary network interface are two elastic network interfaces connected to each WorkSpace (eth1). The primary network interface is assigned an IP address from the same subnets the directory uses, given by your VPC. This makes sure that the directory can readily receive traffic from your WorkSpace. Security groups allocated to the main network interface regulate access to resources within the VPC. See Network interfaces for further details.

The architecture of WorkSpaces is depicted in the diagram below.

 amazon workspaces

Log in to your workspace.

Using the client application on a compatible device or a supported web browser on a supported operating system, you may connect to your WorkSpaces.

Please note that you cannot access Amazon Linux WorkSpaces using a web browser.

The following devices have client apps available:

  • Windows-based systems
  • macOS devices
  • PCs running 18.04 Ubuntu
  • Chromebooks
  • iPads
  • Android gadgets
  • flaming talons
  • no client equipment. The only PCoIP-compatible Teradici zero client device is supported.

You may connect to Windows and Ubuntu Linux WorkSpaces on computers running Windows, macOS, or Linux using the following web browsers:

  • Chrome versions 53 and above (Windows and macOS only)
  • Firefox versions 49 and above

See WorkSpaces Clients in the Amazon WorkSpaces User Guide for further details.

Pricing

After signing up for AWS, you may begin utilizing WorkSpaces free with the WorkSpaces free tier offer. See WorkSpaces Pricing for further details.

Only what you use is charged for with WorkSpaces. The bundle and the number of WorkSpaces you launch determine how much you get charged. Simple AD and AD Connector are included in the WorkSpaces price. However, AWS Managed Microsoft AD is not.

WorkSpaces offers hourly and monthly billing options for WorkSpaces. The most advantageous option for customers that use their WorkSpaces full-time is a monthly payment, which entails a set charge for unlimited usage. You pay a small set monthly price per WorkSpace and a negligible hourly amount for each hour the WorkSpace is open when billing is done hourly. See WorkSpaces Pricing for further details.

See WorkSpaces Pricing for details on supported geographic areas.

What to do first

  • Try out one of the following instructions to build a WorkSpace:
  • Utilize WorkSpaces Quick Setup to get going.
  • Utilizing AWS Managed Microsoft AD, start a WorkSpace.
  • Using Simple AD, start a WorkSpace
  • Using AD Connector, start a WorkSpace
  • Using a trustworthy domain, launch a WorkSpace

To learn more about Amazon WorkSpaces, you might also want to check out these resources.