Work at home. The bursty nature of modern work environments. Rapid changes in applications and the underlying computer technology needed to support them. The evolution of work going forward will require more flexibility, scalability and adaptability than ever before. The 40-year model of regularly spending CapEx on personal computing upgrades for employee populations is falling behind the needs of current and future business models. It’s time to take a closer look at cloud-based virtual desktop technology and how it can answer the modern realities of business.

Amazon Web Service’s DaaS solution, Amazon Workspaces, can be used to rapidly give employees anywhere access to a virtual desktop through a simple web browser interface. It follows AWS’ pay as you go pricing structure – you only pay for the Workspaces you launch – either on an hourly or monthly basis. Like other DaaS solutions, Workspaces assists in reducing management of hardware, OS, and VDI. 

Benefits: 

Simplify desktop delivery, in an instant 

  • Use Workspaces to help manage and deploy desktops to your users
  • No inventory besides laptops, desktops, or even Chromebooks with a local web browser to manage

Reduce costs 

  • Provides on-demand access to cloud desktops with all of the resources at hand in AWS, leaving no need to overspend on over-provisioned on-premise resources
  • Replace CapEx spending with an OpEx model to more accurately align with business goals, facilitate reporting, and provide for deterministic cost allocation
  • Provide access to the most modern compute power to any or every employee at any time; no more depreciation for aging hardware

Keep your data secure

  • Workspaces are deployed in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), controlling infrastructure access to only the specific users resources required in the AWS Cloud using AWS Key Management System, while making sure no data is stored locally
  • Ensures user data is secure with protected storage in the cloud

Centrally manage and scale your global desktop deployment 

  • Accessible in many AWS regions while allowing access to cloud desktops in multiple areas
  • The AWS console is available to centrally manage all of your Workspaces, and you can automate management with tools like CloudFormation or Terraform

Use cases: 

Provide secure cloud desktops for remote, mobile, and contract employees 

  • Provides an accessible cloud desktop no matter where you are
  • Helps with employees who are mobile or remote to gain access to necessary business applications

Enable bring your own device 

  • Ability to run a cloud desktop on all your devices and certain browsers including Mac, PC, Android tablets, and iPad

Rapidly provision and scale desktops for software test and development 

  • Instead of Dev teams using on-premise hardware (which is often much more costly than using AWS Cloud) Workspaces provides the tools Dev teams need to quickly and efficiently build applications

Quickly provision persistent desktops for classroom and lab settings 

  • Students and instructors have access to workspaces for better learning experiences

Rapid integration during mergers and acquisitions

  • Workspaces enables teams to adapt to changing organization structures
  • Helps with on and off-boarding employees quickly, while giving them secure access to all resources they may need

Media & Entertainment Use Cases

Editorial in the Cloud

Cloud Editorial is becoming a far more common model for editors, reviewers and QA personnel to collaborate.

The ability to use either standard Amazon Workspaces instances for moderate editing requirements, or the most modern custom instances (GPU-enabled, etc) for those sessions that require it, supplies a geographically dispersed creative workforce the ability to “dial-in” the exact environments necessary for the job. The transition to an OpEx model also provides much better cost reporting and facilitates an easy path to accurate allocation of costs to projects or customers.

Once editorial and content is in the cloud, including the value-add capabilities of AWS’ broad services offering can accelerate and augment your workflows further and farther than ever before. Add metadata extraction via ML/AI, transcoding, packaging, distribution, and archiving, and disaster recovery in a far easier fashion than locking your business into on-premise or co-location CapEx’d hardware solutions.


Animation and Special Effects

While including the same benefits as Cloud Editorial above, running VFX in AWS virtual desktops adds the ability to spin up and down an almost unlimited amount of on-demand compute power.

Struggling to make delivery deadlines because you don’t have the ability to bring on artists quickly enough, or the rendering power to bring a project across the finish line in time can be mitigated by AWS’ ability to deploy almost instantly, anywhere and to any scale. Amazon Nimble Studio, a new AWS service is a great place to start, providing a basis not only for GPU-based virtual desktops but also the entire pipeline.