Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Businesses Cloud

Amazon Jumps Into Desktop Virtualization With "WorkSpaces" 92

mattydread23 writes "Amazon is getting into the desktop virtualization space. This is potentially huge news for providers like Citrix, but as writer Nancy Gohring points out, the company is starting small. Very small: 'The administrator console only allows managers to provision five WorkSpaces at a time. It's possible that will change when the service becomes generally available. For now, Amazon is accepting sign ups for a limited preview of the service. '"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Amazon Jumps Into Desktop Virtualization With "WorkSpaces"

Comments Filter:
  • No Linux client? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @08:15PM (#45419023)

    Their devices page says:

    Amazon WorkSpaces clients are available for both Windows and Mac computers as well as for the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets. When WorkSpaces are provisioned for users, they will get an email containing details on how they can download the clients. The WorkSpaces PC or Mac client provides users with full access to their desktop and includes support for multiple monitors, audio, and video.

    Linux support would make this more interesting so I could retask some old desktops and laptops with a linux thin client to let them access their Amazon virtual desktop. Though $50/month for a virtual desktop that includes MS Office seems a little expensive when a Dell desktop with Office Pro costs around $800 - 16 months worth of Amazon's pricing.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @08:24PM (#45419073)

      See IBM for that.

      Us old farts who saw the older farts scratching their heads over virtual desktops and wondering, "and this is different from dumb terminals or xwindows ... how gain?" and being thrown aside for not knowing the new technology.

      IT is worse than music - at least music will pay SOME homage to the previous artists.

      Next post, I'll describe how the entire "entrprenuerial" community in Silcon Valley are a bunch of rip-off artists.

      • Except in each iteration the code gets sloppier.
      • Next post, I'll describe how the entire "entrprenuerial" community in Silcon Valley are a bunch of rip-off artists.

        As a person seeking to work for myself, I would like to see a detailed analysis. Although, this may only be so I don't feel bad becoming a rip-off artist myself.

      • ..."and this is different from dumb terminals or xwindows ... how gain?"...

        Although they offer similar functionality, horsepower and a car is different from horses and a cart.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're using Teradici's PCoIP protocol like VMware View and View has a Linux client, so hopefully they just do it already.

    • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @09:52PM (#45419435)

      Linux support would make this more interesting so I could...

      You know, this kind of thing has been tried pretty much since the mainframe was invented. After that it was timesharing, after that it was dumb terminals, after that it was thin clients, after that it was virtualization, after that it was cloud, after that... well, and here we are. Hi Amazon.

      Look, ever since Moses descended from the Mountain and brought with him two stone tables, 0 and 1, and said to us Thou Shalt Not Goto, and other things... people have been trying to get this off the ground. And it's always ended in failure because it's a bad idea.

      The fact that it's Amazon's turn to derp it up shouldn't get your hopes up... and neither should adding Linux support. Or MacOS, or anything else. It's technology that has died more times than the Daleks have in Doctor Who... and yet it stubbornly comes back in via another whack plot-twist... also, just like the Daleks.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's technology that has died more times than the Daleks have in Doctor Who

        It reminds me also of the "anyone can program" meme and products that promise to replace your software engineers with your secretary or even more improbably that programs will write themselves after you dictate to them what it is that you want, ala Star Trek. These sorts of ideas always rise from the dead, no matter how many times they fail, because some managers just cannot stand the fact that some workers are necessary and that relative to the secretary or the burger flipper, they cost more. Of course, it

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Centralized remote "desktops" and remote computing were always a good thing. There are many many advantages to having a remote desktop that is yours that you can access from any number of devices from any number of locations. It makes sense for the user for the reasons I stated above and it makes sense to IT departments providing them because of ease of management, backups, deployments etc. The price for maintaining and managing large pools of desktops is coming down and the dust is settling on the proto

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        The fact that it's Amazon's turn to derp it up shouldn't get your hopes up... and neither should adding Linux support. Or MacOS, or anything else. It's technology that has died more times than the Daleks have in Doctor Who... and yet it stubbornly comes back in via another whack plot-twist... also, just like the Daleks.

        The reason it keeps popping up is because there are valid reasons for it. Just as there are valid reasons for decentralized.
        The problem is that every iteration is hyped as being the perfect solution for all situations everywhere, whereas in reality it's just one of a number of possible solution for a specific subset of situations.

      • It's technology that has died more times

        Some things just have to wait for the technology to be ready.

        I switched a couple years ago to running my daily work desktop via a VM on a server, at HD resolution, and it works great. The only time I remember I'm in VNC is when I try to play a video; not because the video stutters but because I haven't taken the time to hook up a network sound adapter yet.

        You need fast networks, fast CPU's, proper segmentation, and lots of cheap storage for it to work.

        I did testing

    • Re:No Linux client? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @09:58PM (#45419471)

      Yeah, it's wildly overpriced for the value it provides. I'm generally fond of Amazon and I think Bezos is a genius but I think this idea is a real dud. Computers suitable for most office drones just aren't very expensive and any company that cares about employees being able to access desktops from remote locations already have VPNs setup.

      • I suspect it is more about control.

        And no need to replace computers as often either.
        Doesn't take much (if any) grunt to be a dumb terminal.

        • by fuzzyf ( 1129635 )
          Control by the business or by Amazon?

          I'd argue that _not_ using Amazon would give the business a bit more control.

          Also; computers are usually replaced based on service rather than performance these days. If a company buys a dell laptop with 3 years on site service, then it's most likelly replaced after 3 years just because it need a SLA to go with it. And a new computer with SLA cost almost the same as an old computer with SLA.
          • by rvw ( 755107 )

            Control by the business or by Amazon?

            Control by the IT department. Or control by business by downsizing the IT department by moving to Amazon Desktop.

      • by Monoman ( 8745 )

        Overpriced? Probably for big shops. Don't forget MS typically gets a piece of the action for every "device" that connects remotely to their servers. For smaller shops that don't have the infrastructure already in place hosted VDI *might* be the right call.

        The industry trend is to virtualize as much as possible throughout the datacenter and stack. In the long run it will have some interesting implications but it won't be cheap in the short run.

      • What happens when that 600 dollar computer shits the bed or gets a virus?

        most of these offerings come with backups, proper setup, etc...

        THat tower dies and so does that users excel / word / powerpoint documents they had stored locally.

        The second you bring up "oh but they have a server that it gets stored on" you complicate things 10x and Amazon's offerings (or other companies for that matter) become competitive.

        Also if they are using PCoIP, I feel bad for them - All my tests show that the protocol citrix us

        • Hate to respond to myself but I forgot to add:

          I don't necessarily agree that every company should just drop their hardware and get thin clients...

          I think the right type of company, with the right amount of users will save money long term by properly building their own private cloud and offering virtual desktops. Even if that private cloud of theirs is being managed by a 3rd party.

          100+ users I would say go create your own private cloud.

          You are a collection agency / call center? Even better reason for this.

    • Linux support is the only thing that would make this interesting. My users have a hard time remembering if something is saved on their desktop or the shared network drive. You give them a PC with a windows desktop and a link that opens a remote virtual desktop that's identical? They won't remember which desktop they saved things to. Plus, half your data is off in virtual cloud land in AWS and half is local to the computer. In fact, I take it back. Even with Linux this is an incredibly stupid idea that
    • "Linux support would make this more interesting so I could retask some old desktops and laptops with a linux thin client to let them access their Amazon virtual desktop."

      What makes that preferable to tossing together your own server or snagging one cheep off Ebay?

  • History Repeats? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They're providing 5 workspaces. Eventually someone will make a few accounts so they can have multiple sections of 5 workspaces and he/she will call them groups. Thus Amazon for Workgroups will be born.

    Google Hangouts are mostly for general groups of people. I expect Google to release a version tailored to work groups as well.

    Amazon for Workgroups. Google for Workgroups. It seems Windows was ahead of it's time.

  • Why would anybody want to use this service? Why not just use PC's, which can be gotten for next-to-free in thrift stores or refurbished equipment resellers, everywhere?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @08:42PM (#45419165) Homepage Journal

      Support.
      Portability.
      Accessibility.

      For starters.

      Just because you are wiling to use sub-par flea-market hardware, pirate the software, and deal with all the problems, does not mean a corporation wants to waste resources on stupid stuff too.

      • ---- Booth was a patriot ---- If you dont agree with me, dont bother replying as i dont care what you have to say ----

        Booth was a murderer, a coward, and a traitor. "The South" was not populated by patriots--or at least, not American patriots--it was populated by traitors who wanted to keep human beings as property, and were willing to murder as many people as they had to in order to protect their unconscionably evil economic system operating.

        For that matter, you're a coward for posting something so ridiculous and then preemptively telling us you "won't respond."

        • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

          You sir are incapable of following rather simple directions.

          With that out of the way, why would i even want to debate your inaccuracies and complete misunderstanding of what happened, and why? ( And apparently an inability to read as well. Or at least comprehend simple sentences )

          • You sir are incapable of following rather simple directions.

            With that out of the way, why would i even want to debate your inaccuracies and complete misunderstanding of what happened, and why? ( And apparently an inability to read as well. Or at least comprehend simple sentences )

            I'm under no obligation to follow your directions. ...But like all petty cowards, you continue to attack the messenger without defending the ludicrous assertion (that Booth was a patriot.) I say he wasn't: If you fail to respond directly to the argument you've both lost the debate and proven yourself a coward in the mix. It was slavery--100% slavery. None of those "other issues" could exist without the slavery issue. "State's rights" is a code-phrase for the "states' right to have slavery." If you think som

            • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

              Lets see, you initiated an unsolicited attempt to instigate a debate with me where i have clearly stated there will be no debate, so yes, you are obligated to follow my directions. Conversely since you are incapable of understanding and/or following directions that even a 5 year old child could understand, i have no obligation to you in any stretch of the imagination.

              You are the failure in this situation.. And i bet most any other venture in your life.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yea IT is basically just finding old PCs. You are a computer wizard.

  • I've always wondered why Canonical is hitching it's wagon to advertising. I suspect because it's easy - but it's always seemed like there's an opportunity somewhere between EC2 virtualization and the benefits of remote X that would've meant they could've set up a "run on the cloud" type service that would be nicely integrated into the deskop.

    Thin clients which can farm out their heavy lifting to EC2 (for say, graphics/CAD etc) seems like a possible winner if they could claim some referral money from it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Printing to the office xerox will be much better than it is in Citrix right?

  • by ApplePy ( 2703131 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @10:19PM (#45419593)

    I liked this better when it was called "mainframe".

    Now get off my lawn!

    It's funny. A friend of mine was trying to pitch this DaaS stuff to me a month ago as his great new genius business idea. I think my exact words were "if this is a good idea, Amazon or Google will beat us to it and sell it cheaper." Hell, even if it's not a good idea they'll kill us. And it's not. Nerds just have no concept of economics.

    There are good things to be said about vertical integration, economies of scale, etc., particularly when we're talking about the manufacture of automobiles or bulk steel or what have you. But I am a firm believer in decentralization whenever possible: local government, local foodsheds, solar power, local computing. The PC gave us that when I was a youngun'... and Big Iron has been trying to find a way to take it away ever since.

    • Right. My first PC occupied the entire first floor of the Science building and that was while I was a preteen. Centralization is okay for some things but I'm definitely more in the mind of a libertarian cluster pervading my universe. [That even sounds nice.] A veritable (virtual?) device cloud that connects or disconnects as suits, each autonomous (rule-guided) as required, and constrained by budget. Here, I'm personally hardware rich but well, my wallet (and accounts) look mighty bare. Others usually the o
      • by jma05 ( 897351 )

        > My first PC occupied the entire first floor of the Science building

        Does not sound at all like a *Personal* Computer :-).

  • I'm a head IT manager. Here's my take on it:
    Wow, it's like a slow-responding piece of crap. If my hand feels like it's in sand with a wireless mouse's 300ms delay, just wait until my entire desktop is offsite! It's like upgrading it carrier pigeons. And the one thing I love about remote desktop environments is the complete inability to manage them, stop users from doing stupid stuff, and a complete lack of control over everything. Oh and the double layer problem where you technically have to be runnin
    • by neonmonk ( 467567 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2013 @10:54PM (#45419773)

      All nonsense. While I'm no fan of "desktop in the cloud" - anyone that uses RDP regularly knows that responsiveness is not that much of a problem anymore. As long as Amazon throws enough network & hardware resources at this it'll work fine. The real question is whether it's economical.

      • What are you talking about? We use RDP across our gigabit LAN and it's too slow.
    • Oh and hey... just wait til Amazon starts charging for bandwidth usage while your employees are spending their work days endlessly scrolling Facebook on their virtual cloud desktops!

    • If your wireless mouse has a 300ms delay, you have serious problems.

      Your crappy mouse aside, 300ms is sufficient to get halfway around the world; If I had to guess, your average latency to a big co like Google or Amazon shouldnt be much higher than 30ms. Its also not like minimizing perception of lag hasnt been figured out a million times before, with every online game ever, RDP, etc etc etc. Clientside prediction + efficient netcode can make the perception of lag all but disappear.

      You clearly havent used

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

      I'm a head IT manager. Here's my take on it:

      Wow, it's like a slow-responding piece of crap. If my hand feels like it's in sand with a wireless mouse's 300ms delay, just wait until my entire desktop is offsite! It's like upgrading it carrier pigeons. And the one thing I love about remote desktop environments is the complete inability to manage them, stop users from doing stupid stuff, and a complete lack of control over everything.

      How can you be a "head IT manager" and not know how to manage your desktops (whether remote or local) with AD policies? Why would a remote virtual desktop give you less control than one sitting on someone's desk?

      • Because you, and your overpriced set of AD admins, will be spending all your time every day tweaking and overriding those settings. Most developers and systems people I know will revolt, actively or passively, against the necessary web of policies necessary to lock down Windows servers in large environments. They can, and will circulate, workarounds to get past IT's top down policies in such environments.

        Desktops sitting around locally do provide large control over VLAN based security, firewalls, proxies,

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          Because you, and your overpriced set of AD admins, will be spending all your time every day tweaking and overriding those settings. Most developers and systems people I know will revolt, actively or passively, against the necessary web of policies necessary to lock down Windows servers in large environments. They can, and will circulate, workarounds to get past IT's top down policies in such environments.

          So if you can't use AD to lock down your computers, how do you do it? If you start terminating people for intentionally violating security policy, the compliance rate goes way up. If your policies aren't important enough to require people to follow them, maybe they aren't necessary after all. Many corporations have regulatory or industry requirements that mandate a good security policy, and a violation (think HIPAA, SOX, PCI) that results in unapproved information disclosure can result in fines or even crim

  • I don't see how this is a benefit. So you need a desktop to run RDP to connect to virtualized desktop? Since you have to buy a PC for the user to physically sit in front of anyways, why not just run everything on that desktop to begin with? The only real benefit I can see is saving time "re-imaging" the base machine when the end user surfs to www.virus-and-malware-website.com, and frankly the I can't see that overcoming the cost of renting/owning hardware to provide virtual desktops. In terms of data securi
  • Why wouldn't you download an easy to use self configuring (platform agnostic) entertainment and shopping framework?

    Earn points for your next Amazon purchase today!
    Be part of the Amazon community and share your bandwidth to deliver content.

    Apple and or Microsoft VMs must be uninstalled.

    Linux support comming soon..... (cough)

  • Yeah sure.. small like "we only sell books" and "provide some online storage and compute". Citrix should be afraid.
  • Then I would trust it as far as I can throw the NSA headquarters.
  • I know that this isn't quite the same as what Citrix does with its Xen Desktop and Receiver bits, but for those who do remote access to work with a Citrix product and do this with a Mac, I'm a bit frustrated that the Mac client is always a step behind.

    Specifically, the Windows client now has USB routing and HDX features and this seems to be absent from their Mac client offerings. With a lot of organizations using IP conferencing (read: Lync), this is becoming a bit of a problem.

  • For the last year or so I've been using an Amazon EC2 small server, running Xubuntu Desktop (and accessed via NoMachine remote desktop) as my main development environment. I'm a LAMP developer who works at home a fair bit, and since I already had the EC2 server running a couple of client sites I decided to try and get remote desktop access to it, as described here:

    http://aws-musings.com/4-easy-steps-to-enable-remote-desktop-on-your-ubuntu-ec2-instance/ [aws-musings.com]
    (ps - see step 6 here also: https://help.ubuntu.com [ubuntu.com]

Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is the best one. -- Jack Hurley

Working...