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back to article Amazon Workspaces: A dish best served later

Amazon Workspaces, the etailer-cloud-service-provider's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure service based on a “Windows 7 desktop experience”, has been uncorked. Actually, it's Windows Server 2008 R2 with the desktop experience enabled – possibly for licensing as much as for technical reasons. Microsoft is awkward about licensing …

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WTF?

How much???

The base offering costs $35.00 per month

Even if it worked properly, and it sounds like it doesn't, I can't count the number of ways in which I could achieve similar results for less money.

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Holmes

Re: How much???

My thoughts exactly - for roughly the same money (as the basic offering) you can get a perfectly serviceable laptop.

Major Fail

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Re: How much???

I can forgive some of the issues encountered since its not a trivial thing and since its a new roll out there are bound to be issues.

Having said that most places give you a discount for trialling their new systems Azure for example normally gives you a 50% discount.

50% off would be a reasonable price, unless they start billing by the hour of usage?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How much???

If a laptop is your solution to a hosted virtual desktop, then you probably haven't understood the problem.

This is about providing a full desktop anywhere on any device with the right client, backed up centrally, still available if your first floor office gets flooded and you need to relocate to higher ground. They're the first of the big players to do it, there are smaller regional companies providing this already. But if your use case fits, eventually something like this will fit for you too.

At the moment, most organisations will be looking at hosting their own alternative VDI solution, or investing in developing their applications to support application or session virtualisation technology instead. Session or App virtualisation brings the same benefits with less infrastructure required. There are bridging products that allow you to share out physical desktops as remote sessions, and for some that might get them over the line until a reliable hosted solution is available.

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Anonymous Coward

Typical useless Microsoft product

If it were a linux desktop - or better yet, Android or ChromeOS - everything would have worked perfectly.

Microsoft crap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Typical useless Microsoft product

Troll.

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Re: Typical useless Microsoft product

Can't speak for the android or chrome desktops but I've been using remote desktops on Linux for about twenty years, there were occasional glitches in keyboard input but zero problems in the last decade.

Not what I'd call a troll.

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WTF?

"Remote desktop"?

Erm... who would use a dog-slow pixel-copying remote desktop (or VNC) protocol between any two machines supporting X? Sure, I use RDP for accessing Windows desktops, but there's little use (and a lot of contraindication) for it otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Remote desktop"?

RDP is an order of magnitude more responsive across high latency connections such as between the UK and The Colonies than say X-Windows! Especially with high bandwidth content like video.

nb - RDP (ITU T.120) isn't pixel copying - it's compressed GDI instructions - See: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc239611.aspx

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Remote desktop"?

I always find it weird that X doesn't have a similar tool, especially since the whole display server concept is based on that already. Just forward the damn thing on demand.

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Re: Typical useless Microsoft product

Intresting how its an MS Product when its being peddled by Amazon ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Typical useless Microsoft product

Probably because Amazon don't make an enterprise grade desktop OS with lots of business ready applications written for it.

Just saying.

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anti virus

"with Microsoft Office Professional 2010 and Trend antivirus installed and licensed, at $50.00 per month."

That's like hiring a car and then being told that part of the hire cost is the rental fee for extra secure locks and a car alarm. What's wrong with MSE? (rhetorical question).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: anti virus

Nothing is wrong with MSE - but it's licenced for consumers - and won't install on servers....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: anti virus

It's more like leasing a car and expecting the fuel to be included for the base price. You want fuel? Extra. You want servicing included? Extra.

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Silver badge

How much for roll your own on amazon

Surely it's much cheaper to rent your own VM on amazon and set it up yourself?

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Bronze badge

Re: How much for roll your own on amazon

Using amazon for anything is like getting repeatedly kicked in the nuts.

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Re: How much for roll your own on amazon

$35/month will only get you m1.micro

however, on the workspaces machine, for $35, you get nearly 4G ram.

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Silver badge

I use a VPN (Free with my firewall), log into my home machine via TightVNC and voila, desktop ready to go. Why trust someone else's infrastructure?

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I don't see an affordable or logical reason for using Amazon Workspaces. At those prices and with that laggy performance, it just is pointless for someone who already has a PC or tablet that already runs a stable OS. I'd use Google docs before I'd use this.

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Everything old is new again

The 1990s called, they want their Sunrays back. Or was it the X-terminals? God I loved those beasts. Slim little units from NCD that booted over RARP/BOOTP and had a screen the size of a small house.

Seriously, whilst the cost is steep ($35*12*3 > $1200 > laptop + Office) and the perf is a bit poor, if there's one thing we've learnt from AWS it's that opex is preferred over capex by a lot of organizations, and they are good price cutters. OK so that was two things. But people who snigger at AWS normally end up regretting it. As in the days of the OS Wars, a crappy solution from Seattle can destroy a technically superior solution simply by being ubiquitous, cheapish and good enough.

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Dear Ann,

the only reason why opex is preferred over capex is that opex has no further subdivision at higher levels, whereas capex has. That is a gross oversight, because if done properly opex for work places would almost certainly be higher through AWS than capex+opex with physical touchable stuffs. Of course, you also have to count in the minutes / hours that people have to waste because AWS is down and effects 100s rather than just the one person with a PC problem... All that detail is lost at higher level... And this, I'm afraid, is also the reason why offshoring is such a success.. Costs are hiding in places where they should not....

Regards,

Guus

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Gold badge
Unhappy

So that's $420/year minimum,

Connection and antivirus not included.

Hmmm.

I think not.

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Anonymous Coward

VMware desktop as a service is already here

The VMware offering is already here for $35, works well, has better options, and - I'm assuming here - will likely have some sort of integration with on premises View infrastructure in future. A fair review would be size by side comparison now Amazon has released their version?

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Ladies / Gents

The one big item I see this helping my company for is BYOD, if we had the integration to cloud land (AWS), then instead of spending 100 of 1000 on infrastructure I can offer a service to those who want their own devices yet I want to keep the company more secure.

Thoughts......

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AWS workspace is for an enterprise where considering VDI, not a desktop replacements.

running in-house VDI is quite expensive due to complexity it needs to have rapid deployment of images, fast SAN (as each user will drain 100-200 IOPS during logons) and large RAM on hypervisor farm.

You may not argue why VDI? why not RDS/Citrix XA?, problem is always applications that fails to run under RDS/XA. or apps that perform poorly.

and if you believe its poor performance from where you are, of course it is not meant to be fast for every users from current deployment of US West or US East. For optimal condition, you need sub 100ms to the VMs and/or with WAN Optimisations.

I cant wait for it to be available on Sydney(ap-southeast-2), its going to be interesting.

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