Amazon Gets Into Desktop Virtualisation Game With WorkSpaces


Citrix, VMware and the rest of the desktop virtualisation market have a massive new competitor to deal with

Cloud behemoth Amazon Web Services has announced it is entering the desktop virtualisation game, where it will compete with heavyweights like Citrix and VMware.

Amazon believes it can offer 60 percent savings over on-premise desktop management with its new WorkSpaces offering. In a scenario for a business covering 1,000 seats, the total cost of ownership would be $35,000 (£22,000) for one month of cloud resources and another $8,333 (£5,200) for admin.

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The total cost of WorkSpaces in that scenario would be $43,333, compared to $106,356 for on-premise desktop management.

“The service has the benefits of on-premises VDI – such as mobility and security – combined with all the powerful AWS benefits – such as pay-as-you-go and simplified management,” AWS evangelist Jeff Barr said in a blog post.

“Aside from the cost savings you can obtain for a fixed number of users, the other important point to remember is that Amazon WorkSpaces creates savings for you by adapting to the needs of your business in a way that fixed investments simply can’t.

“With Amazon WorkSpaces, you don’t need to provision WorkSpaces for employees that you may never hire. On the other hand, if you grow your workforce, you can provision more WorkSpaces in minutes.”

IT administrators can choose between four standard bundles. The low-end offering provides a virtual machine with a single virtual CPU, 3.75GB of memory and 50GB of persistent user storage. That costs $35 per user per month. The Performance Plus option provides a machine with two vCPU, 7.5GB of memory and 100GB of storage, all for $75 per user per month.

Microsoft Office and a host of other applications are included in the bundles.

Despite having a hefty new competitor to fight with, Citrix has welcomed Amazon into the market with open arms. It already offers its XenDesktop solution on the Amazon cloud.

“When the largest public cloud player on the planet decides to prioritize building a hosted desktop virtualisation solution vs. the many other services they could build, it confirms that this is a real and growing market,” said Simon Hayes, vice president of strategic alliances at Citrix, in a blog post.

“From Citrix to our friends at Amazon Web Services—thank you for sharing our vision of a world where technology empowers people to work and collaborate in new ways. We look forward to the innovation that the next few years will surely bring.”

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