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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Introduces Amazon Workspaces Core and Support for Ubuntu Desktops on Amazon Workspaces

AWS Introduces Amazon Workspaces Core and Support for Ubuntu Desktops on Amazon Workspaces

AWS recently introduced a new addition to Amazon Workspaces with a fully-managed, infrastructure-only Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offering called Amazon Workspaces Core. In addition, customers can provision Ubuntu desktops on Amazon Workspaces for their developers, engineers, or data scientists.

Amazon Workspaces Core is a VDI offering that includes a set of APIs for customers and third-party VDI software providers wanting to integrate with Amazon Workspaces’ purpose-built VDI infrastructure. It enables IT administrators to keep using their familiar VDI software solution while end users can keep using their existing VDI client software. As a result, the end-user experience is consistent.


Muneer Mirza, general manager, End User Experiences at AWS, told InfoQ:

Flexibility and choice are the two primary tenets driving our focus to empower customers in building their own purpose-built virtual desktop infrastructure. With Amazon WorkSpaces Core, customers now have all the benefits of AWS’s reliability and security, global availability, and cost efficiency of the AWS Cloud—with the familiarity of their existing management console and client software.

In addition, Harry Labana, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, stated in a tweet:

I think this offering is a great direction for #DaaS #VDI. Separate the infrastructure from admin experience and provide greater choice plus granular cost transparency.  Multi-cloud for DaaS will be important for enterprise resilience.

AWS also brings support for Ubuntu to Amazon Workspaces, where users will now have more choices for new categories of workloads, since Ubuntu is a popular operating system among professional developers, according to HackerEarth 2020 Developer Survey. In particular, developers and DevOps engineers have many scripts, tools, or libraries thoroughly tested on their Ubuntu desktops or laptops.   

Sébastien Stormacq, a principal developer advocate at Amazon Web Services, explains in an AWS news blog:

Providing Ubuntu desktop on Workspaces gives developers and engineers a familiar and compatible environment allowing them to work from anywhere, with access to a wealth of open-source tools and libraries in cutting-edge fields like data science, AI/ML, cloud, and IoT. All Ubuntu WorkSpaces benefit from Ubuntu Pro, which includes support for expanded security patching for 10 years.

And Alex Gallagher, VP cloud for Canonical, said in a Canonical blog post:

Ubuntu virtual desktops on WorkSpaces enable IT organizations to quickly and easily provision high-performance Ubuntu Desktop instances, delivered as a fully managed AWS service. In the face of constant and increasing pressure to support the security and productivity needs of hybrid workers, that’s a win for IT organizations and their end users.

Amazon Workspaces is an answer to Microsoft’s VDI offering Azure Virtual Desktop and the recently released Microsoft Dev Box, a service aimed at developers providing a VDI desktop in Azure. Microsoft also provides Ubuntu images on its Azure marketplace.

Lastly, Ubuntu Workspaces are available in all AWS Regions where Workspaces are available (except a region in China: [Ningxia]). Furthermore, Workspace pricing details are available on the pricing page.

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