AWS re:Invent 2018 Recap: The Future Of Desktops Is Here

A Better And Safer Way To Deliver And Manage Desktops

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Mark Bowker

AWS re:Invent has quickly become a must attend IT industry event for professionals and business leaders. Cloud consumption models in general are having a massive impact to technology decisions, an IT vendor ecosystem and IT careers.

At the 2018 event, businesses shared evidence of the success they are achieving with AWS by shutting down their last data centers, rapidly replacing legacy IT infrastructure and deeply rooted software licensing, and transitioning their own businesses to a SaaS model.

Attending AWS re:Invent can be a tad overwhelming, but let’s take a closer look at the secure delivery of desktops, applications, and data. With relatively minimum effort, Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon AppStream are successfully drafting off AWS momentum. The success of these services can be primarily attributed to businesses leading with a cloud-first model and recognizing that there is a better and safer way to deliver and manage desktops, applications, and data. In fact, ESG research recently discovered 77% of DaaS users feel that DaaS is fundamentally more secure.

AWS re:Invent highlighted the focus of Amazon Workspaces with:

  • A cloud service to replace complex VDI and eliminate the CAPEX infrastructure investment
  • A “trust nothing” mentality to deliver a managed workspace to any device
  • New self-service capabilities, Linux workspaces, and regulatory controls.

AppStream 2.0

Another lesser known service that AWS offers is AppStream 2.0. This application streaming service addresses the need for businesses to control the delivery of a Windows application. A company may use AppStream 2.0 to stream an application that isn’t frequently used in a standard workspace, or an application they want to enable access to while maintaining control. Some ISVs are interested in AppStream 2.0 to deliver their current Windows version of software in a hosted manner as they transition to a true SaaS architecture.

Amazon FSx

The biggest announcement at AWS re:Invent in regards to securing data delivery and management was Amazon FSx, a managed Windows file server. Migrating to hosted desktops and applications has left some users challenged with how to manage files and maintain consistency of access with on premises data. Amazon FSx helps to overcome this challenge and simplify an age old IT problem of managing Windows File Servers. Amazon FSx also has advantages when used with AppStream 2.0 that takes away some of the IT administrative burden, while maintaining a familiar user experience.

In Conclusion

If companies haven't already done so, Amazon Workspaces, AppStream 2.0 and Amazon FSx is worth setting aside some time to explore. The market is also heating up in this space as Microsoft introduced Windows Virtual Desktop, Windows Managed Desktop, and recently acquired FSLogix. The benefits of hosted workspaces are compelling as is the future fate of the traditional desktop. As businesses look to secure workspaces while delivering an optimal experience, expect DaaS usage to grow and existing cloud services in the market to mature to meet customer expectations. AWS re:Invent 2018 proved to be a successful event in many ways, and provide inspiration on how companies can securely deliver desktops, applications, and data.