Amazon Web Services has a huge SaaS/IaaS offering right now. Chances are you already are using Route 53, EC2 or one of the other popular services. But did you know they have a turn-key Windows Desktop as a Service solution? Well, they do and it’s great. It’s called WorkSpaces.
Pricing starts at $21/month with bring-your-own Windows License.
What you get for this price:
- 1Vcpu 2GB ram 10GB storage
- Integrated directory service (no AD needed, you manage your users from AWS Console)
- EC2 cost of the underlying instance is included – no separate charge for that
- VPN-free Desktop Client – nice and fast, there is even a Chromebook version!
- Provisioning tools and all parts of management plain are free
This isn’t necessarily a breakthrough in pricing. For example, you could easily deploy Windows RDS in EC2 for 10 users for half that price. But then, you need a Windows sysadmin to manage it.
The attractive piece is the management. If you’ve ever logged into AWS console, while it DOES look intimidating, everything is truly point and click. Yes, the terminology is annoying but hey, all you ever do is use this singular ‘WorkSpaces’ offering so you are self-contained in a small part of the management plain. Easy.
Want enterprise stuffs? Sure, you could slap every enterprise feature onto this either from Windows guest side or using additional AWS products.
But you really shouldn’t. Take WorkSpaces for what it is – basic, simple and easy to manage VDI your intern can deploy in a single day.