AWS unveils new enterprise hardware to provide businesses with easy-to-use virtual desktops

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At first glance, it might look like a Fire TV Cube, but Amazon’s new Workspace thin client isn’t one to spend time looking at. Thursday night football or excess Invincible. As the name suggests, it is intended to help enterprise employees reduce employer technology costs and provide improved security.

For a large portion of the workforce, some form of remote and hybrid work is here to stay, especially in industries like customer service, technical support, and healthcare. Enabling people to work this way safely and at the scale that large enterprises demand poses real challenges. No matter where they work, employees need fast, reliable access to a variety of business applications and information. Enter the Amazon WorkSpaces thin client.

For the first time, AWS adapted a consumer device to an external hardware product for AWS customers. Melissa Stein, director of end-user computing products at AWS, oversees the Amazon Workspace thin client project.

“Customers have told us they need low-cost equipment, especially in high-revenue areas, such as call centers or payment processing,” Stein said. “We looked for options and found that the hardware we used for the Amazon Fire TV Cube provided all the resources customers needed to access their cloud-based virtual desktops. So we built a completely new software stack for that device, and because we didn’t have to design and build new hardware, we passed those savings on to customers.”

In computing, a “thin client” often refers to a simple hardware device optimized for the cloud—in this case, the AWS Cloud. By offloading processing power to the cloud, thin clients can be designed as simple, inexpensive devices without the need for advanced hardware capabilities.

Spin around the Amazon Workspace thin client, and you won’t notice any noticeable differences from the Fire TV Cube. However, instead of connecting to your entertainment system, the USB and HDMI ports connect productivity essentials such as dual monitors, mouse, keyboard, camera, headphones, and more. That’s where the similarity ends in the device. Amazon Workspace has a thin client. purpose-built firmware and software; An operating system designed for employees who need fast, easy and secure access to applications in the cloud; and software that allows IT to manage it remotely.

Every day, more customers access virtual desktops based on AWS end-user computing services such as Amazon WorkSpaces, Amazon WorkSpaces Web, or Amazon AppStream. Most users access their virtual desktops on the Internet using a laptop or desktop computer. But those devices typically cost employers $600–1,200 each.

Amazon WorkSpaces thin clients start at $195 per device, sold through Amazon Business, Amazon’s business-to-business (B2B) marketplace. Companies can order preconfigured hardware and have it shipped quickly and securely to employees’ homes or offices. This makes virtual desktops relatively simple and secure. End users can attach peripheral devices, connect to an AWS virtual desktop, and be up and running in less than five minutes.

“Simplicity was key, and it just worked out of the box,” Stein said. “IT leaders can easily manage their entire organization’s device fleet centrally and typically have an employee up and running in minutes, compared to hours or days with traditional laptops and desktops.”

Working backwards: How the Amazon WorkSpaces thin client came to be

At Amazon, working behind the customer and their needs is how new products and services come to life. Stein and her team began an in-depth journey by interviewing AWS enterprise customers about cost, security and management concerns, particularly organizations that distribute laptops, tablets and other computing devices to employees at home and in large data centers. Hospitality and other work areas. Consider businesses with an employee base that needs access to hundreds to tens of thousands of computing devices.

“We kept hearing the same pain points from our customers,” Stein said. “‘I’m tired of transporting employees with expensive desktops and laptops, which can be challenging and expensive to recover if an employee leaves the organization. Unless I can change the hardware cost equation and decline until it’s worth buying and managing. Equipment, I’ll never control my IT spending.’

That’s when the light bulb went on.

“We have a whole department in our company that makes tools,” Stein said. “Combining the expertise from the Amazon Devices team with Amazon’s business logistics and the power of AWS Cloud is a powerful combination for customers.”

High security for equipment ships

As with AWS, building security into Amazon WorkSpaces thin client devices was “zero work.” Powered by the AWS Cloud, the device itself does not store data and only runs approved software deployed by the IT administrator. This minimizes vulnerabilities if a device is lost or an employee leaves the company and hangs on their device, which Stein understands is a big issue for many AWS customers. With Amazon Workspace thin client devices, all data remains secure in the cloud and the device does not contain any local data.

The Amazon Workspace thin client includes hardware-level security on-device hardware authentication and secure connectivity through integration with persistent desktops (WorkSpaces), persistent apps (Amazon AppStream), and secure browser-only access (WorkSpaces Web). User desktop in the cloud.

Familiar to AWS customers, the AWS Management Console provides real-time visibility into whether the device is active and running the latest software, as well as enabling remote device resets or linking to different profiles. This means no sensitive information is lost when the device is moved to or from the employee’s location and allows the company’s IT team to keep close tabs on the entire Amazon Workspace thin client fleet. Administrators can set policies, permissions, and access controls for different groups in the organization, as well as control which apps are used on which devices.

For workers in any industry with high user computing costs and distributed workforces, Amazon Workspace Thin Client provides a low-cost tool that ships directly to workers and makes it easy to access personalized virtual desktops and applications with just a few clicks. Increase productivity and streamline IT management.

Made for future work

Amazon WorkSpaces thin client is designed to work anywhere in this new era of end-user enterprise computing. And while the idea of ​​thin client computing isn’t new, technological advances driven by the cloud and a shift in work culture make Amazon Workspace thin client era ideal.

“Applications are in the cloud, there’s connectivity, and we want to be able to access our desktop from anywhere,” Stein said. “When our clients say, ‘We really need to look at total cost parity.'”

Amazon WorkSpaces thin client helps meet all these needs. And with millions of remote jobs in America alone, the need has never been greater.

Learn more about Amazon WorkSpaces thin client.

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