4 Reasons Amazon Workspaces Doesn't Get a Standing Ovation for DaaS

Author: Ranna Unthank

Publish on: Oct 19, 2017 5:30:00 AM

At Workspot, we applaud Amazon Workspaces; after all, how can you not be impressed with the momentum they've created around delivering virtual desktops from the cloud? We just can't give them a standing ovation because the service isn't enterprise-ready; here's why.

Workspot was founded by VDI industry veterans who set out to build the right solution for the enterprise that would solve the complexity and cost issues of first generation VDI solutions (VDI 1.0). Our mantra is "We make VDI insanely simple", and that includes Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) too. It's what we live and breathe, so customers can finally be successful with virtual apps and desktops. That much we have in common with AWS; I know their intentions are really good. We both want virtual apps and desktops to work for people, not against them, but execution is everything. When we think about the end user computing needs of midmarket and enterprise companies, our differences become apparent - and there are many. But it really comes down to having the right technology in place to meet the needs of people trying to get work done, and organizations with more than 100 employees will always have different flavors of users - each with unique needs. Let's dive into 4 key areas where the differences between Workspot's cloud-native, next-generation VDI and DaaS solutions and Amazon Workspaces are most stark.

Difference #1: Amazon Workspaces is not flexible enough to address multiple enterprise use cases 

If you choose Amazon Workspaces, you'll likely get a slice of a Windows server "prettied-up" to look like a Windows 10 desktop. This could be fine for contract or temporary workers, but not for knowledge workers who need a "real" Windows 10 desktop. With Workspot you can have both - server hosted desktops and Windows 10 desktops - we spin them up for you in a day. This kind of flexibility is how you meet the needs of real people, some of whom are more task oriented and others who are power users. Now, you can choose to go beyond the Amazon Workspaces standard service and get Windows 10 desktops, but it's... well... complicated. We dislike complications. Complications cost you money. 

Oh and let's not forget those super high-maintenance people: Design engineers and graphic designers! I say this with great affection, but let's face it, these people have needs! With Amazon Workspaces, GPU-accelerated workstations just aren't up to snuff; you'll likely encounter down-rev GPUs and app compatibility issues. Plus it has hourly pricing - you pay even when you're not using that workstation! That is just not cool, and those idle hours really add up!

Another use case is people who just need to securely access a few apps - they don't need a Windows desktop. For that, Workspot provides app publishing - we call it App Cloud. Amazon Workspaces provides app streaming, but watch out! That hourly pricing could be an unpleasant surprise you do not want to have to explain. We've heard a lot of feedback about how complicated Amazon Workspaces billing is, so good luck with that explanation. Workspot gives you flat-rate, fixed monthly pricing so you don't get any crazy bills you didn't expect. 

Difference #2: Amazon Workspaces does not support SCCM & Windows 10 support is sketchy

Amazon Workspaces: You can now use your custom Win 10 images BUT AWS needs to stand up dedicated hardware to run the VMs. And definitely ask how long it will take to upload your image and how long it takes when you need to upgrade your image. You need to know. Also, Windows 10 support is not available in all regions. And yeah, you definitely won't be using SCCM - it's not supported.

Workspot: It's business as usual. We use your corporate Windows 10 and Windows Server templates, so there's no hassles or delays. We dislike hassles too. Hassles cost you money. We get your Windows 10 or server hosted desktops up and running in as little as one day. Windows 10 virtual desktops are available in the 42+ regions of Azure worldwide, so you don't have to worry. Plus, you can use your existing tools and SCCM if that's what you're used to. Workspot seamlessly interoperates with your existing infrastructure - Active Directory (GPOs), networking, applications and data. Do what you do. Be free.

Difference #3: Amazon Workspaces does not support hybrid deployments - it's all cloud or a lot of nothing 

Your only option with Amazon Workspaces is to put those shared server desktops and apps in the cloud; what if you need some of them on-prem? Amazon Workspaces doesn't do that. What if some of your apps are incompatible with Windows Server OS? What if you're in a regulated industry and you need some data on-prem? What if you don't like putting all your eggs in one basket? For a myriad of reasons, most midsize and large companies need a hybrid. Workspot has the only solution with the flexibility that allows you to deploy some apps in the cloud and some on-prem, some desktops in the cloud and some on-prem, and some workstations in the cloud and some on-prem. You get the picture. AND you manage it all with a single pane of glass. We did that for you!

Difference #4: Amazon Workspaces keeps ALL your data in the cloud. Yikes!

Things get really tricky here and you have some serious considerations to weigh. With Amazon Workspaces, ALL of your data is in their cloud. All kinds of PII is flying around the Amazon cloud and there's not a darn thing you can do about it. Workspot has a cloud-native VDI control plane (that's how we simplified VDI for you; we moved the operational components of VDI to the cloud); but your data never, ever, ever, passes through our cloud control plane. Your data goes where you need it to be. It's all ok in the cloud?  Then it stays in your Azure instance. Need some of it on-prem? Ok, you can keep it in your datacenter. Can some of it be in the cloud, but regulatory compliance requires some of it to be on-prem, at your corporate headquarters? Done. With Workspot you get to decide. You can also easily back up data from your Azure instance to a server on-premises.  Some organizations want to do that.  Amazon Workspaces backs up to Amazon Web Services. Hmmmm.

If you think modern VDI and DaaS that gives you flexibility, infinite scalability, rock solid security, and saves you from hassles and high costs makes sense, let's talk. With Workspot, there's no risk.

Schedule a 15 minute demo to find out more!


Workspot Desktop Cloud, App Cloud and Workstation Cloud are next-generation  solutions that run on Microsoft Azure and meet enterprise requirements. Learn more by downloading our solution brief.

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