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In today’s enterprise landscape, many companies have adopted flexible work schedules as well as telecommute days. This practice is now almost expected by prospective employees, and while it can be great for company culture, it can be a security nightmare for network administrators. Thankfully there are many workarounds for this issue — one such solution is Amazon WorkSpaces.
Amazon WorkSpaces are secure, managed cloud desktops that make it easy for users to access applications, documents, and resources, from anywhere and on any supported device. It provides fast and secure access to company data. and users can store their files on their WorkSpace instead of downloading them to their local computers. This greatly simplifies and improves data security, as all data remains inside the corporate infrastructure / AWS infrastructure and the end user just gets a “view” into it.
There a few ways that Amazon WorkSpaces can be deployed. It can be hooked into a customer’s existing Active Directory for consistent username/password combinations, or it can be done with a totally different directory. Amazon WorkSpaces supports the AWS AD Connector, AWS Managed Microsoft AD or its own internal directory.
Applications can be built onto a master WorkSpaces image and then deployed to multiple users at the click of a mouse. Users can maintain full support over their computing environment, and if they find a way to break it, the system can be redeployed in about 10-15 minutes. Similarly, if there are updates to the applications in that master image, it only needs to be updated in one place and then a redeploy command can be issued to ensure everyone gets those updates.
You can also manage user access control through the use of IP access control groups, which makes it easy to control and manage user access to their WorkSpaces using your existing tools.
Amazon WorkSpaces’ biggest advantage over other virtual desktops is its adaptability which can be broken down in two ways: Compatibility, and its ability to be customized.
Not only is Amazon WorkSpaces able to be used on both Windows and Mac computers, but it also can be used on Chromebooks, Ipads, Android Tablets, and Fire Tablets. You can also use Firefox and Chrome web browsers through Amazon WorkSpaces. While an internet connection is required to use WorkSpaces, it requires minimal bandwidth since the processing is done on WorkSpace itself. This allows you to even use it while on an airplane. If the connectivity ever drops, your work will be saved on the WorkSpace and you will be able to resume your work once the connectivity resumes.
As mentioned above, Amazon WorkSpaces is fully customizable to each user and can be deployed however a company best sees fit. AWS allows you to pay-as-you-go on a monthly or hourly basis for however much memory and processing power you need, and this amount can be modified at any time.
With more and more people telecommuting, companies need a way to allow fast and secure access to its data. Amazon WorkSpaces is a flexible, secure solution that can grow and change with a company to help meet their ever-changing needs.
Mission’s AWS-certified managed service providers can work with you to leverage Amazon WorkSpaces as part of our larger Managed DevOps and Managed Cloud offerings — schedule a free 60-minute consultation with a Solutions Architect on Demand to learn more.