Getting started with Amazon Workspaces

  • On June 19, 2018

Brief description

Amazon WorkSpaces is taking Virtual Desktop Infrastructure by storm, and we are all excited at the flexibility it brings in the management of workstations in organisations. With a few clicks, you can launch and provision Workspace to some users.

In this article, how to get you started with Amazon WorkSpaces and how to sync your files automatically is covered.

Overview

Amazon WorkSpaces is a secure Desktop-as-a-service that is fully managed and runs on AWS.Amazon WorkSpaces is a virtual cloud-based Microsoft windows desktops for your users that enables them to securely access documents and files they need from anywhere via the cloud platform.

Data is stored in a user’s workspace within the AWS cloud thus protecting your data in situations where the user loses the device. It’s compatible with Microsoft’s active directory. The workspace simplifies license management; software deployment and patching by packing windows desktops applications in packages.

The desktops are instances of the windows server 2008 R2. The starting cost for the Daas service will start at $35 billed monthly. They are provided as a bundle of compute, applications and storage. With Amazon WorkSpace, you can pay monthly or hourly depending on the running mode selected during the provision of the WorkSpace.

Prerequisites

  • AWS account to create and administer Amazon Workspace.
  • You must select a Workspace bundle depending on requirements
  • You must specify user profile information that includes an email address and a username.
  • Verify the Workspace region as not all regions are supported.

Getting started with Amazon Workspaces

Launch Amazon WorkSpaces

Login to AWS account. Navigate to Desktop and App Streaming

Select WorkSpaces and click on Get started Now as shown below;

Quick Setup

Select Quick set up and click Launch

Select a WorkSpace bundle and enter necessary user information. Click Launch WorkSpaces Amazon. An invitation email is sent to the provisioned user with instruction on how to access Amazon WorkSpaces.

More details about our plus bundles can be found here

When you click on Launch WorkSpaces and status of your WorkSpace is displayed.

Once the WorkSpace is created, we can manage the WorkSpace can be done by clicking on Actions and selecting a specific task

Advanced setup

Click on launch workspace as shown below. Select a directory in which you want to launch WorkSpaces. The directory contains both users and WorkSpaces. If no directory exist, create a new directory

Identify Users

Click on the Next step. To create a WorkSpace for existing users in this directory, search and select from the search results below. Then, click the Add Selected button.

Select bundles

Select a bundle of compute, operating system, storage and applications for each of your users. The following applications are included in all bundles: Internet Explorer 11, Firefox and 7-Zip. You can install your applications on your WorkSpace once it has launched. Assign the WorkSpace bundle to the User.

You can further select bundles with Operating System and Applications from the drop-down menu.

Workspace Configuration

Select the Running Mode for the WorkSpace. Always On is billed monthly while Auto Stop is billed on an hourly basis. Add a Tag to categorise the WorkSpace for more natural management. Click Next Step to continue;

Review details of the configuration and Launch workspaces;

Connect to Amazon WorkSpaces

Locate you Amazon WorkSpaces Invitation email that contains details of your WorkSpace;

  • WorkSpace client download link
  • Registration code

To connect to WorkSpace;

Complete user profile –Double click on the link provided in the invitation email to register the Workspace. Locate your registration code in the invitation email. Click Register

Registration details are saved, and your profile details are launched. Enter the password and click Update user to complete the profile registration

Download the WorkSpace client for your device. In this demonstration, we are using Windows Laptop.

Select Windows Download.

Locate the Amazon WorkSpaces setup and double-click to launch the Install wizard

Click Next to continue

Select Installation Scope; “Install just for you….”

Click Install to complete setup.

Select Yes to accept the certificate.

Amazon WorkSpaces is now installed. Navigate to start menu and look for Amazon WorkSpaces

Double click on Launch Amazon WorkSpaces and the Login window is displayed.

Login with your credentials and password created above.

Your Amazon workspaces is ready for use.



Enjoy the experience of a Windows Server as a desktop.

Configure Amazon WorkDocs sync

Locate the Amazon WorkDocs shortcut on the desktop.

Double click to Launch the Amazon WorkDoc wizard. Click on Get Started

Select Use Registration code. Use the same code to register as provided in your Invitation email. Click Next.

For the first time, you are required to login with the same credentials used to log in to WorkSpace.

Select a folder to sync or backup your files. Click Next

Select Sync all files and folder from WorkDocs. Click Next to complete WorkDoc setup.

Your files will automatically sync between your devices (PC) and WorkSpace.

Conclusion

Amazon workspaces is changing the way we think about Daas. The steps covered here on how to get started with Amazon WorkSpaces are a great started to honing your skills on the configuration as a newbie in Amazon WorkSpaces. With the pay as you go option, an organisation can save cost required to maintain the traditional on premise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.