AWS Unveils Desktop App Store for WorkSpaces, Managed File System for EC2

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Senior VP Andy Jassy used his keynote address at the AWS Summit in San Francisco to unveil a new Desktop App Store that lets WorkSpace subscribers consume applications such as Microsoft Office by the month. Here are the details.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

April 10, 2015

3 Min Read
Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President Andy Jassy
Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President Andy Jassy

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Senior Vice President Andy Jassy this week unveiled Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), a fully managed file system for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and a new Desktop App Store that lets WorkSpaces subscribers consume applications such as Microsoft Office by the month.

Jassy announced this and more during his keynote address at the AWS Summit in San Francisco this week. The Desktop App announcement builds on last year’s WorkSpaces announcement when AWS unveiled its desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution. Here’s a quick overview of everything that was announced.

Amazon EFS ensures applications “have the storage they need, when they need it,” according to AWS. It allows managed service providers (MSPs) to create and configure file systems, AWS said, and pay only for the storage they use.

“It’s simple, it’s really fast to set up, it’s built to integrate with all your existing apps … and the pricing model is simple,” Jassy told AWS Summit attendees. “And there are no upfront costs, no commitments and you only pay for the storage you consume.”

Jassy said he expects a preview version of Amazon EFS to be available this summer.

In addition, Jassy made several announcements at the AWS Summit – here are five key takeaways from his keynote address:

  1.  Cloud is “the new normal” – Jassy described the cloud as “the new normal” because it is transforming businesses, and he noted that this fact is unlikely to change anytime soon. “The vast majority of workloads are moving to the cloud,” Jassy said. “Customers and partners are all-in on the cloud and AWS.”

  2. Introducing AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps – Jassy provided details about AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps, which offers “a broad selection of desktop apps that are available … that you can consume by the month.” The marketplace, which launched this week, already features over 100 desktop apps and monthly billing options as well. Apps include office suites such as Microsoft Office, Libre Office, Microsoft Visual Studio, Python, and Corel Draw.

  3. AWS launches EC2 Container Service – The AWS EC2 Container Service (ECS) is now available. This service, initially announced at AWS re:Invent 2014, supports Docker containers and allows users “to easily run applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.”

  4. Amazon EC2 and C3 usage increasing – Jassy pointed out that there was a 93 percent year-over-year increase in Amazon EC2 instance usage between the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2014. Also, he noted that there was a 102 percent year-over-year increase in data transferred to and from Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) during that time frame.

  5. AWS shows “rapid pace of innovation” – 516 new AWS features and services launched last year, Jassy said, and AWS continues to innovate. “You don’t want a circa 2010 cloud platform,” Jassy noted. “Companies want all of the capabilities of the leader because they want the whole enchilada.”

Jassy added that the majority of workloads are moving to the cloud and cloud computing represents “the biggest technology shift in our lifetime.”

“It’s really hard to fight gravity,” he said. “The cloud is providing all of us and companies with an unbelievable opportunity to completely reinvent their businesses … and do so much faster than ever before.”

What are your thoughts on AWS? Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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