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October 16, 2014

AWS adds support for DaaS zero clients

PC-over-IP comes to WorkSpaces Desktop-as-a-Service.

By Ben Sullivan

Amazon Web Services has now added support for PC-over-IP (PCoIP) to its WorkSpaces desktop-as-a-service platform.

Before, using the service meant the user had to run software on their PC, Mac, or tablet. However, with PCoIP, WorkSpaces will run on ‘zero clients’, a term used to describe devices that have extremely limited processing power with no operating system, but use PC peripherals such as a keyboard, monitor, and a mouse.

On zero clients, WorkSpaces desktops will be rendered on the server and then transmitted straight to the device as a highly compressed bitmap via the PCoIP protocol.

By adding support for zero clients on WorkSpaces, AWS has reduced the total cost of ownership of running the DaaS platform by negating the need for clinging on to legacy devices which can demand repairs and upgrades.

Announcing the news on the AWS blog, chief evangelist Jeff Barr gave users advice on how to use the new service.

He said: "In order to connect your existing zero clients to Amazon WorkSpaces, first verify that they are running version 4.6.0 (or newer) of the PCoIP firmware.

"You will need to run the PCoIP Connection Manager authentication appliance in a Virtual Private Cloud. The Connection Manager is built on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and is available as an HVM AMI. It brokers the authentication process and enables the creation of streaming sessions from WorkSpaces to the clients, thereby offloading all non-streaming work from the clients. The Connection Manager must be run in the VPC that hosts your Amazon WorkSpaces endpoint."

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