AWS Upgrades AppStream 2.0 to Run on Variety of VMs


Amazon AppStream 2.0 offers a wide range of benefits over its predecessor.

IT admins around the globe are applauding a new announcement from Amazon that their cloud computing service, AWS, has been upgraded to AppStream 2.0, which can run on a wide variety of Virtual Machines (VMs). This is good news for cloud users who were not completely satisfied with previous iterations of AppStream.

What exactly is AppStream 2.0?

Today, users want access to a variety of applications from anywhere and from any device. This has created problems for companies that rely on a number of desktop applications which have yet to be ported over to online or mobile versions. This is where Amazon AppStream 2.0 comes in. AppStream 2.0 is a managed, application-streaming platform that allows organizations to stream desktop applications from AWS to any computer or device that is running a web browser, without having to rewrite them. AppStream 2.0 gives users a clean and fully mobile responsive user experience regardless of device.

As you can likely tell by the “2.0,” AppStream has actually been around since 2013. It was first introduced as a way for companies to stream Windows desktop apps to a browser across different devices. While the initial concept was great, the end result was less than stellar, as the first iteration of AppStream required users to set up their own streaming service using an SDK, whereas AppStream 2.0 is fully managed and doesn’t require any type of server engineering. In addition, version 2.0 works across a larger number of instance types and supports Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Use cases for Amazon AppStream 2.0

Amazon lists a wide array of use cases for AppStream 2.0, a few of which include:

  • CAD
  • 3D graphics
  • Media editing
  • Simulation
  • Life sciences applications
  • Medical imaging

AppStream 2.0 supports any application that can run on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RS, and all apps can be accessible through any HTML5 compatible web browser.

What are some benefits of streaming with Amazon AppStream 2.0 over rending content locally?

Streaming applications from the AWS cloud offers several benefits for customers, including:

  • Leverage the power of the cloud – You can utilize the power of AWS, as opposed to relying on local computing power, which is often by definition significantly constrained.
  • Instant access to applications – AppStream 2.0 allows users to have nearly instantaneous access to applications as opposed to large file downloads or time consuming installations.
  • Increased security – With Amazon AppStream 2.0, your applications will be housed and executed in Amazon’s secure AWS data centers. An interactive pixel stream is the only data that is accessible to users.
  • Multi-platform support – Open up your applications on any browser, on any device, which will help to make your programs device agnostic.
  • Seamless updates – As opposed to having to update your application on every device where it’s installed, simply update the version to Amazon AppStream 2.0 and all of your users will instantly have access to the latest version.

New features added to AppStream 2.0

As we previously mentioned, the original AppStream rollout was merely a glimpse into its potential. With AppStream 2.0, Amazon Web Services created a slew of new capabilities for enterprise customers, as well as small business owners who are currently leveraging or exploring cloud solutions:

  • Image builder – Build your own AppStream 2.0 images to showcase your applications
  • Fleet auto scaling This feature allows you to instantly use CloudWatch metrics to scale your fleet of servers up or down based on demand.
  • CloudWatch metrics – Seven new CloudWatch metrics have been added, including the ability to monitor the size and utilization of your fleets.
  • SAML 2.0 Authentication – Users can now use their existing credentials to log in with AppStream 2.0.

Want to learn more?

If you’re interested in AppStream 2.0 or want to learn how Amazon Web Services can help your business, give the cloud experts at CloudHesive a call at 800-860-2040 or get in touch through our online contact form. We look forward to guiding you on your journey to the cloud!

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