What is Amazon AppStream 2.0?

Appstream 2.0 is Amazon Web Services’ latest fully managed service that allows anyone to securely stream windows applications directly to a compatible HTML5 web browser. Previously only available in limited regions world-wide, it’s now available for deployment in Sydney.

What problems does AppStream solve?

You’re a software vendor:

  1. You’re a software vendor wanting to break into the Software-as-a-Service landscape, but have a heavy GUI client based application. SaaS apps where primary delivery is by Windows Forms or some other technology that is not able to be delivered via web browser. Reduce time to market rather than re-writing your software to be web browser friendly.
  2. Simplify environment management to just your application rather than the complete operating environment.
  3. Looking for an additional revenue stream hosting your application, instead of having customers install in their own environments.

You’re an end user business:

  1. Need to deliver a GPU-intensive application for a few users but not looking to invest a large amount of capital into delivering graphic Workspaces or rolling out a fleet of expensive workstations.
  2. You’ve invested in Mac Computers, but a piece of software that you’re wanting to implement in your business is Windows OS only. Keep your Mac Computers, deliver the software via AppStream.
  3. You want to centralise the delivery of your key business applications to take advantage of the scalability and power of the cloud.

User accessing applications provisioned via AppStream 2.0

How does AppStream work?

AppStream acts as a wrapper for any application that runs on Windows Server 2012 R2. Applications are packaged up and provisioned to any HTML5 compatible browser through an Applications Catalogue that is rendered similar to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. In the background, the applications are accessing more powerful graphics or compute and can also have access to existing data that is available on a low latency basis within an AWS VPC instantly from anywhere in the world on any device.

The application delivery is encrypted end-to-end, providing a fluid performance experience to end users without the need to open any additional ports, as it all traverses port 443. Every user gets a home folder and all files that the user edits are saved back to AWS S3.

Pricing

Appstream 2.0 is priced by the hour for the instances that are used to stream applications. Applications can run over a dozen instance types to ensure your application is running on the correct hardware for the use case. In addition to the instance families that can be selected, there are 2 types of run settings for AppStream fleets. Customers can choose on-demand instances or an instance always on experience.

  • The always on fleet is running whether or not users are accessing the applications. When a user clicks on an app and launches it is up and running instantly as the fleet is already running.
  • The on-demand fleet instances are providing an on demand startup experience. Once the first app is clicked, it will take up to 2 mins to open as the instance starts. Any additional users who open the same app will open quickly once instance is brought up from a stopped state. There is no need to keep instances running while no one is using it – keeping costs down, so you pay less during non-peak times or for low usage apps.

How do I try AppStream 2.0?

Idea 11 is an official AppStream 2.0 launch partner. If you would like help getting started with AppStream 2.0, or just want to work out if it’s for you, please contact us or reach out to sales@dev.idea11.com.au.