What Is Amazon AppStream 2.0 and Why Might Your Business Need It?

What Is Amazon AppStream 2.0?

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Remote access to digital resources has become one of the most important features of today’s business ecosystem. And with people spending more time working remotely, businesses and individuals are looking for reliable platforms to access said resources. The Amazon AppStream 2.0 application was created with this very goal in mind.

Version 1.0

When Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) introduced AppStream in 2013, it had great hopes. The company wanted to streamline the costly process of managing apps on premises. It approached the problem by streaming Windows desktop apps to users via a browser across many different devices.

It didn’t pan out as intended, and Gene Farrell, vice president of Amazon Web Services enterprise applications and EC2 Windows, said as much, explaining “With AppStream, we set out to solve a significant customer problem, but failed to get the solution right.”

Amazon AppStream 2.0

Fast forward three years, and Amazon AppStream 2.0 was released after much customer feedback. With 2.0, users can now stream desktop applications from Amazon Web Services to any device running an HTML5 compatible browser. Access to the applications no longer requires setting up streaming services using an SDK, because it is fully managed by Amazon. This has resulted in a responsive and fluid user experience.

What Can You do With Amazon AppStream 2.0?

With the new service, you can:

  • Run desktop applications on any device, including Windows and Linux PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks,
  • Maintain a single version for all your users with easy access to your users from anywhere,
  • Get instant-on access to desktop applications (meaning no large files to download or time-consuming installations),
  • Keep applications and data on Amazon Web Services, allowing you to isolate your applications for secure delivery,
  • Integrate with your IT environment, including on premises and Amazon Web Services, and
  • Enjoy the benefits of a fully managed service you don’t need to maintain.

Benefits of Amazon AppStream 2.0

With AppStream 2.0 you will have access to the latest version of your applications running on Amazon Web Services compute resources. The data is never stored on your device so you will get improved performance with a secure experience.

The pay-as-you-go pricing means no upfront capital and or premises infrastructure maintenance, while being able to scale as needed instantly.

Is it a Good Model for a Small Business?

The answer of course will depend on many different factors, but small businesses can benefit from AppStream 2.0.

Price varies according to region and resources you use, but here is an example. With the lowest price point, you will start at 10 cents per hour to secure two central processing units and 4 gigabytes of memory for each user. You also have to add a $4.19/month fee for each to cover the Microsoft RDS software license.

This comes out to 80 cents per day for each user for an eight hour day. The monthly bill will run you $20.19 for a five day week, including the Microsoft RDS software license.

Businesses with mostly remote workforces such as online buinesses and many others can benefit from the service. But the service can apply to any business as long as it makes financial sense.

Try Appstream 2.0

The Try It Now feature gives you up to 30 minutes to experience sample applications for business, design, engineering and software development. You will be able to upload and open your own files, save your work and print.


Beyond the cost of the service, with AppStream 2.0 you are not paying for IT personnel, maintenance, updates, security concerns or other costs associated with growth or scalability. The service will not be for every business, but for companies opting to use it, it will mean more time to focus on core services and grow their businesses.

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Image: Amazon

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

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