• AWS introduced the new Graphics.g4dn and GraphicsPro.g4dn Workspaces.
  • Workspaces back the new instances run-on second-generation Xeon Scalable CPUs (Cascade Lake) based on AWS’ specifications, plus NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made an exciting tweak to its ‘Workspaces’ desktop-as-a-service providings by introducing temporary local storage.

The cloud pioneer’s previous Workspaces just offered 100GB for a root volume and the same quantity of storage for user data.

The new Graphics.g4dn and GraphicsPro.g4dn Workspaces adds temporary local storage using an AWS offering under the name ‘instance store’ that the cloud colossus currently recommends as “ideal for the temporary storage of information that changes frequently, such as buffers, caches, scratch data, and other temporary content, or for data that is replicated across a fleet of instances, such as a load-balanced pool of web servers.”

The Graphics.g4dn Workspaces bundle comes with 100GB of instance store and 4vCPUs, 16 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of video memory. AWS says that the combo can take charge of mainstream graphics-intensive applications, such as engineering, design, and architectural applications.

The GraphicsPro.g4dn Workspaces bundle comes with 6vCPUs, 64 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of video memory. The bundle is considered ideal for “media production, seismic visualization, GIS data processing, data intelligence, small-scale ML model training, and ML inference.”

Every last one of them, the workstation workloads, are not those workloads that AWS previously encouraged as ideal for Workspaces.

Both new instances run-on second-generation Xeon Scalable CPUs (Cascade Lake) tuned to AWS’ specifications, plus NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs.

The new instances aren’t cheap as they charge USD 537 and USD 959 each month, respectively. One may also pay a monthly reservation fee and hourly rental. Bringing your own Windows license helps save a few dollars off the monthly payments and a few cents off the hourly rate.

In 2018, AWS launched the GPU-enabled Workspaces, making these new bundles perhaps a little overdue.

Lately, cloud workstations have gained popularity as physical workstations don’t thrive in work-from-home environments, where these workstations usually go without the high-speed networks required to move data into and out of demanding applications.

Amazon’s cloud networking solves that difficulty and the addition of the local instance store means fewer requests to transport data into the new bundles. Users still require clients that operate on Windows and macOS, as well as streaming technology such as PCoIP (PC over IP), providing plenty of room for annoyance for those utilizing consumer-grade broadband connections.