AWS Gives Its App Streaming Service a GPU Boost

Amazon Web Services (AWS) users can now stream even their most graphics-intensive desktop applications to their customers' browsers, thanks to a recent update to the AWS AppStream 2.0 service.

Unveiled at last year's AWS re:Invent conference, AppStream 2.0 lets users leverage AWS' infrastructure to stream their Windows apps to their customers' desktop browsers via the NICE DCV streaming protocol. For enterprises, the service effectively replaces traditional on-premises app streaming environments, while ISVs can use it to bring their apps to the cloud without rewriting any code.

On Monday, AWS announced that it has added GPU-optimized instances to AppStream 2.0, letting users stream more graphics-heavy applications, including those geared toward media, high-performance computing, engineering and design.

In addition, the update extends AppStream 2.0's support for "applications [that] almost always need shared, read-write access to large amounts of sensitive data that is best stored, processed, and secured in the cloud," according to a blog post by AWS evangelist Jeff Barr.

The new GPU streaming instances are dubbed Graphics Desktop, which is based on AWS' G2 instance family; and Graphics Pro, which is based on the G3 instance family that AWS launched earlier this month. Both the G2 and the G3 are GPU-optimized instances designed for accelerated computing scenarios.

The Graphics Desktop instance starts at $0.50 per hour (though pricing varies by region) and comes with 15GiB of memory and eight virtual CPUs. It's "designed for desktop applications that use the CUDA, DirectX, or OpenGL for rendering," Barr said.

Meanwhile, Graphics Pro starts at $2.05 per hour and comes in several configurations, ranging from 16 to 64 virtual CPUs and 122GiB to 488GiB of memory. This instance type, according to Barr, is "designed for high-end, high-performance applications that can use the NVIDIA APIs and/or need access to large amounts of memory."

The new instances are immediately available out of AWS' regions in Northern Virginia, Oregon, Ireland and Tokyo.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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