Let’s start with Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) – what does it do?
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) does what it says on the tin; it enables you to access your desktop and all your applications - from anywhere, on any device. Whether you’re running on Windows, MacOS*, iOS*, Android* or just a HTML 5 web browser* – you can connect to WVD. This technology enables users to work remotely and securely from any location and provides the exact same experience as a local desktop or laptop would, except it runs on Azure.
WVD is one of the only places you can do multi-sessions in Windows 10. You can run Windows 10 virtual desktops without the cost of each user having their own Virtual Machine. With Windows 10 multi-session, you can run several user interactive sessions with ease, all within the same deployment. Got a power-user that requires a lot of resources? You can specify that high-resource users get their own personal Windows Virtual Desktop, but without having to share resources with other users on the same Virtual Machine.
Setting up the WVD is straight forward. It doesn’t require a big up-front investment and it has the same familiarity and compatibility your users are used to with Windows 10. This makes it fast to deploy, easy to train users, work with existing applications and can scale with your business needs.
The Azure portal is your management hub for the WVD.
You can configure network, deploy desktop, and enable security all in one place. Users set up the desktop apps and policies, then Azure does the rest for you. You can start a WVD deployment on an Azure Virtual Machine size suitable for your business now, and you can “re-size” that Virtual Machine easily at a later date when you need to.
Azure also has built-in intelligent security capabilities that can be utilised to detect threats and take remedial action. Services such as Security Centre and Sentinel plug into the environment to provide you with a security policy and advanced monitoring service.
WVD Vs. Other VDI Technologies
WVD is a full windows 10 desktop environment - rather than a Windows Server Remote Desktop Server, which may look like a windows 10 desktop, but it may not work like one.
WVD comes direct from Microsoft and is built into the Azure platform. There are no extra licensing requirements. All you need is M365.
Its consumption based – so you only pay for what you use. This means you could use it for a day, a week or a month and you’ll only get charged for your exact usage of the service. You don’t have to buy thousands of pounds worth of computer hardware to try it out and it comes as part of Microsoft 365 licensing, so you might already be eligible for it.
You don’t need to open up your Azure environment using gateways or external IP’s. WVD uses Azure Front Door, this is a global load balancing solution from Microsoft, and it enables you to connect into Windows Virtual Desktop without the security risk other solutions might have.
Being on Azure provides the same features as other services. Allowing you to automate deployment, Start/Shutdown or link to other services in Azure.
Some other useful benefits include:
-Full Windows 10 and Office 365 Experience
-Delivers the only multi-session Windows 10 Experience
-Enables optimisations for Microsoft Teams
-Migrate Windows Server (RDS) desktop and apps
-Manage Windows 7 End of Support
-Deploy and scale in minutes
But how does it work? Here’s what the WVD architecture looks like:
The WVD deployment model
Why should I trust WVD?
-Securely store employee and company data in Azure rather than local desktops
-Use Multi-factor Authentication for secure login
-Set up conditional access to manage risks before granting user access to the WVD environment
-Role based access control (RBAC)
-Build in end-to-end Azure Security offerings: Azure Firewall, Azure security centre, Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Defender ATP
What’s the cost?
If you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you will incur no additional licensing costs to use this platform. Windows Virtual Desktop is a free service, and it can be used with your pre-existing Microsoft 365 or Windows license.
Using WVD will reduce infrastructure costs overall by appropriately sizing your Virtual Machines (VMs) and shutting down VMs in use. In addition, you won’t pay for Windows Server, Client or Server access licensing and you won’t need any additional infrastructure to support the deployment such as gateways or licensing servers either.
With this you may also avoid upfront costs, by aligning operational expenses to business usage. You may also be able to reduce management overhead by moving VDI’s onto a cloud-based managed service.
Who is it for?
WVD is aimed at everyone. Microsoft wants its customers to use its operating system on Azure, whether you’re a small SMB or a multi-national conglomerate. Bearing that in mind, Microsoft has focused a lot of time and attention on educating and informing its partner base, and as specialists in this area, we have made it our business to learn the technology and its implementation of best practices.
If you’d like to talk to our team about how you can get WVD up and running in your organisation, please get in touch today or book a meeting at your convenience.
*Teams optimisations unavailable on these platforms