Update: This article was last updated on 20th May 2022 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Introduction to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)
Windows Virtual Desktop, also known as Azure Virtual Desktop, delivers cloud-based virtual desktops to the end-users that run in Azure. By implementing a protective and threat-free environment, WVD remote working solution can ease our working as it comprises all functions of Windows 10. It also offers a scalable Windows 10 environment and the virtualization of Microsoft 365 apps. Further, the users get access anywhere, anytime, even without hampering their budgets. Hence, you get reduced expenses by sharing resources.
We will cover the following in the blog:
- Benefits Virtual Windows Desktop Brings to Businesses
- Components of Windows Virtual Desktop
- Windows Virtual Desktop Implementation Requirements
- How does Windows Virtual Desktop work?
- Windows Virtual Desktop Pricing
- What Makes An Efficient Windows Virtual Desktop Environment For The Hybrid Workplace?
- Why should you go for Windows Virtual Desktop?
- Give Your Business Enhanced Agility combining WVD With Citrix
- The Bottom Line: Empowering Remote Workers by Hosting Virtual Desktops with Windows by ACE
Benefits Virtual Windows Desktop Brings to Businesses
The Tighter the Security, The Better!
Windows Virtual Desktop gives you a highly secure platform to have remote access to business files and applications. It offers you a well-defined platform with the additional Windows 10’s Enterprise Data Protection (EDP). These security protocols ensure that your data is secure and actively monitored. Furthermore, it prevents any data threat or attack using Windows 10’s Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) feature. Also, you get additional compliance with numerous security regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, SOC1, and more.
You Get Anywhere Anytime Access to Windows Virtual Desktops
Windows virtual desktops are managed solutions that give you remote access from anywhere, anytime. Furthermore, you can access it on various Windows, Web, macOS, iOS, or Android devices to get a better virtual environment. To make this virtual experience better, Azure VM and Windows 10 multiple-session features combine to run multiple user sessions simultaneously.
Top-Notch User Experience for Better Productivity
Ensuring an efficient user experience for employees is a concern for every business. WVD provides the same virtual desktop to all the employees or users, whether they are working on a computer or laptop. Windows Virtual Desktop ensures to give productive experience from anywhere. It comes with built-in Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup technologies to maintain business continuity even during outages. Even the Azure WVD offers personalized alerts to mitigate downtime through Azure Service Health.
Also, Microsoft adds its in-built tools to the Windows Virtual Desktop to make this happen. Using which:
1. The users or employees manage their Microsoft 365 Outlook.
2. They can use OneDrive for storing, managing, and sharing important files.
3. Use MS Teams without any VPN to stay connected with colleagues and teammates.
You Get Cost-saving Benefits with WVD
The IT bottlenecks are one of the top budget eaters for a business. However, with WVD, your firm can begin cost savings almost straight away. Azure Virtual Desktop enables you to access virtual desktops with some Windows and Microsoft 365 licenses without any further need for additional license costs. Moreover, hosting your virtual desktops on Azure lowers the infrastructure costs, mainly investing in servers and data centers. This is not the end; with Azure WVD, you don’t require an in-house IT team to maintain such a vast infrastructure.
You can scale up if you need additional VMs and descale if you do not need them. Thus, you can save up on those extra expenses and manage your finances better.
Hassle-Free Management of Desktops
Windows virtual desktop deployment always requires a VM image that can either be created by the IT team based on your business requirements or Azure creates a standard VM image. A lot of administrative effort is needed to create a single VM image.
Additionally, maintaining and allocating such images while tracking changes is hectic for organizations of any size. There’s when the features of WVD help you out. Windows Virtual Desktop comes with an Azure portal management hub that provides simple ways to configure network settings, add new users, deploy desktop apps, and enable data security with a few clicks. Furthermore, this also performs automatic scaling and running images flexibly using Azure Shared Image. You get Microsoft Azure DevOps and Azure Shared Image Gallery tool, an automated tool that helps you build, maintain, support, and replicate Virtual images.
You Get Integrated Citrix and VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Microsoft has taken care of all the essentials required to make WVD better. However, expanding the investments and skills with the Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop Service and VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure gives exemplary desktop and app virtualization environments. Further, the main benefit of having cloud windows desktop integrated with Citrix is that their customers can quickly deploy Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session on Azure VM. The best part is that you do not need an Office license or operating system when you opt for WVD; plus, when it’s an integrated one, you can use features of both.
Components of Windows Virtual Desktop
Microsoft manages some of the infrastructure components in the Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, and customers manage their desktop host VMs & clients. Let’s take a look at these components used in WVD architecture.
Web Access: Used to access virtual desktops from any web browser from any device.
Gateway: Let users access the Azure Virtual Desktop apps and desktops from any device compatible with the Windows Virtual Desktop client.
Connection Broker: Runs user connections to virtual desktops and remote apps. It also performs load balancing.
Diagnostics: Monitors the action of every administrator on the WVD deployment.
Azure Virtual Network: Enables a VM to communicate with other VMs and the Internet with a pre-defined network topology.
Azure AD: Maintains security and app compatibility in WVD. Also, managed identity and access in Windows in domain-joined VMs.
Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS): Syncs with Azure AD to create a remote connection
Windows Virtual Desktop Workspace: Defines the management setup for running and publishing host pool resources.
Windows Virtual Desktop Implementation Requirements
Windows Virtual Desktop frees you from the annoyance of setting up physical servers, deploying virtual desktops, hardware, and more.
Deploying Azure WVD demands at least mid-level management as the data resources are in the cloud. Therefore, you need a team to manage it. But this problem gets solved when you hire a service provider to work with you. They’ll make everything more straightforward for you.
How does Windows Virtual Desktop work?
Step 1: First, application endpoints get placed in the customer’s on-premises network.
Step 2: ExpressRoute extends the on-premise network into the Azure cloud.
Step 3: Then, Azure AD Connect joins the customer’s Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
Step 4: In this step, the Windows Virtual Desktop control plane manages and runs the Web Access, Gateway, Broker, Diagnostics, and REST APIs.
Step 5: After the above step, the customer has complete control over the AD DS and Azure AD, Azure subscriptions, virtual networks, Azure Files, and the Windows Virtual Desktop host pools & workspaces.
Step 6: Lastly, to expand the volume, the customer can use the two Azure WVD subscriptions in a hub-spoke architecture by connecting them using virtual network peering.
Windows Virtual Desktop Pricing
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) facilitates the management of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) on the Azure cloud. Azure VDI pricing is calculated as per the three main factors, which include:
Each option offers various pricing plans for a broad range of applications and users.
Azure Virtual Desktop pricing includes two parts:
- User access rights:
- First, when deploying Azure WVD, there’s a need to get a license for Microsoft 365, Windows 10, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS), or Windows Server.
- Pay per user pricing: Pay per-user pricing is an option that helps the user to have a monthly or yearly subscription
- Azure infrastructure costs:
The following cost involved is for managing the Azure virtualization environment. One requires virtual machines, operating systems, data disk, and networking components needed to host a Citrix cloud and VMWare Horizon cloud on Azure
Get Custom Quote For VDI Pricing
What Makes An Efficient Windows Virtual Desktop Environment For The Hybrid Workplace?
Businesses around the world have shifted their corporate apps and data to the cloud. WVD supports them in gaining business stability and agility. As we talk about the future of the hybrid workforce, we must know virtual desktop by Azure is an effective technology to deliver a secure, feasible, cost-effective user experience with Windows 10 from the cloud. As new innovations always come, firms need to pivot their operations to meet new challenges— such as supporting remote educators to the healthcare workers on their experience with Azure Windows Virtual Desktops.
Therefore, when businesses wish to have an implicit experience, they must know the right environment for setting up the productive Azure virtual desktop. Azure Virtual Desktop provides an environment where users can securely access their virtualized desktops and RemoteApps. Let’s learn more about the Virtual Desktop Environment terms that help provide a better experience.
The Azure Virtual Desktop tenant provides a primary interface that allows over control of the Azure Virtual Desktop environment.
As the name suggests, a host pool is defined as a group of Azure VMs registered in Azure Virtual Desktop. These VMs are known as session hosts. All session hosts source the same image to give a productive experience to the multiple users sharing resources. There are two types of host pools:
- Personal : Individual user has allocated session host
- Pooled : Session hosts can share the connections with multiple users inside the host pool.
A host pool can run and manage the following operating systems (OS): Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Custom Windows system images with loaded apps and group policies.
This offers additional features like:
You have the power to choose VM sizes and GPU authorized VMs.
Every session host has a Windows Virtual Desktop host agent.
Every host pool can leverage multiple app groups.
An app group is basically a set of pre-installed applications on session hosts in the host pool. There are two types of app groups:
- RemoteApp : In this, users have permission to access a few selected RemoteApps and then publish them to the app group.
- Desktop : In this, the user has complete control and access over the desktop.
A Workspace is simply a group of applications set in Azure Virtual Desktop. However, if the user wants to view the published remote apps and desktop, every Azure Virtual Desktop application group must be linked with a workspace.
After all, every element of the Azure Windows virtual desktop is in its place. End-users enjoy access from any location based on access controls.
Why should you go for Windows Virtual Desktop?
As an entrepreneur, you know how building infrastructure can account for a significant chunk of the IT budget, isn’t it? So why not go for a managed virtual desktop that brings the ultimate set of benefits to your table. Here are a few reasons you should deploy Windows virtual desktop hosting for your workspace.
WVD is considered economical as it enables you to have a virtual environment for your employees just by using your Azure subscription. The best part about Windows virtual desktop pricing is that you save massive expenditure on additional gateway servers and infrastructure.
You get multi-session Windows 11 or Windows 10 deployment on as many host pools as you want to provide better assistance to the workloads. This environment covers the methods used for controlling and managing the cost by sharing the resources.
With WVD, you get supportive command-line tools like Virtual Desktop PowerShell, Azure portal, and other interfaces that ease out the managing of your virtual desktop on your own. These tools let you perform the host pool sorting, application group designing, and user allocation without any hassles.
As security is a concern for every business, the Windows virtual desktops come with in-built access control and integration with Microsoft 365 features and data loss prevention. This feature helps enterprises allocate roles and collect all the diagnostic details.
Give Your Business Enhanced Agility combining WVD With Citrix
Azure WVD is an ideal infrastructure for businesses of every type. And when it is combined with Citrix, the companies can get next-level benefits. It offers them a flexible and secure management layer to work beyond Windows, such as Chromebooks or Linux.
Below are the few benefits businesses can leverage with a combination of WVD and Citrix.
You get graphic-intensive experience for some applications such as Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.
Cloud model with hybrid model
Since WVD is only limited to running multiple sessions on Azure, by having Citrix, you get a choice to run RDS sessions on the cloud or on-premises.
- Intensified experience with Citrix HDX:
It gives a high-definition experience across the public cloud to the WVD users.
Citrix balances the number of desktops and users’ session needs, and when the WVD user is working on Citrix, it quickly adds and removes the users as per the workloads.
App layering feature
Citrix has the app layering feature significantly eases the hassles of time management for Windows images and applications. It isolates the applications and enables you to install apps only on the infrastructure and the operating system (OS).
High security with Citrix Citrix SD-WAN with third-party providers
ACE, as a Citrix managed desktops provider, implement stringent security standards to ensure your data is safe in the cloud. Thus, WVD and Citrix can be highly secure platforms for firms with sensitive data with double security.
Suggested reading: Citrix Vs. Windows Virtual Desktop- Which Is Better for You?
The Bottom Line: Empowering Remote Workers by Hosting Virtual Desktops with Windows by ACE
With Windows virtual desktop by your side, you take your business towards growth. Firstly, it saves you from investing in expensive hardware. With in-built security features, data security concerns are finally resolved.
Additionally, your service provider is responsible for managing and maintaining your desktop systems. From allocated tools to cost savings, cloud windows desktop is the future of work.
Chat With A Solutions Consultant