Windows Virtual Server and Active Directory Requirements (and Azure Files While I’m At It)

EDIT 11/16/2016 – This information is outdated. WVD now supports Azure AD Domain Services with users sourced from Windows Server AD.

I spent hours this week trying to design a Windows Virtual Desktop solution that stores FXLogix profiles in Azure Files.  This should be a simple task, but once I got into the details it proved anything but simple.  The first consideration was a note on the overview page of the WVD documentation “What is Windows Virtual Desktop” :

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Active Directory Domain Service, Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Service Explained

Active Directory Domain Service, Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Service

Microsoft has a couple of options available for identity and authentication services including Active Directory Domain Services, Azure Active Directory, and Azure Active Directory Domain Services.  This can lead to confusion, especially considering three of the options have “Active Directory” in the name.  It also leads to the question “do we still need domain controllers?”  This post reviews these three different options, outlining the functionality and comparing how they work together in Microsoft and Azure.

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