Announcing Windows 365!

AVD

Microsoft announced Windows 365 this week at Inspire.  With this announcement comes a new way to deliver remote desktops as a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform built on Azure Virtual Desktop and is a significant addition to virtual desktop options in Azure.  There is a limited amount of information available about windows 365; in this post and accompanying video, we’ll break down what it is and how it differs from Azure Virtual Desktop.  Keep in mind that this is a new service, the information available may not be complete and change once Windows 365 is available.

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Shut Down Unused Session Hosts in a Windows Virtual Desktop Pooled or Personal Host Pool

WVD Function App

(UPDATED 6/17/2021 with code for multiple pooled and personal host pools) Azure Virtual Desktop (previously Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)) has a new option in preview that starts session hosts in a personal or pooled host pool when a user connects. It won’t, however, shut down the session hosts when the user logs out. The script outlined in this video will evaluate all running and available session hosts in a personal or pooled host pool and shut down and deallocate session hosts without an active connection.  Deallocating Session hosts while not in use can save money on compute costs.

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Image Builder and WVD Session Hosts with One Azure DevOps Pipeline

This video picks up where the last two DevOps videos left off.  We use one Azure DevOps Pipeline and multiple jobs to build an updated image with Azure Image Builder, then deploy new Virtual Machines, Windows Virtual Desktop Session Hosts in this example, with the updated image.  We also go over addressing Image Builder failures in the DevOps pipeline.

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High Performance at a Low Price for WVD

In this post and accompanying video, we go over the benefits and considerations of using ephemeral disks with Azure Windows Virtual Desktop Session Hosts.  We review the performance improvements as well as limitations that come with ephemeral disks, including the inability to deallocate Session Hosts.  Next, we examine Azure Reserved Instances and how they can be used to keep the cost of Session Hosts down without using an auto scale solution.

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Enable MFA for WVD ARM

WVD

In this video, we go over enabling Multi-factor Authentication, or MFA, for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Spring Update, or ARM.  We use an Azure AD Conditional Access Policy to enforce MFA on a group of users.  We also set an MFA Trusted IP address to exclude a public IP source from the MFA Policy.

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