Windows Virtual Desktop explained – Part 1

By Mark Ison on

Windows Virtual Desktop – what is it?

The Windows Virtual Desktop (or WVD) is an Azure based, serverless Remote Desktop Services environment. No gateway, connection broker, license or web access servers needed here. All you need are session hosts to provide either remote apps, session-based desktops or full VDI sessions. 

What are the benefits?

Key benefits of WVD include: 

  • High availability service with no servers to manage or maintain. 
  • The only service that can provide a true Windows 10 desktop experience using Windows 10 multi-session.  
  • Windows 7 is a supported OS and relocating any remaining Windows 7 machines to WVD will give you 3 years of extended support. 
  • Support for Office 365 ProPlus.  
  • User profile redirection and storage to Azure Files, or the new Azure NetApp Files, using FSLogix profile containers.  
  • Session host scaling to help manage costs. 
  • Publishing of both full session desktops and specific Remote Apps 

How do I get it?

On September the 30th 2019, Scott Manchester (Microsoft group manager for WVD and RDS) tweeted the announcement that WVD is now generally available worldwide. This means you can start deploying a fully supported production environment now. 

What licences does it need?

Windows Virtual Desktop can be licensed using either existing RDS CALs or Windows 10 subscription-based licenses. The full list of subscription SKUs are:  

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5 
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/ Student Use Benefits 
  • Microsoft 365 F1 
  • Microsoft 365 Business 
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5 
  • Windows 10 VDA per user 
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL) 
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Subscriber Access License (SAL). 

Windows Virtual Desktop – Want to know more?

Here at Silversands we have already begun meeting with customers, designing and implementing proof of concepts for WVD with universal praise for the service. 

“The Cloud Transformation Programme were looking at new ways to deliver products to the business in a seamless low impacting way, adopting WVD allows a fast and direct way to deliver applications to the business at a moment’s notice. Working with Silversands on this POC brings many benefits with fast setup and knowledge transfer, allowing the team to focus on what matters to the customer.”  

David Gwynn, Infrastructure and Cloud Engineer at Northumbrian Water. 

Stay tuned for more WVD based blogs where I’ll go cover some of the key features in more detail. 

What’s next?

We host regular events so please do check our schedule of current seminars, webinars and events.  We also post regular blogs on the latest updates and expert advice on Microsoft 365, Cloud and Hybrid IT, User Adoption and the Power Platform, so please do follow us.

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