With its latest Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology, Microsoft is bringing extensive cost and management benefits to IT departments. The new Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) brings greater efficiency to IT departments and dramatic improvements to the user experience than is true of most virtual environments.
In addition, because it is run on Azure, the virtual desktop can run on any client – Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android – and maintain compliance through HIPAA, IRS 1075 and ISO/IEC 27018 certifications.
The advantage of deploying virtual user environments is that organizations don’t have to worry about the local device because the VDI separates the process of computing from the device itself. The risk of sensitive data exposed by remaining on devices is remote, pun partially intended.
In March 2019, Microsoft released Virtual Windows Desktop to public preview. It will support any Windows application from most devices. Microsoft’s WVD is the only service with:
- Simplified management via Azure’s interface.
- Multi-session Windows 10 experience.
- Optimizations for Office 365.
- Support for Remote Desktop Service (RDS) desktops and apps.
What does that mean in the real IT world? What use cases favor its deployment?
Reduce complexity and cost
Windows Virtual Desktop’s seamless integration with Azure simplifies IT management. Administrators can easily control the images they use, even custom ones, and most important, pay only for what they use.
WVD admins can quickly provision session-based computing and even provision a single VM to support multiple users via the client OS. Remote Desktop Session Hosts are deployed leveraging pooled or virtual Windows 10 desktops running in Azure. As a result, admins can provision different resources by role or user needs through what’s called “Host Pools.” The cloud-based environment has all the benefits of traditional VDI but with elasticity and a low, manageable CAPEX.
Microsoft allows WVD users to pay for only what they use, and it goes further by providing tools and technology to use less through intelligent configuration.
Certain remoting sessions are particularly well-suited for WVD. The biggest advantages may come to heavily regulated or security conscious environments or to organizations with short-term, contract or new employees from a merger. But any organization with remote workers such as those in call centers or branch offices would have more cost-effective and technically efficient access to organization data and applications using WVD. The Azure-based system is also particularly well-suited for specialized workloads introduced by design and engineering teams, software development or legacy applications.
Improve user experience
The better the user experience, the more productive an organization can be. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop promises performance equal to or better than a local PC experience, but with the security advantages of a virtualized cloud-based system. Running on any device or even a browser:
- Windows applications – any application – are integrated with the Start menu.
- The application functions as though it were local. In some cases, particularly if users are accustomed to older desktops, applications will run faster.
- The “look and feel” is persistent from session to session.
- Files are accessed via File Explorer or OneDrive, just as on a local machine, though the data never lives on the user device.
- User identity is enforced and consistent. Admins can provision Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) and “passwordless” authentication such as biometric or Windows Hello.
- Organizations have full Information Protection and Control (IPC) as well as auditing function.
Windows Virtual Desktop provides robust security, streamlined management and consistent UX without added IT burden. WVD can truly revolutionize business IT security and efficiency because it offers a new and unique opportunity to reduce cost while at the same time improving productivity.
This blog has only scratched the surface of the value Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure can bring.
Find out more. Learn how Peters is helping clients centrally manage their PCs and devices without compromise and by reducing IT complexity and cost. For an overview of Azure and how Peters can customize Microsoft’s cloud platform to your business needs, read our blog, “Pizza as a Service.”