Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM | Best Options

I have had a chance to present a session about Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management in the Microsoft user group Ghana. My presentation was more towards more on Windows single session (persistent) session host enrollment journey.

Let me share the AVD (a.k.a WVD) journey with modern management (Single Session/Persistent VMs) without Autopilot/WhiteGlove. If you are wondering whether you can get a free training course on modern device management and security technology like MEM Intune, refer to 63 Episodes of Free Intune Training for Device Management Admins.

I know most of the AVD customers are using Azure Virtual desktop with Configuration Manager. My journey is a bit different because it’s a new journey with AVD and MEM Intune. The Azure Virtual Desktop (previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop) Journey started back in 2019.

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Watch this video on YouTube.

Azure VDI (a.k.a AVD) vs Traditional VDI

I have seen many conversations where the expectation of AVD is similar to legacy VDI. Many organizations are trying to replicate the processes from the traditional VDI world. My take on this (AVD) is a bit different, and that is – take this as an opportunity to move to modern management MEM Intune and try to manage virtual and physical devices in the same way (wherever possible).

Azure Virtual Desktop is a modern VDI solution build from the ground up for the cloud with all native cloud architecture in mind. However, traditional VDI/hybrid solutions are still based on traditional on-prem technology architecture, but some components are hosted in the cloud.

We can reduce the dependency of on-prem technologies when moving towards AVD management with Azure AD join scenarios instead of Hybrid Azure AD whenever available. Another important strategy is about using custom images or Azure gallery images.

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You need to choose carefully and understand whether it’s worth creating and managing custom images for single session VDIs and multi-session scenarios. This is important for Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management.

Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM

AVD Enrollment Experience Journey with Modern Management Intune

My AVD enrollment experience journey started back in 2019. I never tried to manage the AVD session host with Configuration Manager. So all my AVD enrollment experience is with MEM Intune. I see this as a journey because AVD and MEM integration is improving very quickly.

What is Enrollment Experience?

The enrollment experience is mainly evolved around on group policy configuration that you select. The end-user enrollment experience is when the end-user logins to the session host for the first time, how much time it’s going to take to complete the enrollment process.

The enrollment process includes three stages and all these three stages are important for Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management.

  1. Intune Registration of session host using MDM Group policy.
  2. Device-based applications and policies deployment.
  3. User-based applications and policies deployment.
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM

2019 – 100 Minutes – AVD Enrollment Experience

Back in 2019, the enrollment experience with modern management used to take 100+ minutes. The only working configuration of the MDM enrollment group policy was based on user credentials. So the Intune enrollment/registration of session host starts only after the users first login.

The following section of the post helps to improve Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management.

Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
  1. Intune registration starts only after the user’s first login. Hence no pre-provisioning of apps/policies.
  2. All the application and policy deployment starts only after users first login.
  3. Intune Win32 application deployment using Intune Management Extension(IME) took more than 60 minutes to start. This is because IME policy refresh/sync starts only after 60 minutes of Intune enrollment.

2020 – 40 Minutes – AVD Enrollment Experience

Back in 2020, the AVD enrollment experience with modern management used to take 40+ minutes. The easy way to improve the enrollment experience was to work on IME. As you can see in the above section, the IME service was waiting to reinitiate/sync the policies for the first 60 minutes.

The way to work around the above issue was to create an MSI application to restart the Intune Management Extension service. So we were able to save 60 minutes in the enrollment process. More enhancements in Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management are explained in the below section.

Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
  1. Intune registration starts only after the user’s first login. Hence no pre-provisioning of apps/policies.
  2. All the application and policy deployment starts only after users first login.
  3. Intune Win32 application deployment using Intune Management Extension(IME) starts immediately after the restart of IME service, as mentioned above.

Under 10 Minutes – AVD Enrollment Experience

Now, you can use the Device credentials option from the MDM Group policy. This helps to pre-provision Intune enrollment, application, policy deployments before users first login. The application and policy deployment pre-provision happens only when you deploy apps and policies to Azure AD device groups.

Because of the session host pre-provision option as explained above, we could reduce end-to-end AVD enrollment time significantly. The end-to-end enrollment experience is also improved significantly.

NOTE! – With the device credentials option, you can produce an Autopilot/whiteglove experience with the enrollment status page in the future for Azure Virtual Desktop session host (single session).

Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
Azure Virtual Desktop End-User Experience Journey with Intune Management | AVD | WVD | MEM
  1. Intune registration starts before the user’s first login.
  2. Device-based application and policy deployment happens before the user’s first login.
  3. User-based application and policy deployment happens only after the users first login.

Download Presentation

You can download the presentation from GitHub.

https://github.com/AnoopCNair/AVD-End-User-Experience-Intune/blob/main/AVD%20User%20Enrollment%20Experience%20with%20MEM%20Intune%20-%20Ghana.pdf

Resources

Categories AVD

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