Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues

Let’s share more details of Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues.

I thought I would share my experience with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) in the world of Citrix VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

This post will also cover AVD SCCM and Intune support, AVD Setup, AVD known issues, and AVD myths. AVD is GA’d Generally Available World Wide with App Attach Feature?

Another useful post will help you answer the most complicated questions about Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (AVD). More Details – Windows Virtual Desktop Microsoft AVD FAQs from AMA

Patch My PC

Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a new VDI offering from Microsoft. AVD infra is based on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

AVD is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. It is the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that delivers multi-session Windows 10 optimized for Office 365 ProPlus and supports Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.

With the Microsoft AVD solution, you can build remote desktops and apps. The following is the AVD definition from Microsoft.

NOTE! All the AVD VMs will be Domain-Joined (Hybrid) VMs. These are not purely Azure AD-joined VMs.

Adaptiva
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues - Fig.1
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues – Fig.1

Can Microsoft Azure AVD Replace Citrix VDI Infra?

The honest answer is, “I don’t know.” Because I have never worked on Citrix VDI, I don’t know what it is. Also, Microsoft AVD is in Public Preview, so it’s not a production-ready product yet.

So, you can’t have this Citrix VDI Vs. Microsoft AVD comparison study.

I can see that Microsoft is investing a lot of money and effort in AVD development. I assume it will give Citrix VDI “very tough” competition in the long run.

Learn more about Microsoft AVD synergy with Citrix YouTube Video.

Why do we need Citrix for Microsoft AVD? 1. Hybrid Workloads, and 2. The Citrix protocol helps in low-bandwidth situations.

Microsoft AVD – IaaS or SaaS or PaaS?

Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) combines elements of both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. Microsoft manages certain components, while you or your organization are responsible for others.

NOTE! – Initially, I thought Microsoft AVD was SaaS, but I was wrong!

Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues - Fig.2
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues – Fig.2
  • PaaS Components of AVD (Microsoft Managed)
    • Web Access
    • Diagnostics
    • Gateway
    • Broker
    • Azure SQL DB
  • IaaS (Infrastructure-As-a-Service) Components of AVD
    • AVD VMs in Host Pool (updates and patching managed by the organization)
  • RD Agents and HTML 5 client deployment is the organization’s responsibility
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues - Fig.3  (Picture Credits to  https://aka.ms/WVDPlaylist)
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues – Fig.3 (Picture Credits to https://aka.ms/WVDPlaylist)

Start Microsoft AVD Deployments

You can start the Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop deployment from Deploy and scale your virtualized Windows desktops and apps on Azure for free. There are also some excellent blog posts and Videos to help you start your AVD journey.

  • Microsoft Prerequisites – Azure Domain Services or VPN connections back to on-prem Domain controllers to perform domain join operation for AVD VMs.
  • Microsoft Licensing Requirement for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)
  • Microsoft documentation – How-to Guides to setup AVD Tenant, Host Pool Creation, etc.
  • AVD Supported Clients (Windows & HTML5) – Details
  • AVD Supported virtual machine OS images (Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session & Windows Server 2016) – Details
  1. What is Windows Virtual Desktop Preview?
  2. Create a tenant in Windows Virtual Desktop
  3. Create a host pool with Azure Marketplace
  4. Manage app groups for Windows Virtual Desktop
  5. Create service principals and role assignments with PowerShell
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues - Fig.4 (Microsoft AVD AMA FAQ GA Dates Azure AD Join Orchestration (anoopcnair.com)
Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues – Fig.4 (Microsoft AVD AMA FAQ GA Dates Azure AD Join Orchestration (anoopcnair.com)

Video Experience of AVD Setup

I have explained my experience building a new Microsoft AVD infrastructure in the Azure cloud. I have explained some of the known issues with the Microsoft AVD preview offering.

Most of the AVD’s initial setup activities are done via PowerShell commands. I recommend following the same method. I’m not a PowerShell pro, but the AVD setup via PowerShell was not very difficult for me.

Video Tutorial Microsoft AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) Setup

Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues – Video

AVD Myths

Let’s share the myths (misunderstandings) I have heard about AVD.

  • Windows 10 Professional version is supported to build custom images
  • AVD Virtual Desktops (VMs) are Azure AD Joined devices and not Azure AD Registered devices
  • AVD is a pure SaaS solution from Microsoft
  • AVD preview is available in all Azure data centers (components like – control set – gateway, broker, etc…)
  • You must install RD Agent and Boot Loader when creating a custom image in all the scenarios.

AVD Known Issues

Microsoft AVD works well, and it’s in public preview, and most of the known issues will be fixed before the General Availability (GA) of Microsoft AVD.

The deployment might fail (as seen in the above video). This issue is because of a known issue with AD DS and AVD. When you enable Azure Domain Service (Domain controller in Azure – SaaS) and try to test domain join using AD DS,

This is not a known issue but a feature request.

I expected to have a purely Azure AD Joined VM solution as part of the AVD offering instead of a domain join (of course, hybrid) solution.

Microsoft WVD VM is supported only by Windows 10 Multi-user and Server 2016. Microsoft Intune for management does not support both of these Operating Systems.

Microsoft WVD supports multi-session/stateless VMs – Azure AD support for stateless VMs is very low. We need to develop more scale-in/scale-out options for WVD infrastructure (remember, this product is still in Public Preview).

Application deployment support for WVD VMs needs more effort. You can try to bake all the applications into the custom image.

Intune & SCCM Support for Microsoft AVD VMs

I have a blog post about a similar topic, in which I shared information about Windows Virtual Desktop and VDI management options and support.

The post “SCCM Intune Support for Persistent Non-Persistent VDI VMs” will also give more details about AVD support.

Resources

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Author

Anoop C Nair is Microsoft MVP! He is a Device Management Admin with more than 20 years of experience (calculation done in 2021) in IT. He is a Blogger, Speaker, and Local User Group HTMD Community leader. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012, Current Branch, and Intune. He writes about ConfigMgr, Windows 11, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Windows 365, AVD, etc

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