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 of sharing my experience with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) in the world of Citrix VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

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

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

Patch My PC

Introduction

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a new VDI offering from Microsoft. AVD infra is based on the Microsoft Azure cloud. You can build remote desktops and remote apps with the Microsoft AVD solution. 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.

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

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Microsoft AVD Sample Picture
Microsoft AVD Sample Picture

Can Microsoft Azure AVD Replace Citrix VDI Infra?

The honest answer is, “I don’t know.” Because I never worked on Citrix VDI and I don’t know what is it. 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 loads of money and efforts in AVD development. And my assumption is it’s going to give “very tough” competition to Citrix VDI 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 & 2. Citrix protocol help in low bandwidth situations.

Microsoft AVD – IaaS or SaaS or PaaS?

I think Microsoft AVD is the mix of both IaaS and PaaS solutions from Azure. Some components are end to end managed by Microsoft, and some other components are your/organization’s responsibility.

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

Microsoft WVD Architecture Flow - Picture Credit to Christiaan B
Microsoft AVD Architecture Flow – Picture Credit to Christiaan B
  • 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 organizations responsibility
Microsoft WVD - PaaS and IaaS - Picture Credits
Microsoft AVD – PaaS and IaaS – Picture Credits to https://aka.ms/WVDPlaylist

Start Microsoft AVD Deployments

You can start the Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop deployment from here for free. There are some excellent blog posts and Videos to get your AVD journey started.

  • 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

Video Experience of AVD Setup

I have explained my experience of 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 initial setup activities of AVD are done via PowerShell commands. I would recommend following the same method. I’m not a PowerShell pro. But the AVD setup via PowerShell was not very difficult for me at all.

Video Tutorial Microsoft AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) Setup:

Watch this video on YouTube.

AVD Myths

Let’s share the myths (misunderstandings), which 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 center (components like – control set – gateway, broker, etc…)
  • You need to install RD Agent and Boot Loader when you create 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 you can see 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 was expecting 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 less at this point in time.

Need to perform more developments in terms of scale-in/scale-out options of 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 where I was sharing about Windows Virtual Desktop and VDI management options and support.

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

Resources

Categories AVD

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