I thought of sharing my experience with Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in the world of Citrix VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). I will also cover the WVD SCCM and Intune support, WVD Setup, WVD known issues, and WVD myths in this post.
Subscribe to this blog via Email
NOTE! – Another useful post which will help you to answer most complicated questions about Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). More Details – Windows Virtual Desktop Microsoft WVD FAQs from AMA
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a new VDI offering from Microsoft. WVD infra is based on the Microsoft Azure cloud. You can build remote desktops and remote apps with Microsoft WVD solution. Following is the WVD definition from Microsoft.
NOTE! – All the WVD VMs will be Domain Joined (Hybrid) VMs. These are not purely Azure AD joined VMs.
WVD is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. WVD 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.
Can Microsoft Azure WVD Replace Citrix VDI Infra?
he honest answer is, “I don’t know.” Because I never worked on Citrix VDI and I don’t know what is it. Also, Microsoft WVD is in Public Preview, so it’s not a production-ready product yet. So, you can’t have this Citrix VDI Vs. Microsoft WVD comparison study.
I can see that Microsoft is investing loads of money and efforts in WVD development. And my assumption is it’s going to give “very tough” competition to Citrix VDI in the long run.
Learn more about Microsoft WVD synergy with Citrix YouTube Video. Why do we need Citrix for Microsoft WVD 1? Hybrid Workloads & 2. Citrix protocol’s help on low bandwidth situation.
Microsoft WVD – IaaS or SaaS or PaaS?
I think Microsoft WVD is the mix of both IaaS and PaaS solution from Azure. Some components are end to end managed by Microsoft, and some other components are your/organizations responsibility.
NOTE! – Initially I thought Microsoft WVD is SaaS but I was wrong 🙁
- PaaS Components of WVD (Microsoft Managed)
- Web Access
- Azure SQL DB
- IaaS (Infrastructure-As-a-Service) Components of WVD
- WVD VMs in Host Pool (updates and patching managed by the organization)
- RD Agents and HTML 5 client deployment is organizations responsibility
Start Microsoft WVD 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 WVD journey started.
- Microsoft Prerequisites – Azure Domain Services or VPN connections back to on-prem Domain controllers to perform domain join operation for WVD VMs.
- Microsoft Licensing Requirement for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)
- Microsoft documentation – How to Guides to setup WVD Tenant, Host Pool Creation, etc..
- WVD Supported Clients (Windows & HTML5) – Details
- WVD Supported virtual machine OS images (Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session & Windows Server 2016) – Details
- What is Windows Virtual Desktop Preview?
- Create a tenant in Windows Virtual Desktop
- Create a host pool with Azure Marketplace
- Manage app groups for Windows Virtual Desktop
- Create service principals and role assignments with PowerShell
Video Experience of WVD Setup
I have explained my experience of building a new Microsoft WVD infrastructure in Azure cloud. I have explained some of the known issues with Microsoft WVD preview offering.
Most of the initial setup activities of WVD are done via PowerShell commands. I would recommend following the same method. I’m not a PowerShell pro. But the WVD setup via PowerShell was not very difficult for me at all.
Video Tutorial Microsoft WVD (Windows Virtual Desktop) Setup:
Let’s share the myths (misunderstandings), which I have heard about WVD.
- Windows 10 Professional version is supported to build custom images
- WVD Virtual Desktops (VMs) are Azure AD Joined devices and not Azure AD Registered devices
- WVD is a pure SaaS solution from Microsoft
- WVD 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
WVD Known Issues
Microsoft WVD works well, and it’s in public preview, and most of the known issues will be fixed before the General Availability (GA) of Microsoft WVD.
- The deployment might fail (as you can see in the above video). This issue is because of a known issue with AD DS and WVD. 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 WVD offering instead of domain join (of course hybrid) solution.
- Microsoft WVD VM is supported by 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 are very less at this point of 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 efforts. You can try to bake all the applications into the custom image.
Intune & SCCM Support for Microsoft WVD 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 WVD support as well.
- Windows Virtual Desktop technical walkthrough, including other (un)known secrets you did not know about the new Microsoft-Managed Azure Service
- Related Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop Videos
- Azure Windows Virtual Desktop Preview Documentation
- Support for Windows Virtual Desktop
- Video Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Explanation
- Getting started with Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)