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Showing posts from 2020

MSIX App Attach - the future of application delivery, a sneak peek of the upcoming Azure portal integration

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At the time of writing this, the ability to manage MSIX App Attach inside the Azure portal is in internal testing, what we refer to as dogfooding. This is a sneak peek at this new capability. The public preview will be starting shortly, look out for further announcements on this, the screen shots below, are not yet available in the Azure portal, but show you the user experience you will have when the preview commences. The underlying capability of MSIX App Attach itself has been in preview for some time but it required using only PowerShell scripts to achieve the management, and many customers were explaining that this was a little cumbersome and problematic. What we will be announcing shortly is the public preview of the consolidation of the management natively inside the Windows Virtual Desktop hub in the Azure portal. This brings the App Attach capability to the same place where you already manage the Windows Virtual Desktop objects. "MSIX App Attach - the future of dynamic  ap

How to power on your Windows Virtual Desktop personal VM from the comfort of your bed.

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What's you're morning routine? Wake up, rub eyes, grab phone, read news. Do you start your Windows Virtual Desktop Session host from that phone?  - No? Well now you can. The Microsoft Cloud service gives you many services that you can make full use of, and many you can combine together to provide combined capability not previously possible. Windows Virtual Desktop is our Virtual Desktop service running on Azure. Azure provides the capability to only pay per second that the Virtual Desktop is actually powered on, allowing you to reduce your costs and guarantee you are not paying for the VM when it's not in use. We can also use a variety of other Microsoft Cloud services to do this. What's the use case here?

Windows Virtual Desktop "Spring Update" enters general availability and gets a name change

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On the 27th of July  2020  a new set of capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) entered general availability. This means anyone can go to the Azure Portal and deploy production Windows Virtual Desktop and deliver Virtual Desktops from the Cloud. This set of new features and capabilities during the public preview were referred to as the “Spring 2020 Update”. As part of this update this set of capabilities is now referred to as just “ Windows Virtual Desktop ”, whilst the original version, that was known as “Fall 2019 Release” is now referred to as “ Windows Virtual Desktop Classic ”.

How to create delegated admin for Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure

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Most organisations will have some form of delegated administration for their on-premises Virtual Desktop estate. Likewise most organisations doing anything in Azure will also have delegation to enable different administrators access to just the services they need to see from within the Azure Portal This is all made possible through the Azure Role Based Access Control Service . One of the main benefits of the Windows Virtual Desktop Spring Update being integrated with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is that you can now apply RBAC against all of the Windows Virtual Desktop objects. This allows you to set granular access permissions that align with your administrative set-up in any format that works for your organisation - be that specific object, technology, business unit or project based.

How to deploy Windows Subsytem for Linux 2 with WVD

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In a previous blog  I showed how you could use Linux in Windows Virtual Desktop when we don't actually support Linux hosts. This is possible by deploying "Nested Virtualisation" which is available on certain Azure Virtual Machines.  This then allows you to run Hyper-V on your Azure VM. Inside Hyper-V you can then run any other "nested" VM, including a Linux distro. You can also run the Windows Subsystem for Linux. This allows you to interact with the VM through the locally installed Linux distro from within Windows. With the release of the Windows 2004 release we have also released Windows Subsystem version 2. More information in WSL2 is available in this announcement blog So how do you enable WSL2 from within Windows Virtual Desktop? - Read on.......

How to Shadow across multiple host pools and multiple users

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* **Update 07/07/2020** The below multi host pool, multi user shadowing tool now supports both Spring and Fall Releases in the same tool. The updated tool is available here:  https://github.com/GarryDown/WVD-Shadowing/tree/master/Spring%20Edition * I get a lot of customer questions about how to shadow user sessions in Windows Virtual Desktop, and so I started listing the various options on Twitter and LinkedIn. #WVD Tip - (well reminder!) Do you need to shadow another WVD session? We have a cmd for that: mstsc.exe /v:<VMName> or <IP> /shadow:<sessionID> /noconsentPrompt #WindowsVirtualDesktop — Tom Hickling (@tomhickling) June 17, 2020   #WVD Tip – How to shadow option 2. Do you need to shadow another WVD session? We have an app for that: "Quick Assist" #WindowsVirtualDesktop @wvdcommunity pic.twitter.com/J9gphJl7R2 — Tom Hickling (@tomhickling) June 20, 2020 These options all work fine, but they all require you as the admin to go into the tooling and

Using Azure Image builder and Azure Shared Image Gallery with WVD

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Here at Microsoft we love three letter acronym's, so much so that we have a three letter acronym, TLA for three letter acronym's. This blog manages the triple of TLA's, namely AIB, SIG and WVD. This blog is about how you can use Azure Image Builder with Shared Image Gallery to deploy WVD Host pools. If you are doing anything with Windows Virtual Desktop you are going to want to start using Azure Image builder to create images to be used in WVD Host pools, as well as Azure Shared Image Gallery to store and distribute these images. This will make your life a lot lot easier. In this article I show you a simple "kickstarter" example of how you can use Azure Image Builder (AIB) to build a Windows 10 Multi Session image and then place this in Azure Shared Image Gallery (SIG) to version the image and then distribute the image to a number of global Azure regions. This then allows you to create a Windows Virtual Desktop host pool locally based upon that replicated image. A

The WVD Log in process and Active Directory topologies explained

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Working at Microsoft as a Windows Virtual Desktop Global Black Belt, a couple of question that I often get asked is "what Active Directory topologies does Windows Virtual Desktop support?", and "how does the user login process work"? This article should hopefully answer both for you. The TL DR answer is that WVD does not impose any specific Active Directory topology requirements of its own, and will work in any supported topology that you have deployed.  However, there are some things that you need to consider when designing a WVD deployment. As it stands today, access into the Windows Virtual Desktop service and onto the WVD session host, requires authenticating firstly against Azure Active Directory (AAD) and secondly against either Active Directory (AD DS) or Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS). In addition, there is a service called the "Identity Matching" service that ensures that the actual user is the same person logging in at both p

Visually presenting Windows Virtual Desktop monitoring information in Power BI

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The question I get asked frequently is "how do I visualise Windows Virtual Desktop logging and monitoring information"? So a new PaaS role of Windows Virtual Desktop has been the new Diagnostics service, from which you can get a whole host of - well, diagnostics. As part of the Spring Release of Windows Virtual Desktop we have now made it easier to connect every Windows Virtual Desktop ARM object to three services for the storage of those diagnostics - more on that later. One of those three services: Log Analytics can be easily integrated with another service called Power BI for the visualisation of a whole host of data sources. The official Windows Virtual Desktop documentation on this is here . This article is broken down to three sections. Section 1 - how to create a Log Analytics Workspace. Section 2 - how to connect the Windows Virtual Desktop ARM objects to Log Analytics. This also has a                       growing collection of Kusto sample queries to help you o

Windows Virtual Desktop Spring Update enters Public Preview

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On the 30th of April the Spring Update of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) entered Public Preview. This means anyone can go to the Azure Portal and deploy a WVD Workspace and test the new capability. This article discusses the new updates and capabilities in this new update, as well as changes and other items you need to consider when deploying Spring Update WVD deployments. "Spring Update" First thing - the name, "Spring Update". WVD is now a first class Azure service (more on that below). Azure does not have versions. It is a platform that gets constant updates continually dropped in. This is the same with WVD. As such this is the set of updates being applied in the Spring. WVD receives many continuous updates, however major changes such as this shift to ARM are bundled into a larger periodical update. Expect future continuous updates to be dropped into platform in the future in a similar manner, with some larger updates getting some kind of seasonal naming.

How to deploy Linux in WVD when you can't deploy Linux in WVD

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In my role as a Windows Virtual Desktop Global Black Belt at Microsoft working with customers deploying WVD, I often get asked can we deploy Linux in WVD? The answer is no, but yes. The official answer is we don't support Linux. In fact, this is the official list of operating systems that we support: So how can you run Linux in WVD? Well this is a feature of Azure and Windows 10, not specifically WVD.

What are the top methods to deploy, expand or update a Windows Virtual Desktop Host Pool

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are seeing a significant increase in working from home, as well as massive demand for new Windows Virtual Desktop host pools where organisations are increasing the infrastructure footprint in order to support these additional users. You may well be being asked to either deploy new WVD Host pools or more likely expand host pools you already have with new Session Host VM's. You will also likely be considering, how do I update the Session host VM's in my host pool with new VM's after I update my image? We have a number of ways to deploy, expand and update WVD host pool, and this post simply brings those together into one place, to make it easy for you to make a choice of which one works best for you. This guide is split into three sections: Section 1 - Deploying a new host pool Section 2 - Expanding (scaling out) an existing host pool. Section 3 - Updating or replacing session hosts in an existing host pool. This lists t

How to deploy a Windows Virtual Desktop host pool using Infrastructure as code from Azure DevOps

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If like me you have come from an infrastructure background and always built servers, virtual machines etc. manually, then the thought of doing all that hard work via code does not always come naturally. Building out a gold image was a time intensive process with lots of manual steps plus deploying that at scale needed tools like Citrix MCS, or tools within the Hypervisor or others. But if you have done anything in the public cloud you will have heard of “Infrastructure as Code! and if you have done anything in Azure then you will likely have heard of Azure DevOps, which provides people to have continuous integration, testing and delivery, the ability to deploy code, or whole applications with the press of a button. But how can this apply to a Virtual Desktop capability when you are deploying hundreds or thousands of Azure IaaS VM's as part of a Windows Virtual Desktop deployment? Well not coming from a development background, but working at Microsoft as a Windows Vir

Create a corporate URL for the Windows Virtual Desktop Website, Part 2 Azure Front Door

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In Part one of this topic I showed how you could redirect a corporate URL to the WVD URL, so that your users would only need to remeber or bookmark a familar URL. That was using a few lines of code and an Azure Function app:  http://xenithit.blogspot.com/2020/02/create-corporate-url-for-windows.html This post shows how to acheive the same thing but using  Azure Front Door  to do so. To set this up in Azure Front Door then follow these steps. The first requirement is to have a Web App. If your just starting follow this simple guide and create yourself a free F1 App Service Plan. Once that is created copy the URL for your web and then you can now create your Azure Front Door and URL Redirect Rule. In Add a Resource in the Azure portal search for Front Door Click on Create, choose or create a Resource Group

Create a corporate URL for the Windows Virtual Desktop Website, Part 1 Azure Function App

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The current Windows Virtual Desktop HTML5 client is currently accessed using a Microsoft URL which is reasonably long and also is the exact same for every customer: https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html  or  https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/arm/webclient/index.html  (this URL was released when we released the Windows Virtual Desktop Spring edition set of capabilities, this URL is backwards compatible whereas the first URL is not forwards compatible). This isn't ideal if you work for an enterprise and want your users to be using a corporate URL in order to access what are corporate applications and data from the Windows Virtual Desktop service. What would be better is to use a URL that looks something like myapps.contoso.com. There are two very simple methods to achieve this, the first is using an Azure Function App, the second is to use Azure Front Door - more details on AFD are at the end of this article. An Azure Function App will require a tiny bit of cod

How to dynamically update session hosts in an existing host pool

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Do you have an existing Windows Virtual Desktop where you want to replace the session host virtual machines with new images?  You could build a new host pool with the new session host VM's and present the new icon to users and get them to test and then switch them over. That's not ideal as users need to launch this new desktop which could lead to confusion.  However what you can now do is use an "update" ARM template to dynamically replace the VM's in the existing host pool with no other changes being made to it and no or very little user interaction.  This template actually builds any number of new session hosts into the same host pool, and then will either deallocate or delete the existing VM's. If you choose delete it will delete the VM's and related storage which means there will be no residual costs related to the VM's. It also deletes all other infrastructure components. It will also send a message to all conencted user sessions. Have a l