Posts

Windows Virtual Desktop Spring Update enters Public Preview

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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