Tag Archives: General Available

Windows Virtual Desktop goes GA

Windows Virtual Desktop is now General Available

Awesome news today: Windows Virtual Desktop is now General Available!

Introduction

Last year at Ignite 2018, Microsoft announced Windows Virtual Desktop (shortened to WVD) as the new name for RDmi, which was still in Private Preview at that time.
You can read my announcement blog here: https://www.cloud-architect.be/2018/10/01/rdmi-has-evolved-into-windows-virtual-desktop/

The next milestone was the Public Preview of WVD, announced on March 21 2019 by Julia White & Brad Anderson (here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/03/21/windows-virtual-desktop-public-preview/).
This step made it possible for everybody to start testing WVD, give feedback & suggestions to the Product Team.

During the Public Preview, the WVD Service (containing the Broker, Web Access, Gateway & Diagnostics services) was running in the East US for all regions.
This could result in higher latency (Round Trip Time or RTT) if your workload was running in your closest region, as all traffic was flowing through the gateway in the East US.

But as we got closer to the GA launch, we noticed a drop in RTT during our sessions in our Validation Hostpools.
This could only mean 1 thing: the WVD service was running in West Europe!

General Available

As of today, Windows Virtual Desktop is General Available (GA) for everybody.
This means you can start running your Production Workload with the full support of Microsoft on the WVD Service.
(Important: Microsoft will not give you by default support on your own workload, only on the WVD Service)

And as suspected, the WVD services are running in all commercial Azure Regions as we have suspected with the drop in RTT.

What’s coming?

At the moment, the MetaData of all WVD activities is still transmitted to the US that the moment. This will change in the coming months.

Microsoft will also add more clusters and Gateways in all regions over the coming months.

But that’s not all. Microsoft also announced features that are coming up later. Check out the video (link below) from Microsoft Mechanics on YouTube to learn more

Current feature set

The Feature set of WVD today is very clear:

  • It subtracts the Broker, Web Access, Gateway & Diagnostics services from your Azure subscription, making it Multi Tenant in comparison to RDS
  • It enables Reverse Connect with only outbound connections from your deployment
  • It enables you to take advantage of Azure AD, with features like Conditional Access, Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), etc
  • More PaaS! Compared to a RDS 2019 deployment, Microsoft goes even further with PaaS enablement. The entire WVD Service is a Azure PaaS service for you to use!

Licensing

Microsoft added some additional licenses, entitling you to use the WVD service for free.

OSRequired license
Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session
Windows 10 Enterprise
Microsoft 365 E3/E5
Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student use benefits
Microsoft 365 F1
Microsoft 365 Business
Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
Windows 10 Education A3/A5
Windows 10 VDA per user
Windows 7 EnterpriseMicrosoft 365 E3/E5
Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student use benefits
Microsoft 365 F1
Microsoft 365 Business
Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
Windows 10 Education A3/A5
Windows 10 VDA per user
Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019RDS Client Access License (CAL) with Software Assurance

Check the FAQ of this page for further and the latest updates:
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/pricing/details/virtual-desktop/

FSLogix

Microsoft acquired FSLogix November last year to enhance the Office 365 virtualization experience, especially when running WVD!
Because now you have great technology available for your Profile Management.
With FSLogix enabling faster load times for user profiles in Outlook and OneDrive, Office 365 ProPlus will become even more performant in multi-user virtual environments.

And the best part: it’s also free for all WVD entitled users!

With the launch of WVD, Microsoft also did a update of FSLogix to version 1909. Check the details in the Links section at the end.

These are the Licensing requirements for FSLogix

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student use benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F1
  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL)
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Subscriber Access Licence (SAL)

The license that pops out is the SAL license. This means you can use FSLogix for almost any RDS & WVD deployment, on Azure, On-Prem or other Clouds

Is everything included in WVD?

This is an important topic! There are 2 things you need to know:
(ok, there are more, but these are the most important ones)

  • In the licenses above, you only get the usage of the WVD service.
    It does NOT include your Azure usage from your SessionHosts, AD deployment (Azure VM with Windows AD Role and AD Connect or Azure Active Directory Domain Services), File server (or Azure File Share), etc!
  • With simply deploying WVD, you will not be ready. You need to do a lot more than just deploy and lean back.
    You will need to
    • Validate your AD & Fileserver setup
    • Maintain your Azure Tenant & Subscription
    • Setup a backup strategy
    • Think about your updates (Software, Windows, Office, etc)
    • Cost management
    • Much more

Microsoft relies on Partners for this.
The company I work at, ASPEX, is one of those partners.
We developed a solution for provisioning WVD in an easy way, using the Best Practices from Microsoft & Azure, and our years of experience as a Hosting Partner and working on WVD from the beginning!

Check it out here:
https://aspex.be/en/breaking-microsoft-officially-launches-windows-virtual-desktop

More Readings

In the coming days, I’ll be posting some more details on the GA, the things to come and much more.
Below, you can find some links to more readings about the Genaral Availability of Windows Virtual Desktop, but also the TechCommunity link for WVD!
I try to follow this Community and answer/help where possible.

Microsoft announcing blog post:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/09/30/windows-virtual-desktop-generally-available-worldwide/

Microsoft Mechanics video:
https://youtu.be/QLDu6QVohEI

Microsoft TechCommunity:
https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-Virtual-Desktop/bd-p/WindowsVirtualDesktop

Microsoft Docs on Windows Virtual Desktop:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-desktop/

Microsoft Docs on FSLogix:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/fslogix/
FSLogix Update :
https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/815c5faf-109c-4bc0-8552-7d6137c91b89/release-notes-for-fslogix-release-1909-build-29720527375?forum=FSLogix