Updated March 10, 2023
Introduction to Azure VDI
The infrastructure of the virtual desktop concept is a virtualization method similar to the Windows desktop operating system, and it is managed in the data center. The Azure VDI is the utilization of Azure resources to develop an infrastructure for the remote usage of the desktop. It is based on cloud computing and virtual concepts of the cloud. It is dependent on the host of the remote desktop session. The concept is simple where the user can access the desktop and virtualized application in his host machine.
What is Azure VDI?
- The Azure virtual desktop infrastructure is a flexible cloud that delivers remote applications and virtual desktops securely with maximum control.
- Windows 11 and Windows 10 are desktops with multiple sessions and have remote application streaming.
- The total control on deployment and management is made with the option of VMware and Citrix integration.
- It is optimized and widely implemented for its flexibility.
License Azure VDI
- To access the VDI via Remote desktop services, it is mandatory to have a VDA license and RDS client access license. All the users should be connected to a remote desktop connection, and the license should be managed by Windows 10 Enterprise E5 and E3 licenses.
- The virtual desktop of Windows Azure needs the user to hold an eligible license on Windows 10 or Windows 7 machines. So that it can help the user to avail of the following benefits and provide access to Microsoft 365 business premium, Microsoft 365 E5, F3, A3, E3, and A5 student benefits use. In addition, it also enables the user to access Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5, Windows 10 Virtual desktop access, and Windows 10 education A5 or A3.
- The Windows server license can sometimes be a part of an Azure subscription where the user can avail pay as per use model. The license should be availed in RDS by software assurance on Windows server RDS CALS, the devices connected with RDS and CALS, and the cloud solution provider.
Azure VDI Services
Given below are the important VDI services:
- Infrastructure is enabled to implement Windows Virtual Desktop, which manages the option to provide pooled desktop, personal desktop, and just applications. In every case, the virtual desktop of Windows gives a virtual machine that is implemented in an Azure subscription that works on storage, networking, and computer requirements. The usage of VDI is charged according to the features that the user chooses and the resources that are availed of maximum. In addition, windows virtual desktop offers a control pane to make easier management.
- The built-in security helps the management secure the company and employee data by saving in Azure instead of local desktops. It leverages the security of Azure and offers the user with highly secured Azure firewall, Azure Sentinel, Azure security center, Microsoft defender which has the protective endpoint to offer end-to-end security to the applications.
- The dynamic policy engine is enabled to provide unconditional access to control the risk before the admin grants user access to the virtual desktop environment of Azure. In addition, it can enable multiple authentication factors to sign in securely. The role-based access control is a feature in Azure to detect the flaws attacking the Azure security center.
Managing Azure VDI
Once the Azure virtual desktop is installed, the important steps to be performed are listed below:
- Configuration of Administrator group policy: Managing the user and the objects are done in the Active Directory domain and managed by Group policy objects. If the domain controller is used to join the virtual desktop host, then the user can manage them with the help of group policy on the domain controller itself.
- Managing images is made to implement the virtual desktop host on Azure which is time-consuming to manage windows virtual desktop. Once the image is created, the host can be deployed directly. The updates should be validated before any user log in to the VDI. He should have control over the session in which the other user is signed and what activity he is performing. The admin can change settings like drain mode on the host of other sessions to ON if it is executed, and it inhibits from accepting any new users to open the session, and in turn, if it is not required, he can shut them down.
- In the host pool, adding or removing a host session is not that easier. To add any host session, it should be done like, add new ones, giving the quantity, and choosing the image in which the sessions need to be hosted. The advantage in Azure is that the user can create many host pools as his wish, and once it is done, he can configure it and get to other host pools set up, which is simple and quick. Navigate to the blade of the host pool, choose to add another one, then enter the wizard.
Best Practices of Azure VDI
Given below are the best practices of Azure VDI:
- Make VDI highly available: Update the application and desktop to deploy new applications. The user can get a group policy to control the windows 10 updates; he can enable the services to manage the updates and get them downloaded and installed. But it is wise to allow only the admin user to manage the updates.
- Take frequent backup: The important practice in VDI is to back up the environment periodically. The entire setup needs to be back up with the session host, images, user profiles, and FSLogix. The admin should also take a backup of domain controllers, server files, and other data from the systems which are the sessions of VDI are accessing.
- Enable monitoring events: The user has to enable the security center and manage his secure score. Multi-factor authentication should be enabled to protect the account and provide conditional access. Has to gather audit logs periodically. Azure monitor usage should be monitored and has to be enabled with endpoint protection.
The admin can configure his dashboard to be monitored, and he can receive alerts from the environment. The connection performance, host diagnostics, user report, host performance, utilization reports, and client reports are monitored and generated.
This is a guide to Azure VDI. Here we discuss the introduction, license, azure VDI services, managing, and best practices, respectively. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –