Azure Virtual Desktop

Azure Virtual Desktop: A comprehensive guide

The business world is becoming increasingly digital. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many companies have moved into work-from-home situations, which has made remote and hybrid working environments more desirable and commonplace for workers across the country. The modern workforce is more flexible and mobile than ever, and businesses need the right digital environment to keep up.

Virtual desktops are the answer to keeping connected to your employees and business information from any location, on any device, and Azure Virtual Desktop is the most cost-effective, easy-to-use, and robust virtual desktop solution available.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a cloud-based desktop and app virtualisation service. It provides an easy way to access your Windows applications and data from any device, and allows you to switch between devices seamlessly without having to worry about syncing changes or saving files, which makes it easy for people who work with multiple devices.

An Azure Active Directory (AD) can be leveraged by admins to deliver resources to users in conjunction with the Azure portal. It provides a complete virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution in the form of Azure virtual machines, templates, cloud services, and more, going beyond the traditional VDI offerings.

AVD was designed by Microsoft to be used by organisations and individuals who need remote access to their desktops, applications, and data. With this centralised experience, you and your users can access all your files and Microsoft apps to work securely and communicate effectively.

Benefits of AVD

Greater flexibility: You can create a virtual network where every computer works as a separate domain or you can use the virtual desktops to create a single, unified network. This can be useful if you have a lot of computers and want to keep everything on the same network. 

Easier to manage: You only have to setup one computer for every user. That user doesn’t have to be in your office or home, and you can easily manage the virtual desktop from any computer in the same network. 

Cost-effective: With AVD, you have less need for expensive physical servers. You can host the virtual desktop on a server that is only used by the members of the virtual network. This will significantly reduce the total cost of ownership and make the virtual desktop more manageable.

Getting started with AVD

AVD allows you to set up a scalable and flexible virtual environment in your Azure subscription, with no need for gateway servers. With the Azure portal, you can access Windows 10 and Windows 11 desktop and apps from any device and any location.

In order to use AVD, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be an Azure AD tenant
  • Have an Azure AD account with global permissions
  • Have an Azure subscription with owner permissions

All user accounts must reside within the same Azure AD infrastructure as the virtual machines that they will be accessing, which ensures greater security and an authentication framework. If your users accounts are external to the infrastructure, they will be unable to access the AVD resources. 

As a team leader, you can manage your AVD environment to assign users, create app groups, publish resources, and much more. The Getting Started feature will help you, as an admin, to launch AVD, assign and create user groups, and manage your domain.

Working from anywhere

Bringing remote and hybrid working options into your workspace allows you to access a greater pool of talent, as you are not restricted to your office location. It also brings your employees greater satisfaction in their work when they can choose to work from home.

AVD is hosted on the cloud and managed by Microsoft. You can use it to access your files, applications, and personal settings in a way that is similar to using a physical desktop computer. 

It also allows you to manage your employees remotely by assigning them to groups, or restrict access to certain files and information.

Simple security management

AVD will help your business secure and control its data by integrating with Microsoft 365’s security features. Organizations can reduce the chance that they are tricked into a cyberattack by reducing the amount of data they lose. With Microsoft’s proactive security measures, you can reduce the chance of data breaches or other security flaws.

Azure Virtual Desktop security management includes:

  • Data encryption at rest and in transit.
  • Role-based access control for data.
  • Secure remote access to the virtual desktop with multi-factor authentication.
  • Secure provisioning of VDI resources using OAuth tokens.

Discover more with the Azure specialists

AVD provides your employees with flexible access to their data and business applications from any device. Whether they prefer to use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they can access their work remotely and seamlessly. And with Microsoft 365, IT pros can manage your environment and protect sensitive data.

The Azure consultants at Steadfast Solutions help you get more from your Microsoft and Azure investment so that you can unlock your full business potential.