Windows Virtual Desktop: Helping Organizations Adjust to a Changing Global Climate

By Jeff Langford, Senior Azure Architect

As employees are increasingly working from home or other remote locations, a heavy burden has been placed on IT staff to support these workers. Windows Virtual Desktop is one great solution to mitigate this additional workload. Insight Cloud + Data Center Transformation (CDCT) can help your organization implement remote working environments with minimal effort.

What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a virtualization technology that allows organizations to create a Windows 10 machine that users can access from anywhere with any device — even a browser. With WVD, users are not tied to a specific desktop or laptop and can easily perform their work remotely. This saves companies a lot of work and effort by providing their workers with a machine that has access to all their business applications without having to configure the necessary hardware.

How does it work?

A large server is created in the customer’s Azure subscription that hosts multiple user environments at the same time. All users can share the same Windows image, which is created by the administrator and contains all the necessary applications already installed and configured. Groups of users can use different Windows images depending on their needs, and applications can be virtualized so users can install them from a predefined list of supported business applications.

If all users share the same Windows image, what about their personal files?

A user’s individual files are stored to their specific profile. When they log on to a WVD session, their profile and all of the files they have saved are available only to that WVD.

Why are organizations interested in Windows Virtual Desktop?

Deploying WVDs saves the IT staff a lot time and effort. Rather than deploying Windows images to desktop or laptop computers with different hardware requirements, IT staff can simply add a user to a group in Azure that grants them access to these virtual machines. Therefore, an image that works for everyone is only created one time. Administration of these images is very straight-forward, and new applications can be easily added.

Additionally, all Windows machines are administered in a single portal in Microsoft Azure. It is not necessary to remotely connect to a user’s machine to make changes. Instead these changes are applied to the image that is shared by all users. This greatly reduces the overall management effort as well as saves a lot on capital expenditures since desktops and laptops are not specifically required. Most workers already have a compatible device at home that can be used to connect to their virtual work machine.

How do I access a Windows Virtual Machine?

All that is required is an internet connection and a supported device. Supported devices include:
  • Windows desktop clients
  • Any internet browser-based device
  • Android devices
  •  iOS devices (iPhones, iPads)
  • macOS devices

How is Insight helping customers to deploy and manage Windows Virtual Desktop?

Insight is one of the largest Microsoft partners globally, and we have helped customers deploy WVDs around the world. By utilizing industry standard best practices, we can assist you with configuring WVD in your Azure subscription. While the deployment and configuration are straight-forward, there are many different options available depending on your specific needs. We can also assist with the virtualization of business applications.

Our team of dedicated Azure and Microsoft platform experts are certified and experienced architects and engineers who know all the configuration options of WVD. We can walk you through the process of setting up WVD for your organization and teach you how to manage the deployment after configuration. Insight also offers managed services that can take care of all the WVD administration and management efforts if needed.

How do I get started?

Contact Insight and ask about our Windows Virtual Desktop JumpStart program. We can have you up and running in just a few days.