Step-by-Step Guide to On-Premise Azure Virtual Desktop
Compute & Containers
Feb 5, 2024 10:00 AM

Step-by-Step Guide to On-Premise Azure Virtual Desktop

by HubSite 365 about Microsoft

Software Development Redmond, Washington

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Unlock Hybrid VDI with Azure Virtual Desktop on-prem: Seamless, Secure, and Compliant

Key insights

  • Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI allows delivering highly flexible and secure desktop and app virtualization experiences to a wide range of devices. This hybrid solution integrates with Azure cloud through Azure Arc, supporting local data centers while offering regionally compliant virtualization.

  • It introduces Windows 11 multi-session capabilities, previously only available on Windows Server. Users can gain precise control over VM host locations to stay compliant and reduce latency. Unified security through Microsoft Entra ID and streamlined administration via Azure Arc enhance flexibility and control.

  • Enhanced Performance and Data Locality: Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI improves performance for users in remote areas and meets data locality needs by hosting session hosts on-premises, ensuring access to legacy apps and reducing costs with Windows 10 and 11 Enterprise multi-session.

  • Deployment and Licensing: Azure Stack HCI clusters must run at least version 23H2. Various Windows OS images are supported for session hosts that need proper licensing and activation. Users can connect using standard Remote Desktop clients as they do with Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure.

  • Licensing and Pricing Considerations: Running Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI requires understanding the licensing model and pricing, which includes user access rights, infrastructure costs, and a hybrid service fee for virtual CPU usage post-preview period.

Exploring Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI

Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI presents a significant step forward in virtualization technology, merging the capabilities of cloud computing with on-premises data centers. This innovation allows businesses to serve their users better, ensuring that desktop and application virtualization is available across almost any device while keeping sensitive data and workloads within regional compliance boundaries. Thanks to the technology's flexibility, organizations can now extend their virtual desktop infrastructure beyond the cloud, ensuring enhanced performance and data locality for users worldwide.

The integration of exclusive features like Windows 11 multi-session not only serves to streamline the user experience but also introduces a new level of control and compliance for IT administrators. By leveraging Azure Arc for unified security and administration, businesses can maintain a high security and management standard. The solution also promises to simplify traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment and management challenges, inviting a broader adoption across industries looking to optimize their virtualization strategies in a hybrid cloud environment.

As this technology advances, understanding the technical prerequisites, licensing requirements, and deployment strategies becomes vital for organizations looking to adopt Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI. Beyond the initial setup, the potential for data locality improvements, cost reductions through multi-session capabilities, and enhanced user experiences stands out as key drivers for integrating this solution into an enterprise's digital workspace strategy.

Discover how to operate Azure Virtual Desktop on-premises, providing desktop and app virtualization experiences to various devices, using Azure Stack HCI. This hybrid approach connects local data centers with Azure cloud functionalities through Azure Arc. It allows for a flexible, secure, and regionally compliant virtualization experience.

Enjoy unique features like Windows 11 multi-session that were previously only available on Windows Server. You have complete control over the locations of VM hosts to ensure compliance and achieve ultra-low latency. Additionally, enjoy unified security with Microsoft Entra ID and streamlined management through Azure Arc, enhancing flexibility and control as demonstrated by Azure expert, Matt McSpirit.

Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI is currently previewed for specific regions and integrates seamlessly with existing on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments or Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure for enhanced performance and data locality. However, this service is not Azure Arc-enabled and is recommended for use exclusively within Azure environments, specifically on Azure Stack HCI virtual machines.

By deploying Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, users benefit from improved Azure Virtual Desktop performance in poor connectivity areas, adherence to data locality by keeping data and apps on-premises, and access to the latest Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session for cost-effective user experience enhancements. Deployment and management simplicity compared to traditional VDI solutions is achieved through Azure Portal integration.

Ensure your Azure Stack HCI clusters run at least version 23H2 and are properly registered with Azure. Session hosts need supported 64-bit OS images like Windows 11 or 10 Enterprise multi-session, or Windows Server 2019 or 2022. Licensing is crucial, with Azure VM activation for Windows products and the installation of the Azure Connected Machine agent for session host VMs to ensure Azure communication.

Licensing and pricing for Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI require familiarization with user access rights, infrastructure costs, and the hybrid service fee applicable after the preview period. While you can keep user data on-premises, some data types will still be stored in Azure, requiring an understanding of Azure Virtual Desktop data storage practices.

There are limitations with Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI, including inaccessibility to certain Azure Virtual Desktop features like Insights and Autoscale when running session hosts on Azure Stack HCI. Additionally, mixing session hosts on Azure and Azure Stack HCI within the same host pool is not supported, and hardware types and networking capabilities may affect performance compared to Azure environments.

To embark on deploying Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, detailed guidance is offered on how to set up and manage these deployments efficiently.

Further Insights into Azure Master Class

Azure Master Class offers a pathway for businesses to leverage hybrid cloud solutions effectively, enhancing flexibility, security, and compliance according to localized needs. Not just limited to large organizations, but small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit from the scalability and efficiency of Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI. This underlines a strategic move towards bridging on-premises infrastructure with cloud capabilities, emphasizing the importance of virtualization in today's digital workspace.

The integration of Azure Arc in this setup marks a significant stride towards seamless management and deployment of virtual desktops across various environments. It exemplifies how businesses can maintain precise control over their data while taking advantage of cloud innovation. As companies navigate the challenges of remote work and data sovereignty, Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI emerges as a solution that promises to address these concerns effectively.

Moreover, embracing such Azure solutions enables businesses to remain agile in a rapidly evolving IT landscape. It provides an avenue for deploying the latest operating systems like Windows 11 in a multi-session environment, optimizing resource utilization and enhancing user experiences. The emphasis on simplified management through Azure Portal integration eases the operational burden on IT teams, allowing them to focus on strategic tasks rather than maintenance.

Clearly, the adoption of Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI is more than just about technological advancement; it's about enabling businesses to meet modern challenges head-on. By offering a blend of control, compliance, and cutting-edge features, Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI stands as a testament to Microsoft's commitment to facilitating a more flexible and efficient digital workplace.

Learn how to run Azure Master Class Virtual Desktop on-premises to deliver comprehensive desktop and app virtualization experiences on nearly any device. By utilizing VMs, individuals can benefit from running Azure Master Class Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI. This integration enhances local data centers with Azure cloud workloads through Azure Arc, offering flexible, secure, and regionally compliant virtualization experiences.

Users can access exclusive features like Windows 11 multi-session, which was previously exclusive to Windows Server, allowing for precise VM hosts' location control. This ensures compliance and optimizes for ultra-low latency. The unified security with Microsoft Entra ID and streamlined administration through Azure Arc add to the flexibility and control, as demonstrated by Azure expert, Matt McSpirit.

To get started with Azure Master Class Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, deploy session hosts where necessary, extending Azure Virtual Desktop to on-premises infrastructure. Although it's in preview for Azure Government and Azure China, its benefits include improved performance, data locality, and access to legacy on-premises apps. It provides a simplified VDI deployment and management, better performance through RDP Shortpath, and quick deployment of fully patched images via Azure Marketplace.

  • Improves performance and access in regions with poor Azure public cloud connectivity.
  • Meets data locality requirements by keeping data on-premises.
  • Includes Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session for reduced costs and enhanced user experience.
  • Ensures the best performance with RDP Shortpath for low-latency access.

To deploy, ensure Azure Stack HCI clusters are running version 23H2 or higher and registered with Azure. Compatible 64-bit OS images for session hosts include various Windows Enterprise and Server versions. Licensing, activation, and the installation of the Azure Connected Machine agent are necessary steps for integration.

In terms of licensing and pricing for Azure Master Class Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI, it is crucial to be aware of the user access rights, infrastructure costs, and the hybrid service fee. Data storage allows for on-premises user data while still storing certain types of data in Azure. This service carries limitations including the inability to use certain Azure Virtual Desktop features when session hosts are running on Azure Stack HCI.

Expanding Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Azure

The advancement of Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI signifies a pivotal development for organizations seeking a robust and seamless virtual desktop experience. By enabling a hybrid solution that combines the strengths of on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with the Azure cloud, businesses can now cater to various user needs with greater efficiency and flexibility. This integration not only enhances security and compliance but also opens up new possibilities for managing and delivering virtual desktops in a more streamlined and cost-effective manner. The support for Windows 10 and Windows 11 multi-session adds another layer of efficiency, allowing multiple users to access a single VM, thus making better use of resources and reducing costs. Moreover, the ability to retain data on-premises while utilizing Azure's cloud capabilities presents a balanced approach to managing data locality and accessibility. As Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI continues to evolve, it promises to redefine virtualization experiences, making them more accessible, secure, and compliant with regional regulations. The combination of on-premises control with cloud agility paves the way for future innovations in the virtual desktop space, ensuring organizations can meet the ever-changing demands of their users.

Azure Master Class - Step-by-Step Guide to On-Premise Azure Virtual Desktop

People also ask

How do I run Azure Virtual Desktop?

As a Microsoft expert, one should navigate to the search bar, input "Azure Virtual Desktop" and click on the service that appears. Once on the Azure Virtual Desktop overview page, pressing "Create a host pool" is the next step. Here, you'll need to choose the subscription you plan to use for deploying your host pool, session hosts, workspace, and application group from the options available in the drop-down menu.

How do I access Azure Virtual Desktop from browser?

To access Azure Virtual Desktop via a browser, you'll need to adhere to a series of sign-in steps.

Is Azure Virtual Desktop only for Windows?

Azure Virtual Desktop supports the principle of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), enabling access to your desktop and applications from a variety of platforms over the internet, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and HTML5 clients. This highlights the platform's versatility across different operating systems.

How do I run an Azure virtual machine?

To initiate an Azure virtual machine, you'll commence by connecting to the virtual machine.

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