What You Need to Know About Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop

Soon reality: Windows Virtual Desktop

The modern desktop shake-up is on its way.

The cloud continues to have an ever-greater impact on businesses, giving them the chance to overhaul outdated architectures. Microsoft too is following this approach with its new Windows Virtual Desktop – a multiuser Windows 10 experience based on the cloud-native Remote Desktop modern infrastructure. This takes the Remote Desktop Session Host roles that ran on Windows Server, such as Remote Desktop Web, Remote Desktop Gateway and Remote Desktop Broker, and replaces them with Azure Web App services that perform the same functions.

This approach also uses virtual networks to separate workloads, Azure IaaS for hosting workload virtual machines as well as Azure Active Directory for multifactor authentication. All in all, this makes the remote desktop platform far more suitable to multi-tenant environments as well as it being also more flexible as a business evolves.

At this year’s Ignite, Microsoft announced its Windows Virtual Desktop with support for Azure-based remote desktop workloads. The WVD management console integrates with other Microsoft cloud services or can be managed via APIs. Customers must pay to run their workload VMs but use of the control console will be free for many Microsoft customers.

Windows 10 offers a base for the new multiuser experience. It’s rumored though that Microsoft may want to withdraw the Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role in Windows Server as the RDSH roles were briefly absent from early previews of Server 2019.

The multiuser Windows 10 variant supports all Windows 10 aspects as it’s based on an extended client version of Windows 10. So, you can look forward to all the features not available on RDSH on Server 2019 as well as twice-yearly updates and an optimized desktop search. And importantly, all these features are only available from Microsoft. Workloads managed by Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop run only in in Azure, and the Windows 10 multiuser experience is only available in Windows Virtual Desktop.

Jack Madden has taken a look over at TechTarget on how this will impact service providers as well as end customers. He predicts that Microsoft sees this as their major chance to push Azure and may well be the biggest shake up the virtualization market has ever seen.

If you are looking to learn more about the Windows Virtual Desktop, and especially how printing will be changing, you can contact us at info@thinprint.com to get the latest updates. And keep an eye out for our upcoming webinars too. Take a look too at Henning Volkmer´s report from Microsoft Ignite 2018.

DECEMBER 11, 2018 UPDATE:

So where are we now at the end of 2018 when it comes to WVD? The Windows Virtual Desktop beta is due very soon – hopefully by January at the latest, but general availability won’t be seen for a while yet.

One of the main questions at the moment is just how successful will Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktops be when compared to previous efforts? In general, the reception towards WVD has been somewhat mixed, mainly because so much remains unknown. Those that have been looking closely at it though believe that it’s going to be a significant game changer – this includes CloudJumper, Liquidware and here at ThinPrint too, that is our impression.

At Ignite, Microsoft was spreading the word about desktop virtualization more than ever before – and this is continuing with the Ignite Tour across the globe over the coming months. So, what could be the next steps Microsoft takes to fuel adoption? One scenario described by Jack Madden would be that Microsoft could decide to let WVD manage workloads in other clouds and on premises. Or even that they would allow wider usage of multi-user Windows 10.

He comes to the conclusion though that whatever will lead to the greatest growth of Azure will be the course chosen. One thing that is clear is that with Microsoft choosing ThinPrint as a WVD partner, customers will have the option to utilise this integration to enable easy print management as and when they require it.

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