A lot of companies offer free support while you evaluate their software. The idea behind this is simple. If you don’t know how the product works, how to implement or configure it etc, there is a good chance you’ll eventually quit because it might seem overly complex, and you can’t get it to work (properly). This, while in fact it’s you doing it wrong, not reading the FAQ’s, being impatient (sounds familiar?), and so on. By providing (free) support companies hope to prevent this from happening and to get you to purchase the product, or at least to evaluate further.
The WVD is still in preview. If you want to give it a spin, and lots of people do, consider some the following bullets – see list below. This way you’ll (hopefully) know beforehand what will work, what not, things to consider, prepare, etc. so you won’t drop out while you’re in the middle of getting things up and running. Also, Microsoft has done a good job in providing various articles and documentation explaining in detail what is needed to get started with WVD. For example, below you’ll find the Windows Virtual Desktop Preview Documentation page. There’s noting you need to know, which isn’t on there.
- The Windows Virtual Desktop Preview Documentation page: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-desktop/
- Pieter Wigleven also wrote an extensive step by step guide, you’ll find it here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-IT-Pro-Blog/Getting-started-with-Windows-Virtual-Desktop/ba-p/391054
Good to knows
Which brings me to a couple of ‘good to knows’. Primarily meant to give you a heads up. Some of the following bullets can and probably will change over time. When that will be, I don’t know. But we’ll all find out soon enough is my guess.
- During the preview phase all resources need to be located in the same Azure region. In fact, the only region available is East US 2 (and Central US? Not sure). Of course, once WVD comes out of preview the WVD management plane will become available in multiple Azure regions world-wide. Which ones exactly, I don’t know. However, I’ve heard that West Europe will be among the first to follow. Anyway, keep this in mind while testing. If you’re conducting tests from Europe, for example, your VM’s will reside in the U.S. meaning there will be quite some ground to cover, literally. Test to find out what is needed, how it works form a technical perspective, and so on, but base your final judgement on tests run on WVD available within your own region, or at least nearby.
- It has been stated that Skype for Business is officially not supported on WVD. If that applies to the preview only or GA as well hasn’t been clarified.
- The same applies to Microsoft Teams as well.
- You’ll need to perform a OneDrive per machine installation when using Win10 multi-session.
- At first WVD will probably lack certain Enterprise features, during preview as well as when it becomes available world-wide. This is where the partners come into play. Also, like with any new product, there’s a road map planned. It will be interesting to see how WVD will evolve going forward. Since it’s Cloud native, I’m expecting it to ‘evolve’ rather quickly.
- Even though Microsoft is doing a good job on providing documentation and step by step guidance, WVD is not a click and go product, or not yet anyway. With this I mean, you need to have some understanding of Azure networking, for example, be comfortable with PowerShell, identity/Active Directory, image management and those types on things. Talk to your technology partners, they can and will help you out for sure.
- As far as I know, currently there’s no Linux RDP client capable of connecting up to WVD. Meaning, it’s HTML 5 based browsers all the way.
- There’s talk of a new WVD GUI management section, within the Azure portal that is being worked on. No time lines as of yet. Everything that’s currently possible with the API’s and/or PowerShell from a management perspective will be made available in the WVD GUI management interface as well. I saw a short demo while I was at Ignite on Tour in Amsterdam, looks promising.
- The Fslogix bits and bytes aren’t publicly available just yet. For now they’re still a separate download and will not be made part of Win10. You can contact Fslogix by going to: http://info.fslogix.com/request-an-evaluation explain what is going on and ask for licenses.
- To be clear, you don’t need SA (Software Assurance) to be able to use the Fslogix software. You do need SA to run server OS based WVD’s in Azure.
- The VM’s/hosts provisioned through WVD can only be hosted in Azure. I mentioned this before. This will also be the case when WVD goes live. No on-premises VM’s, no VM’s on other Clouds, etc. Microsoft is always looking for feedback, and as we’ve seen throughout the last couple of months, they do listen. So, let them know what you need, if we keep quite nothing will happen, that’s for sure.
- Azure AD is not fully supported (yet). For now you’ll need to sync with an existing on-premises AD. Windows Server Active Directory is required (either via Azure AD Connect, Azure AD Domain Services, or by building up your own AD/Domain on separate Azure VM’s).
- Not all options/features listed by MS regarding WVD might be directly available. This applies to the preview as well as after. This could differ per region – keep that in mind.
- When using WVD Win10 multi-session the hosts themselves can be used outside of WVD, on Citrix Cloud, for example – as long as they stay on Azure. There is an extensive getting started paper available. It applies to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service combined with the Windows Virtual Desktop. Once configured, you’ll leverage the Citrix Cloud platform instead of WVD for ongoing management.
- The above applies to other CSP’s as well, of course.
- Personal branding (own URL, website, look and feel), isn’t possible today. This might change soon.
- Reverse connect (a technology used to make sure no inbound ports are needed to your WVD hosts) does not support UPD at this time.
- Be aware that Win10 multi-session will have a bit more overhead than its bigger (server) brother. Meaning, you’ll approximately lose between 10 to 20% on user capacity. This will always come down to the types of apps used, amount of users, what they do, available resources, sizing… Nothing new, basically.
- When dealing with Win10 (multi user), if an app doesn’t work, have a look at Desktop App Assure part of Microsoft Fasttrack: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/fasttrack/microsoft-365/desktop-app-assure
That’s it for now, happy testing and until next time.