Lauren Rutter - 08.09.2021

What is Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)?

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Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a desktop virtualisation service powered by Microsoft Azure. It provides a secure remote network for a multi-session experience deployed anywhere and on any device. The seamless integration with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams fosters productivity with the fluidity and convenience of accessing AVD from any device with internet capability. It functions entirely from the cloud while enabling full feature native support for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform which can replace or supplement on-site servers. AVD operates entirely through Azure; it is fast and reliable as it can support any OS whilst simplifying IT infrastructure. It provides businesses with the tools to seamlessly scale virtualisation requirements whilst deploying end to end security through a cost-effective subscription model. AVD is a valuable tool to manage employees working from home and provides companies with the tools to change their BAU model to align with the current pandemic.

FLEXIBILTY

Use AVD to create an adaptive response to the unexpected. By leveraging the capabilities of Azure, AVD allows teams to work through unprecedented outages and downtime because of planned upgrades. Shifting to a cloud-based infrastructure simplifies operations for staff and end-users. It promotes workforce synergy as employees can work with the same resources on different devices across multiple locations. With a cloud-based workforce, it eliminates the common errors with hardware and local networks; all data can be accessed and edited solely through the cloud.

AVD supports persistent and non-persistent states, optimising workflow and allowing users to customise their experience to match work styles. The persistent state will enable users to own their desktops and maintain continuity, as their customisations are saved for the next time they log in. Alternatively, AVD’s can be established as non-persistent; this essentially erases any settings at the session’s closure. This can increase security, is easily managed and utilises less storage space. In each case, AVD offers users the tools to customise the experience and use AVD to suit any dynamic or need. 

AVD offers multiple experiences to suit the needs of any company to complete tasks productively. It allows users to connect seamlessly through Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session to collaborate on projects whilst supporting modern apps such as OneNote. The cloud-based technology allows files and information to be cached for faster load times by utilising the high-speed network infrastructure made possible by Azure. This aids in time management and will enable users to call upon apps and files at will.

REMOTE WORKING AND HOW IT RELATES TO COSTS

Cost savings can be achieved through the emerging partnership of remote working and AVD. Hosting on Azure significantly reduces the setup needed, mainly in the form of physical servers and the locations to house them in. Also, with employees working from spaces other than the typical office building, the amount of on-site space needed is less.

Savings on labour come under this as there will be a reduction in the need for many full-time employees to maintain this setup, including help desk support staff. As desktops are being created virtually in the latest versions, there are no issues with installation. As working from home becomes the new norm and employees can bring their device (BYOD), budgets can also be reduced for this spend.

COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY

AVD enables central management security. It eliminates the risk of confidential files left on a personal device becoming compromised. Through Azure, companies can secure confidential files by leveraging the cloud-based infrastructure by creating end to end encryption. Azure has been designed to streamline security to ease workforce planning by deploying self-managed processes to ensure employees can attend to other needs as required.

As opposed to desktops, Azure can use conditional access to ensure employees only have access to information necessary to their role. Implementing Role Based Access Control (RBAC) minimises risk and ensures each team member is accountable for the information they have access to. Azure also features built-in controls to manage identity, data, networking and apps. An added feature to maintain compliance obligations is the ability to reverse connect, effectively utilising a private IP address which can function isolated from other workloads and the internet. This uses a reverse proxy to ensure all access is managed within the dashboard of Azure, providing an easy and simplified way to manage data access. 

AVD

AVD requires just three things to get underway quickly and easily: Microsoft 365 or Windows 10 Enterprise licensing, a Microsoft Azure subscription and your on-premises Active Directory identity extended into Azure AD. From an employee’s perspective, their AVD is the same as a traditional PC setup on their desk. From the company’s perspective, the cost of purchasing, setting up, deploying, and securing physical hardware can be saved by enabling Microsoft and Azure to handle those specifics in the cloud. As working from home and BYOD become the new norm, Windows Virtual Desktop will provide a familiar and efficient user experience while maintaining high levels of security and cost savings for your company.

Deploy a flexible and reliable virtual desktop environment with our proven methodology.

Learn more in this blog – Modern Virtual.

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