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The number of remote workers has increased significantly in the past decade. The capabilities that a virtual desktop allows has been a driving factor. A virtual desktop lets a worker use their hardware or even another employee’s hardware as long as it’s utilizing the same operating system. Each user’s experience is unique because of their login credentials. Their entire experience is managed by an administrator, permitting them to access certain apps and data points from anywhere. Applying the capabilities of Nerdio for Azure is a great way to get your Windows Virtual Desktop up and running.


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The History of Virtual Desktop

Windows Virtual Desktop from Microsoft spans twenty years, getting its start in the late 90s with the Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server. On the cusp of the 21st century, the remote desktop protocol (RDP) was improved, giving customers bitmap caching and API capabilities. Then, in the early 2000s, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 launched with the capacity to support single- and multi-user sessions. But these terminal server-based desktop sessions didn’t grow in popularity until late 2003 into 2007.

Fast forward to 2010, Virtual Desktop Access (VCA) replaced the old Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop licenses it used to stream OS systems. Just like with those licenses, each user needed dedicated hardware and could only buy licenses through Microsoft, not service providers. So this still set limitations for users.

In 2016, Microsoft launched Windows 10 Enterprise subscriptions through CSP, or customer service providers. That finally opened the door to let service providers purchase licenses and resell them to their customers! In 2017, at the Inspire conference, Microsoft launched the new and improved Remote Desktop Modern Infrastructure (RDmi), giving service providers the ability to deliver virtual desktops from a multi-tenant control plane. And then boom! RDmi evolved into the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) solution. WVD is the Azure-hosted, Microsoft-managed control plane that replaced all RDS infrastructure.


Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) versus Remote Desktop (RDS)

When we take an in-depth look at the capabilities of each Azure-based, Platform as a Service (PaaS) desktop solution, we see that they share a few similarities. They’re both GPU desktop solutions that support 32-bit apps, and both, as well as Hybrid Azure users, utilize the reserved instances feature.

Customers vetting out these two solutions can find a lot of variation in capabilities. If cost is a deciding factor for your company, RDS is a bit more expensive when comparing operating system costs: $7 per user per month for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop licenses, which includes the cost of the control plan. It costs $5-7 per user per month, with another charge of $2.50 per user per 100s of licenses for the RDS solution.

Another deciding factor could be how the data will be managed. RDS leaves the responsibility with the CSP provider and customer, while WVD gives the responsibility to Microsoft. If having collaborative tools is essential for your company, know that the VDI/RDS solution currently offers Microsoft Teams, while the WVD solution does not have that capability yet. But it’s important to note, again, that WVD can deploy using Nerdio for Azure.


How Nerdio powers your Windows Virtual Desktop environment

Nerdio allows you to get started with WVD in just 60 seconds and launches a complete desktop within 24 hours. But to do this quick deployment, there are five prerequisites. Each user must have a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise, Azure Active Directory, Active Directory Domain Service, an Azure subscription, and File Server. If each piece is not in place, the deployment may stall or you may be unable to complete it for the user. The Windows 10 Enterprise license gives companies the option to choose from E3, E5, A3, A5, or Business licenses via Microsoft 365, or through a CSP provider.

Azure Active Directory (AAD) is Microsoft’s cloud application that stores identities and manages system privileges for users. But AAD cannot act on its own. Along with the Active Directory solution, the Azure Directory Domain Service helps the user profiles sync with one another. The Azure subscription gives a place to create and run the WVD session and hosts virtual machines that serve as a Windows 10 operating system desktop for your users.

FSLogix makes it possible to create user profile “file servers” so their cache follows them no matter the desktop they use. So with all five pieces working in tandem, Nerdio can deploy your WVD solution in little to no time!


Why choose Nerdio over the Competition?

Are you still not sold on using Nerdio for Azure? Okay, maybe after checking out these awesome benefits, you’ll be swayed. As stated earlier, Microsoft has been honing its virtual desktop management solution for TWO decades! So you can have faith that their solution works and continues to be patched for updates and upgrades as they become GA. As long as your subscriptions are up-to-date, you won’t have to think twice about doing the upgrade yourself.

Which brings up the next benefit: Nerdio doesn’t lock customers into a 1-year or multi-year contract. They earn your business month-to-month through automation, simplification, and exceptional support. All businesses should have a disaster recovery plan. Nerdio won’t stand in the way of that. Nerdio stays out of the critical path, so if their system is down, your workload will still be accessible. That’s so important!

And finally, another benefit to choosing Nerdio for Azure over its competitors is that it has a native approach or its native code to work with Azure and the Microsoft stack. It doesn’t embed a bunch of third-party software unnecessarily. It’s focused on your Azure journey. You can see that when you review where Nerdio fits into the journey: it’s there as a pricing tool, deployment tool, and extender right after you’ve migrated to Azure. Then, if you gain access to Azure Site Recovery, it’s there helping you optimize on costs by auto-scaling VMs and managing your overall Azure environment before you get invoiced.


Make sure to ask a Sherweb representative how they can help you get access to Nerdio and gain a unified Azure environment for your virtual desktop solution.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb