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When Microsoft came out with its Azure-based Windows Virtual Desktop in 2019, the business world was ready. More and more employees are on the move during their work day, and a Forrester survey found that an average of 2.3 mobile devices are used by employees every day to accomplish work-related tasks. A whopping 74% of those surveyed use two or more devices a day, and 52% use three or more.

With this much mobility in the workplace, coupled with the increasing number of employees who work remotely (particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak), the need to access workplace desktops from anywhere easily and seamlessly has become a priority that MSPs are taking seriously. Fortunately, Windows Virtual Desktop is designed to ensure that MSPs’ clients can access the tools they need to work wherever they need to.

With this in mind, there are some common FAQs that managed service providers (MSPs) and businesses have about Windows Virtual Desktop and how it works. We compiled them here so you can find the answers you need.

What is Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)?

Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service that runs on the cloud, which means it’s accessible from any device connected to the internet. It’s the only service that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimization for Microsoft 365, and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.

There are a number of benefits WVD can offer MSPs and their clients. The first of these is significant cost savings. You can enjoy multi-session Windows 10 from anywhere, making the deployment of the operating system (OS) more affordable. WVD also allows for the seamless virtualization of all your existing Remote Desktop Services (RDS), desktops and apps, as well as any new apps you require to do your job better.

These benefits are just the beginning! WVD is also the best service to virtualize Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, providing the ability to run it in mult-iuser virtual scenarios. It’s also the only service to provide Windows 7 virtual desktop, which includes free Extended Security Updates (ESU) that provide you with more options to support legacy apps while you transition to Windows 10. Best of all, with WVD you can manage Windows 10, Windows Server, and Windows 7 desktops and apps all via a unified management experience on Azure.

What’s the new Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session?

For many years, hosted desktops made it possible for multiple users to share a virtual machine, making the deployment of the Windows OS more affordable and efficient for businesses. WVD has taken that a step further, making it possible to access the Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, exclusively available for Azure.

This allows full access to a Windows 10 experience that includes Microsoft 365 support, Microsoft Edge, Cortana, a full user search index and access to the Microsoft store, all while taking advantage of the cost efficiency that comes with shared computer resources that were previously only available with server-based virtualization.

What OSs are supported by Windows Virtual Desktop?

Windows Virtual Desktop offers a high level of flexibility when it comes to supported OSs, which include:

  • Windows Virtual Desktop Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session
  • Windows 10 single session
  • Windows 7 single session
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019

With this range of supported OSs, it is easy for businesses that haven’t yet upgraded to a newer OS to take full advantage of everything WVD has to offer.

How does Windows Virtual Desktop reduce costs?

Windows Virtual Desktop is increasingly cost-efficient for providers and, by extension, their clients. It reduces customer costs by minimizing the need for infrastructure, licensing and labor. In other words, you get the same functionality and efficiency without the need for as much infrastructure and on-site IT staff, with fewer licenses to boot.

The WVD service represents a replacement for complex management requirements of RDS/VDI solutions. It’s free to use with many existing licenses, and you no longer have to pay for RDS client access licenses (CALs). In addition, when you shift from IaaS to PaaS, you remove the need to manage core services like broker/gateway/web access. This ultimately reduces management overhead.

Is Windows Virtual Desktop easy to use?

In short: yes! It takes just a few minutes to deploy WVD so that you can subsequently deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps in the cloud. This includes both legacy and modern desktops and apps. Once deployment is complete, you’ll have access to unified management of the virtual desktop via the Azure portal.

Is Windows Virtual Desktop secure?

Windows Virtual Desktop comes with built-in security and compliance features. This includes security functions such as Reverse Connect, which ultimately minimizes the risk of remote desktops being accessible from any device in any location. In addition, the virtual desktop is run under the Azure umbrella, which means you have the full security capabilities of the Azure infrastructure working in your favor. The following abilities are also included:

  • Require multi-factor authentication
  • Enable conditional access
  • Access audit logs to view admin and user activity
  • Use RemoteApps to limit access to the remote machine
  • Monitor security with Azure Monitor

What’s required to run Windows Virtual Desktop?

This might be the best part—all you need to run WVD is an Azure tenant and the right subscription to provide you with enough resource creation permissions. Once you have that, you can take full advantage of everything Windows Virtual Desktop has to offer.

Want to learn more? Sherweb has a complete Windows Virtual Desktop tookit to help MSPs start conversations about Remote Desktop Services with clients and easily manage WVD using Nerdio, an automation platform for Microsoft Azure. Take a look and find new ways to both better serve your clients and grow your cloud business!

WVD toolkit

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb

As a value-added cloud solutions provider, Sherweb is dedicated to providing more for its partners, direct customers and extended network. The Sherweb Blog is just one example of how we make this happen, and our team members frequently collaborate on content to ensure it's as beneficial as possible for our readers. If you like what you see here, we strongly encourage you to subscribe!