Cloud computing, which is the on-demand availability of computer resources over the internet, continues to redefine workplace experience. The hybrid working system has surged, especially in the U.S, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. As organizations embrace hybrid working, secure remote access to office applications is imperative. This is where Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) steps in.
As the name suggests, AVD provides a virtual desktop experience. AVD virtualization abilities enable employees to securely access office applications and desktops through any device from any location. Summarily, AVD helps employees to carry their office environment everywhere they go.
AVD provides an on-demand cloud computing service with guaranteed security management. A two-in-one solution that makes the Microsoft product indispensable for organizations. But what other cool features does AVD offer?
Read on to learn more about AVD functionalities and the benefits of hosting virtual desktops and applications on the Azure cloud.
AVD (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) provides desktop and application virtualization capabilities. Virtualization is an autonomic computing function where software is used to create hardware functions on a virtual system. Virtualization capabilities are offered through remote desktop services (RDS), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
Formerly called Terminal Services, RDS is used to host desktop apps on the cloud. Specifically, AVD uses RDS to host Microsoft Windows Server Operating System. Therefore, it allows multiple users to gain remote access to Windows apps and desktops. You can host RDS on-premise or on the Azure cloud.
Unlike RDS, VDI is best suited for Windows Client Operating System, Windows 10. Given this, VDI allows only one user per Operating System (OS). Besides, VDI is flexible— helping users manage desktops through on-premise servers or the cloud.
In contrast, DaaS is a fully managed service that cloud vendors offer. In the DaaS model, the cloud provider (e.g., AVD) helps you to manage your infrastructure. Think of DaaS as a “VDI where your infrastructure is someone else’s responsibility.”. AVD’s DaaS services support Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktop applications.
Microsoft manages AVD while the Azure cloud hosts AVD’s virtualization capabilities (catch the full details of Azure computing services here). AVD provides on-demand virtual machines (VMs), which are used to create an independent OS or application separate from a dedicated computer.
The Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session capability is a major perk of AVD. The capability enables multiple users to use the same VMs, saving you costs on maintaining multiple VMs. The Windows 10 multi-session operates on isolated VMs, providing advanced security and privacy.
Also, AVD supports seamless integration with Microsoft tools (e.g., OneNote and Office 365 apps) and multiple devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android). Besides, AVD supports HTML5 web clients—this means you can use web browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, to virtually access your desktop environment.
For a smooth end-user experience, AVD incorporates FSLogix technology. The technology simplifies Windows computing environments. For instance, you can load Outlook at double speed time thanks to the FSLogix Profile and Office Container solutions. The Container solutions are used to store users' files on separate virtual disks. The capabilities enhance the on-demand availability of Microsoft apps across any device.
Benefits of Using AVD
Azure virtual computing screams flexibility. You have the flexibility to configure your virtual environment based on your information technology (IT) needs. Other benefits of hosting your virtual computers on Azure are listed below:
1. Improved Productivity
AVD hosts files on VMs that make data available at the speed of light. Moreover, AVD is flexible—you can integrate it with multiple OS and devices. Its flexibility helps employees to implement productive workplace policies such as Bring Your Device (BYOD) and hybrid working.
2. Enhanced Security
With AVD, data theft through device intrusion is low because your files are saved on VMs and stored on the Azure cloud. Azure cloud uses built-in security protocols, such as Azure Firewall, Azure Sentinel, and Microsoft Defender ATP, to safeguard your data.
Besides, Azure uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) and role-based access control (RBAC) policies. MFA implements data confidentiality and authorization. Similarly, the Azure RBAC is an authorization policy that manages granular controls over computer resources. With the RBAC policy, you can dictate the extent of control personnel has over every Azure resource.
3. Scalable Virtual Computing
With AVD, you don’t need to install sophisticated IT infrastructure to implement virtual computing capabilities. AVD can help you manage the backend IT infrastructure. Therefore, you can easily scale up or down, depending on your computing needs, without installing the physical hardware platform. This will also help your IT department focus on end-user experience and other software updates.
Traditional desktop virtualization options (e.g., RDS and VDI) are expensive, especially for small and medium businesses. The server infrastructure and IT personnel maintenance expenses cost a tonne. But with Azure on-demand desktop virtualization offerings, you can pay for the specific computing resources you need per time.
For instance, unlike traditional VDI, you can host multiple users on the same Windows 10 VMs through AVD. This helps you save cost on installing and maintaining multiple VMs for your employees. Another cost-saving merit of using AVD is that it supports free integration with most Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise licenses.
Virtual computing has come to stay. According to TechRepublic, over 28% of businesses will adopt cloud containers at the end of 2021. Organizations adopt virtual computing because virtual cloud providers, like AVD, guarantee secure storage, flexibility with multiple devices and apps, and availability of computing resources at minimal costs.
Despite the merits of virtual computing, you still need to conduct regular software updates, configuration, and other routine maintenance. The IT maintenance process is a daunting task, especially for SMBs. This is where you need the expertise of NW Technologies.
At NW Technologies, we provide IT management services. Our IT services include vendor management, IT alignment reviews, vulnerability scanning, and managed backups. Additionally, we’ll ensure your business complies with the relevant cybersecurity standards. The cloud is a safe space; however, it still needs your diligence for maximum security. We’re here to help you enforce cybersecurity diligence. Take a step towards achieving a more secure cybersecurity architecture by booking a session us today.