In this post, I would like to share a quick review and setup guide of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) on Azure.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop?
Microsoft announced the Windows Virtual Desktop’s General Availability (GA) in September 2019 which allow customers to deploy and scale virtual Windows desktops and apps on Azure. We can deploy the multi-session Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 / 2019. Or, we can use our own Window 7 custom images with 3-years extended support on Azure.
Microsoft offers similar virtual desktop solutions back to release of Microsoft Windows Server 2012. Most of the customers deployed the remote desktop solution locally at that time. And to the year 2020, with the aid of cloud computing, no matter of both infrastructure/deployment methods, there is a huge change when we are comparing the traditional one.
To cloud-based WVD, Microsoft has revamped the whole infrastructure roles by leveraging different Azure PAAS Service. [for example, Azure SQL Server for RD Connection broker, traffic manager for RD Web, etc]. And thanks to Azure PAAS service, they made the whole solution becoming more economical, reliable and easy to deploy.
Let us go through some basic prerequisites to setup the WVD on Azure first.
– Microsoft 365 E3 / E5 Licenses
– Active Microsoft Azure Subscription
– User accounts – Nominate WVD Tenant Creator and some test host pool users
– Directory Service – You can leverage or select, Azure AD, Place a DC VM on Azure, Azure AD Domain Service, on-premise DC with Site-To-Site (S2S) VPN Connection
to Azure. The Azure VM for WVD can be AD-joined or hybrid AD-joined (BUT NOT AZURE AD-joined)
For the testing purpose, I have simply created a DC virtual machine on Azure and pointed the DNS of the Azure Network to this DC. Also, I have setup the Microsoft Azure AD Connect with Password Hash Sync to synchronize all local AD users to Azure AD.
** Please kindly remind that, the WVD MUST be able to connect to DC server for the setup too. **
First, let us download and install Windows Virtual Desktop PowerShell module on any computers.
Launch PowerShell as administrator and run
Install-Module -Name Microsoft.RDInfra.RDPowerShell
Then import the module:
Import-Module -Name Microsoft.RDInfra.RDPowerShell
After the required PowerShell module has been installed successfully, let us move to Azure portal and a continue the setup of Windows Virtual Desktop Service.
When we come back to Azure portal, the first thing that we need to do is to copy the tenant ID. This is used to allow Windows Virtual Desktop Service to access the Azure AD tenant in the next step. You can search a keyword called “Azure Active Directory” on Azure portal and you can access the following page to copy the tenant ID.
Now, navigate to https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com (this is Windows Virtual Desktop services). Add your tenant ID, select Consent Option as Server App and click submit.
Click Accept and grant the permission
The permission is granted successfully when you see the page below:
Navigate to https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com again. Add your tenant ID, Select Consent Option as Client App this time and click submit.
Click Accept and grant the permission again
The permission has been successfully granted once again when you see the page below:
To the next step, we need to grant a user with the appropriate right (TenantCreator Role) to create a Windows Virtual Desktop tenant.
Navigate to Azure Active Directory and select Enterprise Applications
Under Enterprise Applications, Select Windows Virtual Desktop
Under Windows Virtual Desktop, Select Users and groups
Select the desired user who should come with “TenantCreator” role and click Assign
After we have assigned a user with TenantCreator role, we can start creating the Windows Virtual Desktop Tenant. Sign into Windows Virtual Desktop by using the user account with TenantCreater role by running the following PowerShell Command
Add-RdsAccount -DeploymentUrl https://rdbroker.wvd.microsoft.com
Create a new Windows Virtual Desktop tenant associated with the Azure Active Directory tenant by using the following PowerShell Commands
New-RdsTenant -Name <TenantName> -AadTenantId <DirectoryID> -AzureSubscriptionId <SubscriptionID>
<Tenant name> can be any names that you would like to have. In my testing environment, I would like to call the VDI tenant as “Superhubvdidemo”. So, the whole PowerShell command will be “New-RdsTenant -Name superhubvdidemo -AadTenantId cb910523-580e-4af0-b2ba-c242ad3a9a16 -AzureSubscriptionId 7b07fcb7-8d08-4c64-b366-f12f2e2ab2ca”
The Windows Virtual Desktop tenant has been created successfully.
After we have created the Windows Virtual Desktop tenant via PowerShell commands, let us deploy the host pool of virtual desktops on Microsoft Azure.
Let us go back to Azure Portal, browse to “MarketPlace” and Search for “Windows Virtual Desktop”
Click Create under the Windows Virtual Desktop – Provision a host pool Wizard
Under the project details wizard, select the appropriate Azure license and configuration options.
– As I have created a resource group called superhubvdidemo and place the Azure DC VM there. So, I will reuse the same resource group for the WVD machines.
– Desktop Type – Pooled is for “Session-Host” experience and this is the option that I have selected. If you want to delete WVD for one / specific user (for example, boss or
senior management staffs), you should go for personal instead.
– Default desktop users – Input any users that you would like to allow the access to WVD. Also, please kindly be reminded that, you have to input the user who comes with
TenantCreator role too. It will not be added automatically.
To the following configuration, you can start configuring the right VM size and numbers of VM(s) on your WVD pool. You should decide the sizing base on the total number of users and the corresponding workloads on Azure.
To the next configuration, I have configured the following settings.
If you have your own customized image, you can also upload the VHD to Azure first and then, select blob storage for using the uploaded image to create the WVD.
And finally, we can configure the Windows Virtual Desktop tenant information.
Regarding on the Windows Virtual Desktop tenant name, as I have already configured it via PowerShell before, so I will keep the same tenant name.
And to the Windows Virtual Desktop Tenant RDS Owner, it should be the user who comes with TenantCreator role.
Review all the settings once again. If everything is OKAY, click create and the WVD will be deployed on Azure automatically.
Viola! The Azure WVD deployed successfully.
The WVD has joined to the local domain successfully.
Let us try out the Azure WVD.
There are two ways to connect to the Azure WVD and the first one is via the Remote Desktop Client. And you can download the client from http://aka.ms/wvd/clients/windows
Let us install the Remote Desktop Client quickly and connect to the Azure WVD.
The installation is very simple (Simply next, next and next). And let us try to connect to Azure WVD via the client now.
Let us login the Azure WVD by providing the login ID and password.
After we have logined successfully, the corresponding user will find the Azure WVD pool.
Let us double click and login the Azure WVD successfully.
We can also access the Azure WVD by web access. Let us browse to https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html and review the results too.
A similar Azure WVD pool has been shown (similar to Remote Desktop Client)
The Azure WVD is displaying via browsers!