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The Big Benefits of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

December 2nd, 2020 by admin

A graphic showing all the components of a Cloud Virtual Desktop with Azure

Since Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) entered General Availability in October 2019, it has rapidly gained popularity among enterprises, government, and educational institutions. Beyond the technological advantages that WVD brings to the table, several nuances make it the most cost-effective cloud-based virtual desktop solution. Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) provides organizations access to applications remotely that are running on top of Windows 7- or Windows 10- based client operating systems. With Nerdio for Azure, ICX Managed Services can quickly deliver successful Microsoft Azure cloud services. In fact, we can automatically provision a complete IT environment in just two-hours and manage all your employees in a single pane of glass admin portal in three clicks or less. Let's dig in to learn more about this virtual desktop solution's features and benefits that make it so unique, adaptable, and desirable for busy remote organizations today.

1. Windows 10 Multi-session

A core component of the WVD service is the new Windows 10 EVD, a multi-session desktop-class Windows operating system. This OS is only available in Azure as part of the WVD service and cannot be used on-premises or in another cloud environment. The cost advantage comes from the ability to consolidate many individual users onto a single VM, thereby reducing the cost of cloud infrastructure on a per-user basis to a fraction of what it would be in a one-to-one user-to-VM assignment.

It is certainly possible to use a multi-user operating system in other clouds, but the OS would have to be Windows Server 2016 or 2019.  Because this is a server-class operating system, many cloud VDI implementations opt for Windows 10 Enterprise (single-user OS) to give the users a native desktop experience but are forced to pay for a lot more infrastructure as a result of giving each user an entire VM.

WVD + Windows 10 allows multiple users to use the same desktop virtual machine at the same time. This saves money due to using less Azure infrastructure and provides the user with a familiar desktop experience.

2.Simpler Profile Management with FSLogix

This is a user profile container technology, allowing the user to switch desktop virtual machines without losing access to their own customizations. Now users can use OneDrive and indexed search functionality in virtual desktops; which is not possible with RDS.

3. WVD Management Service

This Azure platform-as-a-service offering takes care of routing users' connection to the proper Azure virtual machine. This sounds simple, but it used to require multiple servers with RDS infrastructure roles. Now, Microsoft handles this for you automatically. As part of WVD service, Microsoft provides all of the "infrastructure RDS roles" as a managed service that's included with the WVD license that comes as part of Microsoft 365 subscription. This includes the connection broker, security gateway, HTML5 client, and other components that must be hosted on dedicated virtual machines when RDS is deployed in other clouds or on-premises. By providing these services at no additional charge and without the need for any dedicated VMs, WVD further reduces the cost of deployment and ongoing management of virtual desktops in Azure.

4. Simplified Licensing

With RDS, you needed a license for the Server operating system, RDS, and Office ProPlus. With WVD, all you need is a subscription to Microsoft 365 or any Windows 10 Enterprise subscription. Most WVD deployments leverage Windows 10 EVD (multi-session) OS instead of a Server-class operating system. Windows 10 EVD is licensed as a subscription that most enterprises already own as part of their existing Microsoft 365 license. Therefore, there is no need to pay anything extra for the RDS license or anything similar since Windows 10 EVD is already included in the subscription. In other clouds, when using multi-session operating systems like Windows Server 2016 and 2019, an RDS license is needed. This adds $6 to $7 per user per month to the cost of the deployment.

5. No Third-Party Presentation Layer Needed

Other cloud providers and virtual desktop hosting services leverage presentation layer technology from vendors such as Citrix, VMware, Teradici , and others. These vendors' technology provides value and improvements to the end-user experience but adds significant cost on top of the cloud infrastructure. With WVD, Microsoft has refined the RDP protocol and made it perfectly suited for the vast majority of deployment scenarios. When using native WVD with the native RDP protocol, there is no additional "presentation layer tax" that needs to be paid to third-party vendors.

6. Cost of IaaS in Azure

Azure provides the most affordable and highest performance infrastructure for virtual machine workloads, which is what the host WVD is based on. Azure Hybrid Benefit reduces the cost by up to 40% when the OS license is provided separately and not rented through the Azure VM. This is exactly how WVD works; the OS license (Windows 10 EVD) comes as part of Microsoft 365 subscription, and this allows Azure VMs to be used without paying for the OS through Azure, resulting in significant savings. On other cloud platforms, you still pay for the Server OS on the VMs (e.g., Server 2016/2019) even when you own the license under a different licensing program.

7. Windows Virtual Desktop & Nerdio for Azure

Windows Virtual Desktop offers more power and less complexity than Remote Desktop Services! As promised, Nerdio for Azure allows you to get started with WVD in just 60 seconds and deploy a complete desktop within a few hours.

8. Existing Azure Footprint

Many organizations already have a footprint in the Microsoft cloud -- whether that's Office 365, Azure AD, Express Route, or one of the many other Azure services. This means that the hurdle of deploying a hosted VDI environment in Azure is much lower than doing so on another cloud or with a hosted desktop provider. The existing Azure footprint can be utilized to deploy the WVD environment quicker and support it in the same environment as other IT resources. This reduces the time to deployment and engineering costs involved in the process.

9. Cloud-Native Management Tools

Windows Virtual Desktop was created as a cloud-first (really cloud ONLY) technology and built from the ground up to be an Azure-native technology. Alongside WVD, management tools like Nerdio Manager for WVD, were created to simplify and speed up the process of deploying, managing, and auto-scaling Windows Virtual Desktops. A fully functional environment can be stood up with Nerdio Manager for WVD in just two hours, much faster and simpler than any other cloud desktop solution.   Ready to take the next step to explore a virtual desktop solution for your organization? Request a consultation today!

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