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At Ignite 2018, Microsoft announced the arrival of Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), which claimed to offer the best virtual Windows and Office experience. Fast-forward 12 months and Microsoft’s long-awaited AVD service has reached general availability.
Of course, many businesses already use a virtual desktop solution to address specific needs such as compliance or flexible working. So, what makes AVD different?
The traditional virtual desktop setup can be costly and brings its own set of challenges. They are complex and resource intensive, requiring the installation, configuration and management of infrastructure including connection brokers, gateways and web access.
AVD takes this complexity and expense away. Delivered on Azure, the infrastructure is part of the service and therefore managed for you by Microsoft — meaning that you can deploy and scale virtual desktops easily.
AVD is the only service that allows a multi-user Windows 10 experience. This enables you to publish apps and desktops while also permitting multiple users to log into the same instance, sharing the underlying resources and the overall costs.
AVD has Microsoft risk-based identity and access management built in. Deep integration with M365 provides an intelligent, secure environment for protecting and managing your corporate data and apps.
With AVD, you only pay for the Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Storage consumed by your users as they use the service. You simply select the deployment options to match your needs. In addition, licensing AVD is straightforward and you may already have it. Windows E3/5 and most M365 SKUs include access to use the service.
A further benefit is that AVD can be used to virtualise your Windows 7 desktops with free extended security updates until January 2023. With extended support for Windows 7 ending soon, this will provide organisations constrained by legacy app compatibility with crucial additional time as they transition to Windows 10.
Acknowledging that varying capabilities are needed to support a diverse range of business needs, Microsoft has built AVD as a platform that can be easily extended and enhanced by partners such as Citrix and VMware. This will enable Citrix and VMware users to get the most out of their existing investments while benefitting from the advantages of AVD.
Microsoft is committed to delivering the best possible virtual experience, and AVD’s next-generation service effectively combats the challenges of the traditional virtual desktop. Businesses adopting AVD will benefit from easier management, lower costs and inherent security features, combined with the flexibility to meet future business needs. And users benefit from a modern, 365-optimised and highly productive desktop experience.
At Bistech, we engaged with our customers while the service was in its infancy, partnering with them to demonstrate the business benefits. We have a wealth of knowledge in delivering AVD-based solutions that enable secure, flexible and remote working capabilities — even for the highest compute- and GPU-intensive users. Call us today to find out more — 03330 11 22 55.