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Azure Virtual Desktop - Windows Multi-Session

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) with Windows 10/11 Enterprise Multi-Session is a cost-effective cloud-based alternative to on-prem Remote Desktop Server (RDS).

Updated on: 2022-11-21

Azure Virtual Desktop, Azure VM

Azure Virtual Desktop | Windows 10/11 Multi-Session

What is Azure Virtual Desktop

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) comes with Windows 10/11 enterprise multisession capabilities. AVD was known as Windows Virtual Desktops (WVD) until July 2021, launched in September 2019, and is the evolution of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

Azure Virtual Desktop is deployed in Azure Cloud as a virtual machine (VM). AzureAD is natively supported, so users can log in as usual with the same credentials as for Office 365. Office 365 apps are also installed by default.

License costs are already included in several Microsoft 365 subscriptions, including Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

The number of users connecting to AVD at the same time is not limited by the license. E.g. on a VM (see picture) with 8x CPU, 32GB RAM and a 128GB system hard disk approx. 10-25 users can work simultaneously.

AVD function description and advantages

AVD is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud product, available exclusively at Azure. Integration with AzureAD is provided. It is an Azure VM with usually a bit more resources than e.g. a Windows 2019 Server.

Users who are used to work on RDS servers will be able to get around here just as well. Sometimes only the RDP-Icon has to be edited. Users can access the usual applications, including Office 365 apps, as well as OneDrive and SharePoint via Windows Explorer.

Microsoft Edge/Google Chrome browsers are available for users to quickly download large downloads, for example. However, for everyday browsing, it is better to use local browsers. The same applies to the Teams app, which is better used locally. However, the use of chat and collaboration features can be allowed.

Compared to Onprem RDS server there are the following advantages:
  • Low license costs since RDS CALs are not required, Windows license is included
  • Better flexibility so employees can connect from anywhere
  • Better compatibility with apps that cannot run on server versions, since it is Windows 10/11
  • Easier scalability, several VMs can be combined, e.g. Mon-Fri 3 VMs, on weekends only one VM
  • VPN is not a required, since MFA is available

Azure Virtual Desktop - cost

Azure Virtual Desktop usage rights are included in subscriptions of Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 E3/E5.
If you already have one of these licenses, there is no additional cost for using AVD.

To use AVD it is also possible to combine Office 365 E1 and Windows 10/11 E3 to significantly reduce licensing costs.

Note that Microsoft 365 Business Premium is only available for companies with up to 300 employees, and that Office 365 E1 only includes Office 365 web apps.

The license costs are already included in Azure VM, there are only VM costs that depend on the resources used. For orientation the following example.
Microsoft Azure VM in Frankfurt:
CPU 8x Intel Xeon E5-2673, RAM 32 GB, System Harddisk 128 GB, for ca. max. 25 Users for 304 EUR, with 1 year reservation only ca. 170 EUR

The VM Resources (VM-Sizing) can be increased or decreased as needed.

With the Azure price calculator you can determine the approximate cost yourself, select 'Virtual Machines' and region 'Germany West Central'.

Azure Virtual Desktop - test options

To determine if AVD is suitable for your company, we can prepare a proper environment for you.

You will receive the following for a nominal fixed cost:
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 E5 with 20 users
  • Azure Virtual Desktop with Windows 10 (or Windows 11) Enterprise multi session
  • Administration rights to make the needed changes and apps installation
  • Support so that you can adopt customer-specific configurations for productive operation
  • Evaluation duration 30 to 90 days

If needed, please contact us or schedule a Teams-Meeting (see link below).

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