What is Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)? Microsoft’s modern remote desktop solution

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Blog, Business Transformation, Digital Technology

In a world where technology is driving innovation and efficiency, Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is breaking barriers and setting new standards.

While its implications for remote work are significant, AVD’s benefits extend far beyond facilitating telecommuting.

In this article, we will explore the multifaceted advantages of Azure Virtual Desktop, delving into areas like security, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and integration.

1. A mature offering

Azure Virtual Desktop is Microsoft’s flagship remote desktop product. Previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop, it brings a more modern and mature answer to the legacy Remote Desktop Services solutions from Windows Server on-premise deployments.

2. You’re probably already licensed!

Great news! If you have Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E5 licenses, then all the Microsoft licensing has already been covered. There’s no need for additional Microsoft Office licensing, or to purchase CALs like in older solutions.

3. Security & Compliance

With Azure Virtual Desktop, security is paramount. Leveraging Microsoft’s advanced security protocols, AVD offers:

  • Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) Conditional Access: Utilise controls like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure only authorised users have access.
  • Encryption: Both at rest and during transmission, keeping your data safe.
  • Compliance Certifications: Adhering to global standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and more, ensuring alignment with industry-specific regulations.

4. Scalability & Flexibility

AVD’s ability to scale according to the needs of an organisation is one of its standout features.

  • On-Demand Scaling: Easily adjust according to your requirements, avoiding unnecessary costs or resources.
  • Global Reach: Azure’s vast array of data centers means you can deploy where you need to be, closer to your users.

5. Cost-Effectiveness

AVD is a strong solution for organisations looking to optimise costs.

  • Pay-as-You-Go Model: Pay only for what you use, making it an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes.
  • Optimised Bandwidth Usage: Efficiently utilises bandwidth, saving additional costs.

6. Rich User Experience

Azure Virtual Desktop provides a fantastic user experience.

  • Device Independence: Users can access their desktops from any device, maintaining productivity. There are both web clients and desktop clients that can be used.
  • High Performance: AVD offers a high-quality user experience, irrespective of the location or device.
  • Software Compatibility: AVD hosts can run Windows 10 or 11, and so run the same software you would run on your office workstations.

7. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem

Being a Microsoft Cloud product, it integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft services:

  • Seamless Integration with Microsoft 365: Access to the entire suite of Office tools.
  • Integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager: Manage and secure your environment in a unified way.
  • Integration with Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory): As mentioned under Security, you can integrate to fully secure your identities when connected using AVD.

8. Environment Sustainability

Similar to other cloud solutions, Azure Virtual Desktop contributes to sustainability goals.

  • Energy Efficiency: By centralising computing power in data centers, it optimises energy usage.
  • Resource Optimisation: By virtualising desktops, it reduces the need for physical hardware, contributing to less electronic waste.

Conclusion

Azure Virtual Desktop is more than just a tool for remote work; it is a comprehensive solution that offers security, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and a rich user experience. Its seamless integration within the Microsoft ecosystem and contributions towards sustainability make it a compelling choice for organisations of all sizes.

Microsoft are utilising this modern platform to enable other products, such as Windows 365 and Cloud PC, for even simpler deployments of Virtual Desktops within the cloud.

Whether you’re looking to optimise your existing IT infrastructure, ensure compliance with industry regulations, or simply offer a robust virtual desktop experience to your users, working with an Azure Virtual Desktop specialist may be the solution that fulfills those needs and more.

 

If you’d like to find out more about Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365, please get in touch ! 

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