Forum > Any other > What is Microsoft Windows virtual desktop?

Posted by Lewis-H on August 01, 2020

 

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop or WVD (also sometimes incorrectly referred to online as Microsoft Virtual Desktop or MVD) is a set of technologies from Microsoft Azure that enables IT professionals and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to create Windows 10 virtual desktops in Azure.  WVD was launched in 2019 and is the evolution of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services (RDS) technology.  Microsoft Virtual Desktop consists of 4 primary innovations: 

 

Windows 10 multi-user operating system, which allows multiple concurrent users to use a single Azure virtual machine as a desktop.  Prior to WVD, this was only possible with the Windows Server operating system. 

User profiles are handled independently of the virtual machine that serves are the user’s desktop.  These profiles are placed in containers and the containers are stored separately from the desktop VM in Azure.  This is enabled by FSLogix technology that Microsoft purchased in 2018.

Microsoft Azure has a new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that contains the management and connection broker functionality for WVD.  It is the service that determines which users end upon which Azure virtual machine when they connect.  Before Windows Virtual Desktop, this was handled by RDS server roles such as RD Gateway, RD WebAccess, RD Connection Broker, and Windows Virtual Server

Licensing for WVD has been drastically simplified from prior virtual desktop technologies like RDS.  WVD rights are included at no additional charge with multiple Windows 10 subscriptions including Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise. 

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