How Azure Virtual Desktop Enhances Remote Work

Remote desktop services (RDS) are increasing in popularity at the same rate as remote work options. With 45% of American workers working remotely either some or all of the time, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of businesses are seeking options for secure remote access to organizational data.

“Secure data access is an ongoing concern when it comes to remote work. Luckily, finding ways to make that happen is easier than many people think.”Jacob Saunders, EVP of Professional Services, Atmosera

If you already use Microsoft Azure, you know how sophisticated its data protection features are. If not, it’s an excellent contender for secure data sharing among your remote workforce. Better yet, you can leverage Azure’s virtual desktop servers to simplify every task workers perform online.

If you’re considering Azure Virtual Desktop, this article will give you a good head start. We’ll go over what it is, how it works, and a handful of reasons why it’s the ideal choice for remote workforces.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service that runs in the cloud. It allows you to set up a virtual desktop environment hosted on a server in Microsoft’s data centers. This setup lets multiple users access and use a desktop interface and applications remotely.

What sets AVD apart from other virtual desktops is its seamless integration with Microsoft’s ecosystem. This makes it the ideal virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment for businesses that are deeply ingrained with Microsoft products.

It also provides a flexible and scalable solution where the number of users can fluctuate without the need for physical hardware changes. AVD deployment is also significantly simpler and more streamlined compared to other solutions, which makes it much easier to set up and maintain.

How Else Can You Leverage Azure’s Cloud Environment?

How Does Azure Virtual Desktop Work?

Azure Virtual Desktop works by virtualizing Windows operating systems and applications in the cloud. Specifically, it uses Azure’s cloud infrastructure for efficient resource usage and cost savings. Administrators can easily conduct AVD management tasks through the Azure portal.

AVD operates on virtual machines (VMs) in the Azure cloud. These VMs host the desktop and app virtualization service, which runs on a centralized server in Azure’s public cloud system. Using existing eligible Windows licenses in this system can significantly reduce costs. AVD’s cloud-based nature means you pay only for what you use.

Here is a more specific breakdown of how the system performs efficient virtualization processes.

1. Desktop Virtualization

In this initial step, physical desktop environments are transformed into virtual ones. This process involves creating digital versions of desktop operating systems. This is done using virtualization software that creates isolated virtual spaces on the server that each function as an individual desktop.

2. Host Pool Management

AVD uses host pools, which are collections of virtual machines. Host pools are key in managing the allocation and operation of virtual desktops. They allow for the grouping of VMs for organized deployment and management.

3. Image Deployment & Configuration

Custom, uploaded images or standard images from the Azure Gallery are loaded onto the VMs in the host pools. These images are used to set up the individual virtual desktop environments tailored to the specific users who will be using them.

4. Security Enhancement

AVD enhances security by automatically encrypting the data transmission between the virtual desktop and the end-user device. It also implements network security protocols to protect the data and the virtualization infrastructure.

6 Reasons Why Azure’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is Ideal For Remote Work Solutions

1. Secure Remote Access

Azure Virtual Desktop provides highly specific, role-based access control. This means you can customize access levels for each team member based on their job needs. For instance, a financial analyst might have access to sensitive budget reports while another staff member would not.

2. Optimization For Different Devices

Azure Virtual Desktop delivers a consistent user experience across all devices. As a result, productivity is not hampered by the type of device used. This flexibility is vital for remote teams who may use different devices. Consider that among bring-your-own-device (BYOD) employees, 66% use a smartphone and 24% use a tablet to work.

3. Integration With Microsoft 365

The integration with Microsoft 365 streamlines collaborative tasks. You can access, edit, and share documents in real-time, without the need for complex configurations or additional software. This is because Azure Virtual Desktop provides direct access to applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint within its virtual environment.

4. Consistent Performance Across Locations

With Azure, users experience consistent performance, regardless of their geographic location. This consistency is ensured through Azure’s global network of data centers. For remote teams scattered around the world, this means reliable access and smooth workflows.

5. Customizable Virtual Environments

Azure Virtual Desktop allows you to create customized virtual environments tailored to specific team needs. You can set up environments with all the necessary applications and tools, making it easier for remote teams to access what they need.

If you want to take advantage of this feature, here are some options.

Display Names
Session Host Change the display name for a remote desktop session host using the REST API.
RemoteApp Assign names to published RemoteApps via PowerShell cmdlets.
Remote Desktop Modify the display name of a published remote desktop, either through PowerShell or directly in the Azure portal.
VHD Images
Initial Setup Prepare a master virtual hard disk (VHD) image for upload to Azure, including VM creation and software installation.
Software Preparation Install essential software like FSLogix for user profile containers and configure Windows Defender for optimal performance.
Configuration Options
Automatic Updates You can disable automatic updates via local Group Policy to maintain control over the update process.
Start Layout Specify a Start layout for Windows 10 PCs to standardize the user interface.
Time Zone Redirection Set up time zone redirection to ensure consistency for users in different geographical locations.
Language Support Include additional language support by adding languages to Windows images or using features on demand.
Registry & Application Configuration
Telemetry & Resolution You can adjust settings for telemetry data collection and enable support for higher screen resolutions.

6. Multi-Session Support

AVD enables the creation of a Windows 11 or Windows 10 enterprise environment that can support multiple sessions simultaneously. Therefore, multiple workers in multiple locations can use the same remote apps without waiting for another user to end their session.

Count on Azure Expert Managed Services For Effective Desktop Virtualization

AVD is easy to deploy and manage, but it still requires some time and effort. Not every business owner has the time or resources to dedicate to this task. However, such business owners aren’t out of luck.

Atmosera provides Expert Managed Azure Services to businesses in any industry. Our team has decades of experience with Microsoft products so we’re confident that we can provide excellent advice on how you can optimize your Azure environment. We can also take AVD deployment and management tasks off your plate so you can focus on other core operations.

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