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NetApp, here I come!

I am very excited to share that I will be joining the Modern Workplace team at NetApp as their new Product Marketing Manager for VDS in EMEA on the 1st of December. Together with a great team of highly motivated people, I will be working on defining the future of NetApp’s Virtual Desktop Services.

Within this role I will be responsible for promoting VDS to partners and customers throughout EMEA. From the start I will be gathering feedback from customers and end users to help build the roadmap to define new product features that meet the customer requirements.

My focus will be mainly on the Azure and WVD part of the product. I am a huge fan of WVD because of it’s simplicity, scalability and the possibilities to automate everything. I know everybody loves technical demo’s and walkthrough, so you will see me doing a lot of webinars, giving presentations and sharing information about VDS and End User Computing in general. Let’s hope next year we can even do some physical events again!

NetApp Virtual Desktop Services

NetApp VDS simplifies the provisioning and deployment of virtual desktop solutions. What differentiates VDS is its ability to serve as a unified global control plane spanning your entire virtual desktop footprint across users, locations, business units, regions and even Azure subscriptions.

Virtual Desktop Service supports Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on major public cloud environments including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform as well as on-premises environments. It has also native support for Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) solution in Microsoft Azure.

Recap 2020

2020, the year the whole world changed. Worldwide pandemic, working from home, distancing ourselves from the ones we love most and times we lock ourselves in home to protect others from a sneeze or a cold that might be COVID-19. We all made sacrifices, small or big. I must admit, the first few weeks were quite an adventure working fulltime from home. But after a month the new normal got harder. No small talk at the coffee corner, only talking to your colleagues and clients online, changing your whole routine is hard. I’m guessing all of you experienced the same/similar.

But for every downside there is always an exciting upside. I found mine in extra time, time for personal growth. I started reading books and reached out to meet new people. These meetings were so helpful, not only because of the knowledge these people were willing to share but also my confidence grew stronger and so did my social network.

One of those people is Neil McLoughlin. Back in April this year we started the WVD Community to share news about this new service from Microsoft, the endless possibilities this products has to offer and made sure all new features and use cases were highlighted. We had a lot of contributions from members within the community, partners and even Microsoft employees.

As our community started to grow, so did we, and we started our own WVD community podcast. We recorded our first episode on a Sunday morning, just a day after we had the idea for this podcast. Tom Hickling was our very first guest and has helped us tremendously with promoting the WVD Community. Did we have any experience with doing something like this? No! Was it perfect? No! Was it well prepared? No! But we had so much fun doing it and decided right there and then to continue.

As I am trying to say, 2020 was also the year my world changed. This year has brought me so much, I started the Dutch Windows Virtual Desktop User Group and even got invited to present at the Microsoft meets Community event organized by Christaan Brinkhoff. These were things I could never imagine doing a year ago. I had to overcome my insecurities and perfectionism to find joy in presenting and sharing knowledge. Esther Barthell and Neil were one of the few in the community who knew this side of me and supported me every single step of the way, a big shout out to them for their help and support! And of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without the love, help and support from my wife!

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

I am thankful and very proud for all of the above and I look forward to everything 2021 has to offer. All I know is NetApp gave me a great opportunity to help shape the future of VDS and I’m looking forward to a new year of pushing myself beyond my limits and kick myself out of my comfort zone!

Hope to meet you all in person as soon as possible.

Stay safe and healthy

Stefan Dingemanse
Product Marketing Manager VDS (EMEA)
NetApp

Remove all resources within a Resource Group with Azure DevOps and ARM

Did you know it’s quite easy to remove all resources within a Resource Group via an ARM template. Sometimes you just need to “empty” a Resource Group without removing the Resource Group itself.

This way settings like Access Control and tags which are configured on the Resource Group itself will not be removed. You can also login to the Azure Portal, select all the resources within a Resource Group and click “Delete“, probably you will find yourself deleting depended resources first before you can delete the last bits of your previous deployment. So why not automate this!

Managing Windows Virtual Desktop with Microsoft Endpoint Manager – Part 2 – Enrolling your WVD session host into Intune

This is the second part in the Managing Windows Virtual Desktop with Microsoft Endpoint Manager series. In the previous part I showed you how to join your Windows 10 WVD session hosts to your on-premises AD as well as the Azure AD with the use of the Hybrid Azure Domain Join.

In this post I will share with you how to automatically enroll your WVD session hosts into Intune. And then… well, that’s were the fun begins!

Microsoft meets Community: Windows Virtual Desktop (Second edition) – Video and Slide-deck

On the 30th of September Christiaan Brinkhoff and Microsoft organized the second edition of the Microsoft meets Community: Windows Virtual Desktop event. This is a free community event organized for Microsoft customers and partners. The first edition was in April this year, and like before there where a bunch of awesome speakers which presented their sessions about different topic regarding Windows Virtual Desktop.

Managing Windows Virtual Desktop with Microsoft Endpoint Manager – Part 1 – Setup Hybrid Azure Domain Join

Last week Microsoft announced the support for Windows Virtual Desktop machines in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. You can now enroll Windows Virtual Desktop VM’s that are hybrid Azure AD joined with Microsoft Intune and manage them in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center the same way as physical devices.

At this moment I think we are all managing our virtual desktop environment with the use of Group Policies and Golden Images. At least that’s what I do and what I see my customers are doing.

Windows Virtual Desktop Videos from Microsoft Ignite 2020

Last week it was time for Microsoft Ignite. This year I was planning to go but due to Covid-19 the entire event was held all-digital. There were a lot of great sessions but I didn’t had the time to watch them all.

Most of the sessions are now available at the Microsoft Ignite website, I created this post with all the interesting sessions about Windows Virtual Desktop and the new Microsoft Endpoint Manager support. This way you can just visit this post and see all the videos and content at once.

Windows Virtual Desktop Spring 2020 service update [Coming soon]

I decided to write a blog post about the upcoming updates for Windows Virtual Desktop. The last few months a lot has been said and shown by Microsoft regarding new features and updates to the WVD platform.

For this information I am relying on what’s publicly available, what I have seen in screenshots and presentations and what Microsoft MVP’s posted on social media.

IGEL OS now supports Windows Virtual Desktop

I am a big fan of Windows Virtual Desktop, there are pro’s and con’s about this Platform-as-a-Service solution hosted by Microsoft but during one of the WVD Proof of Concept implementations I found out that there was no support yet for Thin Clients running on Linux out of the box. With WVD you cannot simple publish an RDP shortcut to the gateway farm, you need some more integrations to make this working.

In a blog from November 2019, Brad Anderson announced they were working on supporting Linux and Microsoft has chosen IGEL to be their hardware partner. The support for WVD has been developed with the use of the Microsoft RD Core Software Development Kit (SDK) preview.

On the 28th of January during the IGEL Disrupt 2020 event in Nashville IGEL announced the General Availability (GA) of the first Linux client for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop.

As you can see in the video on the right the connection experience for users is Single Sign On, an user needs to provide his/her credentials one time and the resources will be presented. After the user clicks on their resource the connecting will be made!

Part 1: Installing IGEL OS 11 on a VM

In this part I will explain how to install and configure the IGEL OS on a Virtual Machine. The next part about configuring the WVD support on IGEL OS will be online soon.

For testing and demo purposes I wanted to install the new IGEL OS 11 version on a Hyper-V Virtual Machine. For this test setup I used Hyper-V running on Windows 10.

You can download the latest version of the IGEL OS with support for Windows Virtual Desktop from https://www.igel.com/software-downloads/software-downloads-wvd. The ZIP file contains the ISO and all the stuff you need to prepare and create an USB stick to install the OS on a supported Thin Client.

Create a new VM with the minimum specification. My test VM has 4 GB of memory, 2 CPU’s and 16 GB of storage. Mount the ISO (located in the ‘preparestick’ folder) and start the Virtual Machine.

Select your language for the installer and click Next

Accept the End User License Agreement by clicking I agree

To start the installation of IGEL OS 11.03.252 click Install firmware

The installer will now install the IGEL OS

Once the installation has finished you can unmount the ISO file and reboot the VM.

IGEL Setup Assistant

Now it’s time to configure the newly installed OS. After a reboot the device will automatic login and start the setup wizard. Via this wizard you can configure the default settings and acquire and IGEL Demo License.

Select the correct language for the user interface. Default is English, click next to proceed.

Select your Keyboard Layout and click next

Choose the correct timezone and click Next

Make sure the correct time and date is set and click Next to proceed.

Since I don’t have any Management Suite or Cloud Gateway running for this test I have selected the option to register for a demo license.

Read the complete EULA ? and click on I agree.

You will now be redirected to a landing page to acquire an evaluation license for IGEL OS 11.

After you have completed the form the license will be automatically fetched for your device.

For this test you can skip the Cloud Gateway Agent Setup since we don’t have any, click Skip and let’s finish the configuration.

Okay, now we need one reboot to finish the installation, make sure you unmount the ISO and click Restart. The VM should now reboot and the IGEL OS will start.

That’s it! You now have a Virtual IGEL Thin client running and you are now ready to be surprised by the power and the options of the IGEL OS with Windows Virtual Desktop support!

In my next post I will explain how to configure the WVD Session configuration and explain the different options.