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.
These are excited times with all those new updates to Windows Virtual Desktop. In the next coming weeks I will post more information and how to’s about Windows Virtual Desktop 2.0. This blog post will be updated as soon as the Public Preview will start and I can get start playing with all those new features.
- Azure portal support for creation, management and diagnostics
- Azure AD user group for application publishing
- Renaming WVD tenant to Workspace
- Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
- PowerShell integration with AZ Module
- Integrated with Log Analytics
- Support selection of metadata storage location
- Tighter integration with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)
- Microsoft Teams Enhancements (Not part of the Spring update)
There will be a new portal which Microsoft is referring to as the hub where you can manage your host pools, application groups, workspaces and users. You can also manage each object separate via the Azure Portal. You don’t have to do all the configuration via PowerShell anymore, this will be a great for a lot of customers.
With the availability of this integration you don’t have to deploy the WVD Management UI anymore, all those administration and troubleshooting can be done within the Azure Portal.
You also don’t need to consent to the WVD App anymore to read the Azure AD Directory.
At this moment you can create your tenant and deploy your WVD host pool with the use of ARM templates and PowerShell. With this update you can also configure your WVD environment via the Azure portal.
You can create for example your host pool via the Azure Portal.
Azure AD user group for application publishing
It will be possible to assign Azure AD Groups to the Application Groups instead of only Azure AD Users. We don’t have to create custom scripts to assign users to Application Groups anymore.
Via the Users part of the Hub you can search for specific users or user groups and quickly manage active sessions. You can easily see which Application groups has been assigned to this user and information about their current session.
Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
It will be possible to assign permissions for your users and administrators via Access Control (IAM) for those objects. There will be new WVD roles which can be assigned.
- WVD Session Host Administrator
- Desktop Virtualization User
PowerShell integration with AZ Module
WVD will be more integrated into Azure and there will also be a new AZ module to manage this.
The new Azure cmdlets for WVD are in the form of [Verb]-AzWvd[Noun]. [Verb] can be New, Get or Update, and [Noun] is the WVD object which you are trying to manage, for example the workspace, host pool or application group.
There are also new Roles which can be assigned with *-AzRoleAssignment for either admins or users.
* = New/Get/Update
Get-Command -Module Az.DesktopVirtualization
DesktopVirtualization is the new resource provider which is associated with Windows Virtual Desktop.
Integration with Log Analytics
Diagnostics settings can be used to configure streaming export of platform logs and metrics for a resource to a destination of your choice.
You can choose what kind of events from this particular WVD object you want to send to what kind of endpoint. It is possible to send those events to a Log Analytics workspace, stream to an event hub or Archive to a storage account.
Metadata storage location
It will be possible to choose new locations for storing the metadata for WVD. At this moment Windows Virtual Desktop stores global metadata information like tenant names, host pool names, app group names, and user principal names in a datacenter located in the United States.
This is good news for customers who are disallowed to store any metadata outside of their region.
Tighter integration with Azure Resource Manager
Microsoft has also updated the Object Model for Azure Resource Manager. There are three high-level objects Host pool, Application group and Workspace.
A Host pool is a collection of Azure Virtual Machines that are registered to Windows Virtual Desktop as Session Hosts.
An Application group is a logical group of application which has been installed on the session hosts in a host pool. WVD has two types of Application groups.
A Workspace is what users will see in their Remote Desktop client, today this only contains the workspace name and application groups but Microsoft is looking to expand this further to give users a customized experience.
All these objects are related to each other, an Application Group can only be created with referring a existing Host pool and all Application Groups has to be registered within the same Workspace.
Each of these objects have a location and can only be related to each other in the same location.
Microsoft Teams Enhancements (Not a part of the Spring update)
One of the things Microsoft is working hard on is the new Audio/Video redirection capabilities for Microsoft Teams. Currently this is in Private Preview and I don’t think this will be a part of the Spring update, but will be in Public Preview soon.
With these new Teams Enhancement your Teams Audio/Video calls in a virtualized environment will offload the AV and processing of the codecs to the local machine.
User Experience Benefits
- Less network bandwith compared to USB camera redirection
- Increased video framerates up to 30 fps
- Enhanced UI for ease of use in virtualized environments
- Ability to redirect multiple cameras
- High-performance low latency audio and video calling