Organisations have been struggling to provide secure desktop experiences for their employees. The global pandemic threatened this goal, as it became increasingly difficult and costly to maintain on-premise-based IT systems with remote access in an everchanging world of work trends where more people than ever before have been working from home due to not just increased accessibility but also safety concerns. Those using Microsoft Azure discovered they had a clear pathway to modernising their entire desktop infrastructure.

 

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop infrastructure is an end-user computing service that offers users secure virtual apps and desktops no matter where they are located or what type of device they use.

AVD is not the only solution in the spectrum of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure/Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions currently on the market. However, it sets itself apart by being native to Microsoft Azure.

Other solutions in the same space typically offer an on-premises or a hybrid solution. In these instances, the management plane runs in the vendor cloud, and the workloads are still managed by the organisation, either on-premises or in the private/public cloud.

AVD breaks down the complexity and potential barriers for adoption. To deploy a solution, all an organisation needs is an Azure subscription to start delivering virtual desktops or apps to end users, creating a straightforward approach to modern work environments.

 

Ideal Use Cases for AVD

The AVD product is a highly scalable solution that has been successfully deployed at enterprise levels. However, as a consultant starting with my customer’s use cases in mind, I want to provide some examples of potential applications for this technology and hear from you on whether these sound like something your business might need help managing.

The use of AVD is especially beneficial in companies with remote workforces and the complexities that come from having employees who are full-time contractors or consultants. It simplifies user provisioning by removing any need for a dedicated company device and providing standard operating environment preferences across all users.

  • Globally Accessible and Flexible: The AVD platform is excellent for geographically dispersed users who need a fast and reliable connection. With our global cloud computing solutions, you can deploy these resources in any region near your end user so that they get high-quality service without having to worry about latency or distance between themselves and the application hosted on their computer system, which could be hundreds of kilometres away.
  • Temporary and Seasonal Workers: Some industries have periods throughout the year when they may need to scale up staff for additional workloads. This means having a significant investment in hardware, including virtual desktops that can be provisioned quickly when needed and taken down again after peak activity has passed without extra cost because you’re only paying for what you use.
  • Contractors: The AVD is a perfect solution for contractors who need to access the corporate network and provide services. It provides an easy way of getting into your business’s systems.

With the right management solution and use of Windows 10 Multi Session hosts, a Forrester report shows that over 210% of ROI can be realised with an automated management solution, making this possible through automation to turn on hosts when required or scale up/down depending on user needs at any given moment in time while also maintaining compliance across environments by allowing for defined lifecycle management practices.

 

What is AVD Incredibly Excellent at?

With an AVD solution deployed, your organisation has a host of Azure services at your fingertips, ready to integrate seamlessly with your AVD environment. For example:

  • Azure Active Directory Conditional access policies can be deployed to restrict access to particular devices, ensure compliance and enforce MFA for access.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoints provides endpoint protection.
  • Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics to enable logging and monitoring of AVD session hosts.
  • Azure Policies to provide compliance and governance relating to security, RBAC Controls etc.

For organisations within strictly regulated industries or those with highly sensitive data, accessing data outside of the digital confines of the office can create various compliance issues. So, in the case of hybrid and remote working, AVD empowers the organisation to deliver the tools and information these users need virtually while ensuring all data is secure and in one place.

 

AVD Reduces Costs.

AVD helps keep your costs down in so many ways. With licensing included with 365, additional storage and bandwidth charges based on actual usage—it’s a scalable solution for managing networks. Suppose you’re experiencing latency issues or low bandwidth available AVD can address those problems. Furthermore, organisations can reduce hardware costs by virtualising applications that require expensive hardware.

One great example of virtualisation is the organisations that use heavy processing graphics in programs like AutoCAD. They would have to purchase specialised hardware specifically for that application, but with AVD, they can eliminate this need by utilising the virtualised desktops only when their work needs to be done without the need to purchase expensive hardware that isn’t used to its maximum capacity at all times.

 

Modern Work Place.

The modern workplace is becoming increasingly virtual, with teams working from home and other remote locations. As long as they have internet access on their device or one you’ve issued them, coworkers can still get all the same functionality when collaborating remotely.

They’ll be able to manage email using Outlook (or any other program that supports Exchange), store files in OneDrive Sharepoint sites used for team collaboration across different platforms such as Microsoft Teams–it’s not just limited within buildings anymore: it provides complete secure access to the corporate network. Along with bundling the service with conditional access policies, organisations can leverage Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), reducing the need to supply additional hardware.

 

Scalability on-Demand

If your organisation has a need to scale on demand, whether it be because you’ve grown too large for the current infrastructure or need some time away from managing everything on your own – there’s no better way than using Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop. The service provides complete scalability without any delays due to setting up new devices/servers while reducing how many people use them at once when downsizing by eliminating outdated tech.

 

Maintain a Secure Network

With the cybercrime threat growing daily, securing your network has become a top priority. AVD leverages Microsoft’s security framework to ensure that company data and applications are safe. Examples of these secure practices include:

High compliance industries where staff work with sensitive data in high-risk countries are protected as data is not stored on their device. This translates to everyday events such as staff working from non-secure places like cafes.

AVD can be utilised to access resources in a country where it’s prohibited by legislation to have data stored outside of their region; this is seen in the financial services industry.

AVD is effective for networks where data must be stored in a secure area due to IP protections, privacy laws or ‘clean room’ environments.

 

Maximise Your Cloud Investment.

Virtualising your desktop using AVD cloud infrastructure is a great way to provide secure remote access from virtually anywhere in the world. You can modernise and extend an existing environment and support BYOD culture while reducing costs and security risks for organisations that want more control over their resources.

Experts in Virtual Desktops and Cloud Infrastructure.

Please reach out today to learn more about the benefits of migrating to AVD for your organisation. We’ve helped customers modernise their work environments and find multiple efficiencies using Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop.