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AZURE VIRTUAL DESKTOP
Designed and offered as a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. Offering simplified management and multi-session Windows 10, you can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes, supporting AVD. IGEL OS further extends the security and management benefits of running AVD.
SEE IT IN ACTION - IGEL OS accessing AVD
IGEL OS is the ideal edge OS for endpoint devices accessing Azure Virtual Desktop services. A lightweight Linux operating system designed specifically for secure, high-performance access to cloud workspaces, IGEL OS is the first Linux-based OS validated and certified with Microsoft for AVD device access. For organizations looking to:
- migrate to Windows 10
- unify and standardize all endpoint solutions onto a single management platform
- streamline with multi-session Windows 10 virtual desktops
- or simply shed the costly and time-consuming burden of maintaining Windows on individual endpoints,
AVD and IGEL OS is the answer!
Existing IGEL and AVD customers - Staying Up to date with AVD
Since its launch, Microsoft has continued to innovate and update AVD with new features and increased capabilities. To make the best use of these new features and to provide your employees with the best user experience, it is important you keep the AVD client up to date. In most cases, the latest version of IGEL OS contains the latest AVD client.
The latest build can be found here or you can learn more about the update process here on our knowledge base.
Please see the table below which highlights the AVD client versions.
What is Azure Virtual Desktop?
Azure Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based, instanced virtual machine that leverages the power of Microsoft’s cloud services to offer a real-time desktop virtualization experience. It delivers a complete virtualized multi-user Windows 10 (or a single-user Windows 7) experience alongside Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus.
AVD functionalities include centralized monitoring and management, allowing system administrators to swiftly deploy and manage desktops, remote apps, and Windows servers within Azure. It was launched back in 2019 under the name Windows Virtual Desktop and as an advancement of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) technology.
Why is Azure Virtual Desktop Service important?
Currently, expedited by the global COVID-19 pandemic, most of the workforce is mobile or remote, sometimes out of necessity or as part of a larger progress strategy. However, employees still need to access their company’s systems and applications to do their work. This makes cloud platforms, which can be accessed at any time and from any location, via any device, highly essential.
AVD allows the modern workforce to access a virtual Windows computer running all the apps that are found in your business’s IT-sanctioned Windows computer. The cloud infrastructure offered by Azure allows organizations to initiate multi-session Windows 10 deployments optimized to run simultaneously in virtual environments.
The typical employee will have access to an Azure Virtual Desktop that is very similar to the traditional PC setting they are familiar with back at the office. However, from the organization’s perspective, the costs associated with buying, setting up, deploying, updating/patching, and securing physical computing hardware are significantly lowered. Azure takes care of all the specifics in the cloud.
Ideal AVD use scenarios
Businesses of all sizes that have some of their staff working remotely can benefit from adopting Azure Virtual Desktop. The following are the major scenarios that are ideal for AVD use:
Organizations operating in the healthcare, financial services, government, and retail sectors handle highly sensitive data. This is why they have to meet the regulatory policies and rigorous security norms stipulated in their fields. AVD helps them to ensure data privacy, security, and compliance.
Call center workforce, mobile staff, and remote workers can have a unified working environment despite using different devices to access the organization’s systems and applications.
Companies that undergo mergers and acquisitions, or have temporary, visiting, or contract workers can standardize all operations with the help of AVD.
Engineering and design organizations, and companies applying legacy applications in the IT field for application development and testing often need to deploy unique workloads within unique environments. AVD offers the perfect solution for taking care of such scenarios.
Do I need a thin client to use WVD/AVD?
Thin clients are highly recommended for the most efficient, cost-effective results. The thin client, which usually stores no user data locally as a “stateless” endpoint, will provide an additional layer of security for your company’s systems and applications. This is because it helps prevent the introduction of viruses or the use of unauthorized software. It also can be configured to ensure that data is not copied to an external storage space or saved to any other location except the central server.
The centralized processing ensured by a thin client also leads to easier management and monitoring of your organization’s system. IGEL’s software can convert any compatible x86-64 device into a highly portable thin client that can come in numerous hardware versions. It ensures more cost savings since it allows you to access AVD and utilize the data center for all the features you would need out of a desktop PC, such as storage, applications, computing power, and more.
What are the benefits of AVD?
The following are the major benefits offered by Azure Virtual Desktop:
Businesses can effectively reduce the costs incurred running virtual desktops that contain Windows OS such as Windows 7 or 10 by migrating the desktops and company applications to AVD. The improved utilization of costly resources due to the session-based desktops offered on Azure Virtual Machines (AVM) leads to better management of cost constraints.
Using AVD will also allow you to enjoy reduced Microsoft licensing costs since AVD does not require extra Client Access Licenses (CALs) for access, which are needed when using server OS. Moreover, the process of licensing for the use of Windows 10 on AVD is also simplified.
Both the company staff and the end-users of your services will experience simplified operations when you move your business’s IT infrastructure to the cloud. The end-users can use any device or browser to access their desktops and applications. The staff will enjoy spending little time managing local networks and physical machines. There will also be improved scalability and flexibility since user profiles are kept in separate containers.
With AVD, sensitive information can never be transferred out of the company servers because all data transfers are between Azure cloud instances. There are lots of built-in security protocols inside the Microsoft Azure cloud itself, including Azure Security Center, Azure Firewall, Microsoft Center ATP, and Azure sentinel. Using a lean, lightweight, read-only, modular endpoint operating system like IGEL OS makes the endpoint devices themselves much more secure as well.
Office 365 products integrate better with the resources and services found in the Microsoft Cloud. This results in improved performance of the office 365 products that run on AVD environments. Additionally, the applications that require minimal latency to the desktop will also experience enhanced performance. There is also a possibility of virtual graphics processing for graphics-intensive applications.
AVD and IGEL OS is the answer
IGEL OS offers a great digital workspace experience for users accessing Azure Virtual Desktop. It is a next-gen endpoint operating system that enables easy, smart, and secure management and control of virtual desktops and cloud workspaces. It is also the first Linux-based OS that Microsoft has validated and certified for AVD access.
IGEL OS specifically suits organizations looking to:
- Protect their endpoint devices from malware
- Streamline with multi-session Windows 10 virtual desktops
- Move to Windows 10
- Join together and standardize all endpoints onto one management and control platform
- Reduce the excess costs and time associated with maintaining windows on individual endpoints
- Streamline with multi-session Windows 10 virtual desktops.
IGEL AVD Client Access
Find out how to get started with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) using IGEL OS and get an evaluation license for AVD