Windows Virtual Desktop is essentially a terminal server in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. It can be linked to existing Windows Server infrastructure either on-site or Cloud-based. It was announced in Microsoft’s October 2018 Inspire event and will be available under general release in Q1 2019.
Though this is a new product, it uses tried and tested technology based on the ubiquitous Windows Terminal Server that we all know and love. The release of this product is great news for the business world since it bridges the void left by Microsoft October on-premise and perpetual license price increases as business migrate on-premise workloads to the Cloud.
Currently, there is no financially viable alternative to the very expensive Remote Desktop Services deployment methodology in Azure.
Migration from existing Terminal Server deployments are straightforward; users are prepared for the workflow, and the migration pathway is well defined. The migration should be completed in a short time frame. Migrating from a Thick Client environment where users primarily use their own machine as the workhorse in their role, is more challenging both technically and for users to adopt new processes to get their work done. The approach taken by most businesses in this situation is to phase the migration, starting with a specific Cloud-based line of business application first, followed by company files, and any other services that are suitable for migration.
Windows Virtual Desktop represents a quantum leap forward in Microsoft’s Azure service, both from a technical and operational point of view, but also a licensing position standpoint. This will simplify deployment, migrations, administration, and billing for many SMEs and their IT support provider, resulting in smoother future transitions of technology and processes, and also a clearer understanding of their financial position with respect to infrastructure spend.