Basic Azure Virtual Desktop Setup For Beginners – Part 1

Azure Virtual Desktop is a desktop and app virtualization service that runs on Azure virtual machines. This enables to bring the windows desktop experience into the Azure cloud. Typical use cases are employees or 3rd party contractors that need a secure and controlled desktop experience with a preset of applications that are approved by the organization.

You can do when you run Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure:

  • Set up a multi-session Windows 11 or Windows 10 deployment that delivers a full Windows experience with scalability
  • Present Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and optimize it to run in multi-user virtual scenarios

I will demonstrate a simple deployment that is easy to get setup and learn for beginners. Azure Virtual Desktop deployments for real world scenarios can get complicated quickly various security access and expected user functional requirements.

I will walk through the setup of the following design

Start with creating a host pool resource in the Azure Marketplace in the Azure Portal.

I selected the standard config settings but note that the Preferred app group type is Desktop to get the desktop experience.

Add virtual machines

I select VM Size of 2 vCPU and 8 GiB memory which is sufficient for a demo

I selected Number of VMs as 2 to keep cost down and to experiment with load distribution of user sessions.
OS disk type of Standard SSD is a good balance between performance and lower cost.

I selected a pre-existing VNET and subnet. Ensure it is created beforehand and in the same region as the AVD resource so that it will show up in the drop down selection.

NSG is Basic and Public inbound ports is left to defaults. You cann set to Public inbound to ‘Yes’ to allow internet access.
To keep it really simple, I set Domain join to Azure Active Directory as opposed to Active Directory. AD joining can get very complicated.

I select enroll VM with Intune to No to keep it simple.
Provide credentials to the VM administrator account when you want to do advanced administration. No need for custom configuration with ARM template.

I create a Desktop Application Group which provides a virtual desktop experience. The other type is a Remote App Group which is virtual application experience. The most common is Desktop. And then I create a Workspace which is a logical grouping to contain the Desktop Application Group.

I proceed further to Create the resource and complete deployment.

In the avd resource group, we see the resources that have been deployed.

In the Host Pool resource, we can see the 2 virtual machines and the 1 Application Group.

By clicking into the Application Groups tile, we see further details that show this is a Desktop type as opposed to Remote App type.

By clicking further into this application group, we see the Application in this Application Group.

How this is presented to the end user when logging is as follows in the AVD web client.

By clicking into the SessionDesktop, starts the windows desktop login screen. However, there are still many post deployment steps in order to get to this point for an end user.

Please read Part 2 to see the steps to create setup user access through an Azure AD Group, Application Group assignment, RDP properties and more.

One thought on “Basic Azure Virtual Desktop Setup For Beginners – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Basic Azure Virtual Desktop Setup For Beginners – Part 2 – Roy Kim on Azure and Microsoft 365

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