This blog has been updated on 12.15.2020.
As the year 2020 is finished, it’s now time to take a step back and reflect on last year’s achievements—and begin learning for the year 2021
“The way I measure my life is – Am I better than I was last year?” – Satya Nadella
Since it’s GA release on the 30th of September, 2019, the interest and popularity have been massive. Due to the popularity, I thought it’d be useful to share some of the free available learning content.
I hope the links in this article help you kickstart (or progress) your Azure Virtual Desktop implementation in 2021! Happy (new year) learning! 🙂
Disclaimer: All the material posted in this article is free! Do you have other good free materials? Feel free to post it in the comment section below.
Official Azure Virtual Desktop Certification
Good news. The first official Microsoft certification for Azure Virtual Desktop is coming soon available to get the recognition IT administrators deserve for all their hard work.
Candidates for the Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty certification are Microsoft Azure administrators with subject matter expertise in planning, delivering, and managing virtual desktop experiences and remote apps, for any device, on Azure.
Responsibilities for this role include deploying virtual desktop experiences and apps to Azure. Professionals in this role deliver applications on Azure Virtual Desktop and optimize them to run in multi-session virtual environments. To deliver these experiences, they work closely with Azure administrators and architects, along with Microsoft 365 administrators.
- Plan a Azure Virtual Desktop architecture
- Implement a Azure Virtual Desktop infrastructure
- Manage access and security
- Manage user environments and apps
- Monitor and maintain a Azure Virtual Desktop infrastructure
Free event. Microsoft meets Community: Azure Virtual Desktop | 4th edition | 9th of April, 2021
After the great success of last three events, started in April 2020 – with a total of over 8 thousand registrations, we’re doing it again. On Thursday the 9th of April we will host another free virtual Community Event around Azure Virtual Desktop and we celebrate our One Year Anniversary!
It promises to be another great day. Don’t miss out – simply register now to reserve your free seat – and also to receive the recording after the event!
Register here: aka.ms/wvdevent2021
Desktops in the Cloud (Podcast)
- Episode 1: Recent updates and more about Azure Virtual Desktop with Kam VedBrat, AVD group PM lead
- Episode 2: Work hard, play hard: Powerful Desktops in the Cloud with Microsoft MVP, Freek Berson
- Episode 3: What’s new from Microsoft Ignite: Azure Virtual Desktop with Pieter Wigleven, AVD PM lead
- Episode 4: Save space and Money on your FSLogix deployment with Jim Moyle, AVD GBB
- Episode 5: Experience MSIX app attach integration in the Azure Portal with Stefan Georgiev, AVD PM
- Episode 6: Performance Optimizations for Azure Virtual Desktop with Robert and Tim (aka VDI Guys)
- Episode 7: User experience and clients updates with Sandeep Patnaik, AVD PM lead
- Episode 8: Experience the latest AVD in the Azure Portal updates with Pavithra Thiruvengadam, AVD PM
- Episode 9: RDP Protocol improvements and RDP Shortpath deep-dive with Denis Gundarev, AVD PM
- Episode 10: A year Desktops in the Cloud episodes in review, watch all the highlights out of 2020
Azure Architecture Center
As part of a great Microsft internal field initiative that I led we created two very important articles on how to use Azure Virtual Desktop as well as FSLogix at Enterprise scale. The articles include tons of best practices and tips and tricks that get you up to speed proactively while designing a large virtual desktop infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.
- Azure Virtual Desktop for the Enterprise: aka.ms/wvdbestpractices
- FSLogix for the Enterprise: aka.ms/fslogixbestpractices
Recently, I’ve presented a webinar on the above content. This information could be very valuable for everyone that is using this blog article to kick the tires on Azure Virtual Desktop.
Get guidance on:
- Virtual machine sizing requirements for single and multi-session to help maximize usage and performance.
- Preparing your network for Microsoft Teams to support remote worker collaboration.
- Managed storage options to optimize FSLogix profile containers for your user and regional requirements.
- Optimizing your host pool and image gallery setup for the best user experience.
Top 5: Personal blog articles
- Azure Virtual Desktop technical (2020 – ARM-based model – generally available) deployment walkthrough. It covers all you need to know and beyond!
- The future of application virtualization. Learn here how to configure MSIX app attach (via the Azure Portal) packages containers on Windows 10 Enterprise multi and single-session for Azure Virtual Desktop
- Learn how to deploy the Remote Desktop (MSRDC) Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) client as Intune Win32 app – via Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) to your physical clients
- Learn how to exclude files and extensions from syncing to OneDrive – to run better on a Windows Virtual (and physical) Desktop environment
- Optimize your Windows 10 single and multi-session images with the new (Windows) Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool
Azure Friday episode w/ Scott Hanselman
Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in Azure to enable secure remote work. Christiaan Brinkhoff joins Scott Hanselman to show how AVD is different from other desktop virtualization technologies, as well as how easy it is to implement and maintain. Deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and get built-in security and compliance features.
0:00 – Introduction
0:25 – Episode start
1:07 – AVD architecture
3:40 – Deploying AVD in the Azure portal
7:30 – Managing host pools and sessions
10:17 – Azure Log Analytics and Azure Monitor
12:10 – Connecting to virtual desktops and apps
14:42 – Centralized storage for profiles and files
17:00 – High-performance virtual desktops
19:00 – Using Teams in AVD
21:13 – Virtual applications (MSIX app attach)
23:21 – Feature roadmap & episode wrap-up
Microsoft Learn is a completely free structured learning experience as part of Microsoft Docs. Microsoft Docs is to absorbed content in a more search and navigate manner than learn–mostly based on free videos and multiple-choice type of content.
The good news is that not so long ago–a very comprehensive new video series on Azure Virtual Desktop is added to learn and—test knowledge check yourself.
Azure Virtual Desktop – ARM-based
- Introduction to Azure Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure
- Prepare for Azure Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure
- Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure
- Optimize Azure Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Docs is the technical library of documentation for end-users, developers, and IT professionals who work with Microsoft products. Learn here in a walkthrough manner how to install and configure Azure Virtual Desktop.
- What is Azure Virtual Desktop?
- Storage options for FSLogix profile containers in Azure Virtual Desktop
- Set up MSIX app attach
- Azure Virtual Desktop partner integrations
- Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session FAQ
- Azure Pricing Calculator for AVD
- Azure Virtual Desktop Experience Estimator
- Find the rest of the AVD – Microsoft Docs documentation here.
Microsoft Mechanics is Microsoft’s official video series for IT Pros. Watch & share valuable content and demos from the people who build it–all freely available from YouTube.
The videos have a high focus on demos, how-to’s and insights for Microsoft 365, Azure, Office, Windows, Surface and quantum computing–and as part of continuously added new series, Jeremy Chapman and the AVD Engineering group created a complete Azure Virtual Desktop Essentials (video) how-to series.
- Azure Virtual Desktop 2020 updates | Microsoft Ignite 2020
- Azure Virtual Desktop updates for admins (2020)
- IT Updates to Manage Remote Work – Microsoft Endpoint Manager, AVD & Productivity Score
Microsoft Tech Community
The Microsoft Tech Community is a place to interact with IT Pros, Developers and end-users along with Microsoft. The focus of the site was initially on Office 365 but now encompasses Azure, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) and many other–like Azure Virtual Desktop–Microsoft technologies. A great success.
- Getting started: Azure Virtual Desktop ARM-based Azure portal
- (Windows) Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool now available
- Proactively monitor ARM-based Azure Virtual Desktop with Azure Log Analytics and Azure Monitor – Microsoft Tech Community
- Accelerate your RDS and VDI migration to Azure Virtual Desktop
- A guide to Azure Virtual Desktop at Microsoft Ignite 2019
- Getting started with FSLogix profile containers on Azure Files in Azure Virtual Desktop
- Getting started with Azure Virtual Desktop
The Azure Academy YouTube channel is created by fellow Microsoft colleague Dean Cefola–from the Azure FastTrack team. In his channel, he shares his deep-dive field experiences and best practices on Azure services for free–how awesome is that?
I also like the stuff he created–because it’s technology-driven, which I like. Dean recently started with a completely new series on how to Deploy, Manage and Maintain Azure Virtual Desktop. Make sure to follow his YouTube channel.
- Azure Virtual Desktop – New AVD Admin Portal | Azure Virtual Desktop – #01
- Azure Virtual Desktop –AzureFiles AD Auth & FSLogix | Azure Virtual Desktop – #02
- Azure Virtual Desktop –Image Management | Azure Virtual Desktop – #03
- Azure Virtual Desktop –Update Session Hosts from Latest Image | Azure Virtual Desktop – #04
- Azure Virtual Desktop –AVD Optimizations Nuff Said! | Azure Virtual Desktop #05
- Azure Virtual Desktop –AVD Scaling Tool | Azure Virtual Desktop # 06
- Azure Virtual Desktop –Azure Storage – #7 – Azure NetApp Files
- Azure Virtual Desktop – AVD Monitoring Workbook Step by Step | Azure Virtual Desktop #08
- Azure Virtual Desktop – DR Planning
- Azure Virtual Desktop – The SECRET to FSLogix
- Azure Virtual Desktop – Take The RDP Short Path
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #1 – Deployment
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #2 – Management
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #3 – User Profiles
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #4 – HA Profiles
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #5 – User Experiences
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #6 – Web Management
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #7 – Scale-Out
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #8 – AVD Azure ADDS
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #9 – AVD Diagnostics
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #10 – AVD Automation
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #11 – AVD Monitoring
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #12 – AVD Update Management
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #13 – AVD MSIX App Attach
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #14 – Scaling Automation
- Azure Virtual Desktop – #16 – AzureFiles AD Auth & FSLogix
Microsoft Partner Network
While every partner’s journey is different, following these steps will enable you to innovate faster, better support customers, and get guidance on the next Azure Virtual Desktop opportunity for your business.
- Technical slide decks and solution briefings
- Azure Virtual Desktop Sales and Business Value Fundamentals
- Azure Virtual Desktop solution brief
- Azure Virtual Desktop slide deck
- Other useful Microsoft Partner Resources
AVD Architectural – Planning Poster
The Remote Desktop Services team has created a poster to help you plan, build, and run your Azure Virtual Desktop environment.
There are currently no Microsoft Certifications specific to Azure Virtual Desktop available. To get certified on this specific topic, I’d personally recommend you to pass (at least) the following related certifications below:
Pro tip: Are you attending Ignite the Tour soon? Make sure to take advantage and claim your free exam here.