Want to learn Azure Virtual Desktop? Here are some good resources for a good (kick)start in 2021!

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

Microsoft Certified | Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty

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)

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.

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 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

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 

Microsoft Docs

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. 

Microsoft Mechanics

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. 

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. 

Azure Academy

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.

Older series

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.

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.

Microsoft Certifications

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.