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Level 2 Contributor

Virtual Desktop - Microsoft 365 Business & Azure - getting started help

I'm hoping someone can help me or point me in the right direction.  Getting nowhere with Microsoft support.


I have a client I manage who has the Microsoft 365 Business for their company.

I can log in as a global admin.


My main issue is:  Where is Virtual Desktop?  


I've read these to websites:





Yea, it sure looks and sounds like I can use Virtual Desktop.  Not a virtual machine.  A Virtual Desktop that's in the cloud (virtual machine would be on the server in the office).


So, where is it hiding?


When I log into my client's 365 portal, first, I don't see any Azure.  I only add the Active Directory Azure Admin center.  Is Azure something I have to purchase separately - just to get access to my entitled Virtual Desktop?  Do I have to enable something to get Azure?  Where's Azure?  Where's the Virtual Desktop?  I believe the VD is in Azure - but I don't have Azure - so I guess Azure does not come w/the Microsoft 365 Business subscription??


Obviously, you can see I'm very confused w/all this.  I just want to set up a simple, normal, every day use  Virtual Desktop.  What am I doing wrong here?  Why am I just running in circles?  Can someone explain this to me in plain English and point me in the right direction?  I'd really appreciate it.


Thank you

Level 4 Contributor

With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment:

Create a full desktop virtualization environment in your Azure subscription without having to run any additional gateway servers.
Publish as many host pools as you need to accommodate your diverse workloads.
Bring your own image for production workloads or test from the Azure Gallery.
Reduce costs with pooled, multi-session resources. With the new Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session capability exclusive to Windows Virtual Desktop and Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role on Windows Server, you can greatly reduce the number of virtual machines and operating system (OS) overhead while still providing the same resources to your users.
Provide individual ownership through personal (persistent) desktops.
You can deploy and manage virtual desktops:

Use the Windows Virtual Desktop PowerShell and REST interfaces to configure the host pools, create app groups, assign users, and publish resources.
Publish full desktop or individual remote apps from a single host pool, create individual app groups for different sets of users, or even assign users to multiple app groups to reduce the number of images.
As you manage your environment, use built-in delegated access to assign roles and collect diagnostics to understand various configuration or user errors.
Use the new Diagnostics service to troubleshoot errors.
Only manage the image and virtual machines, not the infrastructure. You don't need to personally manage the Remote Desktop roles like you do with Remote Desktop Services, just the virtual machines in your Azure subscription.
You can also assign and connect users to your virtual desktops:

Once assigned, users can launch any Windows Virtual Desktop client to connect users to their published Windows desktops and applications. Connect from any device through either a native application on your device or the Windows Virtual Desktop HTML5 web client.
Securely establish users through reverse connections to the service, so you never have to leave any inbound ports open. To know more about Windows virtual desktop click on the below link:



@steve02a : M365 Business includes the right to access Windows 10 in Windows Virtual Desktop service in Azure. It does inlcude the required license, it does not include the Azure subscription and the VM compute resources (that are billed in the context of an Azure subscription) you need to build this. 


Windows Virtual Deskop (WVD) allows to build a virtual desktop infrastructure based on Azure VMs (yes, virtual machines, but in Azure) that are running Windows 7, 10, 10 Multi-Session and also Windows Server. Each user that has M365 Business license assigned, has the right to access Windows 10 or Windows 10 Multi-Session in a WVD deployment. 


So the customer needs an Azure subscription in order to build this, additionally to the M365 Business license. When the customer has an Azure subscription, they can deploy the WVD service and WVD host pools (=VMs) the user can work with, as described in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-desktop/overview , I would especially recommend to consume the video series mentioned inthe documentation to see the deployment steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQFtI3JLtaU&list=PLXtHYVsvn_b8KAKw44YUpghpD6lg-EHev






Kind regards,
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
Our 4-part series on Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Solution on Microsoft Azure. If your organization is looking for a more efficient, productive,...
Level 2 Contributor

Thank you for your reply.  The video series was informative too.


Correct me if I'm wrong here.  This is making sense now.  A Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) would be the same as if I had a server in my office and I'm running hyper-V and have some VM's and users can do what they need to do w/them.  Except for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is on Azure in the cloud.  I can have a Windows 10 machine or even a Server 2019 doing whatever.  Makes sense.


So what's the difference between Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) vs. Virtual Machine?  Or are they the same thing, but the wording is interchangeable?


A few videos I watched on YouTube kind of lead me to believe that the Virtual Machine (VM) would be something User X can RDP into.  Whereas, WVD is a full-blown infrastructure that can tie into your active directory on your server in the office, host apps, have multi-session, etc...a more robust service.


Any thoughts?



Technically speaking WVD is only the infrastructure that allows you connect securely to the VMs. WVD offers:

 - preauthentication via AzureAD

 - web interface for starting virtual desktops and apps

 - Connect to remote sesion via HTML5 capable browser

 - Load balancing of sessions to different hosts

 - Gateway for the RDP connections (VMs are not available from Internet, each VM has an outgoing tunnel to the WVD service)

 - Tools for analysis of session performance 

 - Ability to automate scale-out and scale-in of virtual machines for cost efficiency.


Compared to the traditional approach you could say WVD is the RD Connection Broker + Highly availbale database, RD Gateway, RD Web Access & Azure AD App Proxy.


So WVD is not the virtual machine, WVD is the service where you integrate and publish your virtual machines, through which you connect to the virtual machines.

And WVD is the only service that allows to deploy & use Windows 10 Multi-Session as OS in the VMs.

Finally WVD has special licensing benefits - e.g. M365 Business allows to access a virtual desktop/VM in WVD on Azure, but it does not allow to use/connect to a virtual machine on-premises.


Of course you could also connect directly to a VM, to any VM deployed in Azure, but then you would need to open ingoing ports to the VM, which is not security best practice. This is also why in traditional Remote Desktop Setup it was recommended to deploy things like RD Gateway. And if you need higher density, so lowering the number of virtual machines to build & maintain, using Win10 Multi-Session is another benefit compared to just connect to a single VM.

Kind regards,
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
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