Azure Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session

Introduction

Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session (earlier Windows 10 Enterprise) is a Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) for Windows 10 Enterprise Virtual Desktops (EVD).

It enables simultaneous multiple interactive sessions that were earlier possible only with Windows Server. This is the most valuable and unique feature of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

Purpose

Multiple users can use Windows 10 with the same familiarity and experience of Windows 10. Businesses can get the saving benefits of multiple-session using the existing Windows licensing. No separate RDS Client Access Licenses (CALs) is required.

Multi-Users: Getting the Numbers

The question comes on the number of users who can be working simultaneously on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

The answer is, it depends on factors like the system’s resources like virtual central processing unit, memory, disk, and virtual graphic processing unit, how the applications are used in a session as well as the system’s workload. The best way to get an accurate figure is to validate the system’s performance.

Image Location

It is available in the Azure gallery. Just navigate to the Azure portal and search for the Windows 10 Enterprise for Virtual Desktops. Note here that the Azure gallery has several releases. It includes Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, version 1809, and Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, version 1903. The latest version is recommended.

For an image integrated with Office Pro Plus, search for Microsoft Windows 10 + Office 365 ProPlus.

Managing Multi-Session (Post-Deployment)

Any supported configuration tool can be used for managing Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. However, System Center Configuration Manager 1906 is recommended as it supports Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

Image Customization

Customization of Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session is possible by installing line-of-business (LOB) applications. Then Sysprep/Generalize (command for removing unique information from Windows installation to enable reuse of that image on different computers) the image and create it in the Azure portal.

The steps are…

Step1: Create a virtual machine (VM) in Azure with Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. Alternately, the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) can be downloaded directly.

This VHD can then be used for creating a Generation-1 virtual machine on a Windows 10 PC with enabled Hyper-V. Hyper-V is virtualization software for virtualizing operating systems (OS) plus the entire hardware components like hard drives and network switches.

Step2: Image customization using the installed LOB applications and Sysprep the image

Step3: Next, upload the image on Azure with the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) inside.

Step4: Get Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) from Azure Marketplace and use the image to create a new host pool.

The Lapse

On-premises multi-session is not possible. The reason is, Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session is optimized for the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service on Azure cloud, it does not run in case of on-premises environments. The licensing agreement for running Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session permits its run on Azure alone and will not work against on-premises Key Management Services (KMS).