Microsoft announced Azure Windows Virtual Desktop public preview on March 21, 2019. As a provider of desktop as a service, the company worked hard in developing the scalability and delivering a real multi-session virtual desktop and application experience running on any device. This is apart from the support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops/ apps, extended support for Windows 7 for the next three years along with its complete virtualization solution and Office 365 ProPlus optimization.
To improve the user experience, Microsoft keeps listening to its customer feedback on Windows Virtual Desktop “UserVoice” forum. For you we have collected information on what the users expect from the Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. Here we are summarizing some of the highly voted requirements posted by customers within the period of June 2019 to January 2020.
Windows Virtual Desktop: User Expectations
Windows Virtual Desktop virtual machines (VMs) need to be independent of the Azure Active Directory Service (AD DS).
As of now, the VMs must join an AD DS pool. One needs both Azure Active Directory AAD (containing user objects) and AD DS (containing computer objects) and that the AD DS needs to be synchronized with AAD.
The cloud-first/cloud-only customers and small business users find it restrictive of not being able to join the VMs on Azure AD (AAD). Besides, the users mention that AD DS is not cheap (over $100/month) and makes it a hard sell for small businesses.
All these make it a highly voted requirement.
Automatic scaling of session hosts
The demand for auto-scaling of session hosts has raised a flag. Although a script by Microsoft is available but it requires to be configured to the task scheduler, plus needs additional VM to run the scheduled task.
This increases cost and naturally not liked by users. They want the script to be implemented using Azure Automation with Hybrid Runbook Worker configuration without requiring any additional VM.
Azure AD security group to synchronize with app groups
Users desire that instead of assigning users to app groups, there must be an Azure AD security group synchronized with app groups- yet another high-voted demand.
Integration of published virtual machines (VMs)
Users do not prefer a separate portal to connect to the published VMS. Instead, they request to integrate it with the existing myapps.microsoft portal.
Implement Single sign-on (SSO) in a true sense
The demand is for the double log-in (once into the portal and again while connecting) to be replaced by Single Sign-on (SSO) that enables them to securely authenticate multiple apps by one-time log in.
Customers urge Microsoft to allow users to log in to virtual desktops/apps using the FIDO2 key support.
FIDO2 is an open authentication standard offering tight security based on public-key cryptography wherein a message sender uses a recipient’s public key to encrypt a message and for decrypting the recipient’s private key is used.
At present, a password using password hash synchronization for the virtual machines is required.
Migration tools for native roaming profiles
With the discontinuation of the migration scripts for native roaming profiles, clients with high users (600 users for example) find it difficult to migrate as manual migration is not possible in such cases.
Local version of Windows 10 multi-session
Interestingly this too is in demand. The Non-English customers of Windows 10 multi-session using the language packs face problems as these are not 100% perfect.
Windows Virtual Desktop session controller service required in the South Africa North DC
Customers are demanding this to get rid of the high latency issues. Right now, the session controller service is being managed from a US DC and customers in SA are affected by high latency problem. The demand is for an ideal distance of 150ms or less for an acceptable experience.
Windows 10 multi-session must be tuned for increased user density
Customers ask for it to reduce cost by bringing down the number of virtual machines. Especially useful when running low volume remote apps.
Various other customer requirements are discussed in the forum and Microsoft has already responded to many of them. We have picked up those that hopefully would be addressed to in the near future.
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