Azure Virtual Desktop: A Cost-Effective and Secure Data Anywhere

Azure Virtual Desktop: A Cost-Effective and Secure Data Anywhere

Microsoft’s remote desktop service, Azure Virtual Desktop, is a popular choice for lots of businesses to allow their employees to access their files and systems from anywhere. Formerly Windows Remote Desktop, Azure Virtual Desktop now utilises the powerful Azure platform to leverage the cloud as part of its remote desktop capabilities.

If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, you might be wondering how it all works, and why Azure Virtual Desktop is far better than the other solutions available.

In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of Azure Virtual Desktop, as well as take a look at some of the benefits that it has to offer over other similar solutions to help your employees work from anywhere.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a desktop virtualisation service offered by Microsoft, through the Azure platform. It essentially allows users to access their desktop virtually from anywhere, meaning that you can access files, applications, and anything else without having to physically be at the computer your work desktop is on.

This is especially useful nowadays, as remote working has become a hot topic for lots of organisations in a post-pandemic world. However, Azure Virtual Desktop is an incredibly flexible tool that can be used for lots of different functions throughout your workplace.

The first main reason that virtual machines are used in many different workplaces is due to the economic benefit — you only need to invest in the virtual server and cheap hardware that can connect to individual accounts within the virtual infrastructure, rather than having to have computers that all have high-level hardware.

This also lets users use their system on any computer within an institution instead of having a login on a specific computer — which has only gotten stronger with Azure Virtual Desktop and the cloud. Now, users can access their work devices from anywhere — further allowing for more flexibility throughout the workplace.

There are also other benefits to having a virtual desktop — the ease of creating for new users and deleting them after they’ve left is far easier using a virtual machine, as offboarding simply takes a few clicks. Plus, using Azure Virtual Desktop allows you to take advantage of the powerful Azure platform — meaning high-performance cloud servers for a cost-efficient, pay-as-you-go service.

Azure Virtual Desktop vs. Similar Solutions

Azure Virtual Desktop vs. VPN

While both Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and AVD allow you to easily connect to your work network, they are very different types of services and work in different ways from one another.

A VPN creates a tunnel between your network and the target network, meaning that you can securely connect to your work network from anywhere. However, VPNs only allow you to remotely connect and receive data from your organisation, meaning that you don’t get any of the hardware benefits that you do with AVD.

While a VPN is more cost-effective than AVD, it is far more restrictive and is incredibly hardware-dependent, whereas AVD uses the powerful Azure hardware instead of having to open files that have been transmitted on your own device.

Ultimately, VPNs are useful and have their place, but — while similar to AVD — cannot replace the benefits that a desktop virtualisation service can offer.

Azure Virtual Desktop vs. Windows 365

Both offered by Microsoft, Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop have lots of similarities.

However, Windows 365 provides a much more simple solution for desktop virtualisation — aiming to be a simple remote desktop application rather than having the depth that AVD offers.

Due to this, Windows 365 isn’t suitable for most organisations — as AVD provides many more benefits and ways to take advantage of the power of desktop virtualisation.

Azure Virtual Desktop vs. Virtual Machines

While incredibly similar, Azure Virtual Desktop is actually a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and not a virtual machine (VM).

While AVD does utilise VMs, a VDI is a licensed and managed way to be able to use desktop virtualisation within your organisation — whereas VMs are simply just a way of virtualising a desktop.

AVD is therefore much easier to use within your organisation as it is provided as a service, whereas setting up a VM requires a lot of prior technical knowledge and maintenance.

How to Get Started with AVD

The best way to get started with AVD is by following the getting started feature provided by Microsoft. This will allow you to deploy your own implementation of Azure Virtual Desktop within your organisation and provides lots of information on how to get started with it.

There are also lots of resources provided by Microsoft Learn to make using AVD as easy as possible. Reading through this documentation is another great way to get started — as it helps you work out exactly what you need to do and all of the terminology and prerequisites you’ll need to know about.

However, this setup is still quite technical and could take a lot of time to wrap your head around. To ensure that your AVD implementation is deployed properly, the best thing to do is to team up with a service provider who can ensure that everything is done correctly for your organisation.

How We Can Help

Azure Virtual Desktop is a powerful desktop virtualization infrastructure that can help take your organisation’s IT infrastructure to the next level by enabling remote working and increased scalability. All powered by the powerful Azure cloud platform, Azure Virtual Desktop is easy to deploy and implement into your organisation.

While there are other options that provide a similar service, AVD is a great balance between complexity and simplicity, while being able to easily meet your institution’s needs.

If you’re looking to get started with AVD but aren’t sure how, get in touch with us today. Our experts will be able to help you figure out what your organization needs to ensure that your AVD implementation meets your needs.

Contact us now and see how we can help.