Discover a unique solution for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) - the AVD Foundation! With Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) and Terraform, we offer standardized and automated solutions for Personal and Pooled Hosts. Learn how to quickly build, optimize and scale your AVD environment to meet the needs of your business. Put an end to semi-automated environments and semi-productive states - improve your daily work with AVD Foundation!
Azure Virtual Desktop is by no means a new service, but in our experience it is an Azure service that fills many gaps and is very popular with our customers. Setting up an AVD environment “quickly” is certainly not a problem for an engineer who is familiar with Azure. But where does it go from there? What normally starts as a test environment soon becomes a workload in productive use, which thus also has completely different requirements for secure and stable operation.
Microsoft itself offers many functions that make this quite easy. However, the use cases are very different and for some aspects there are no automation solutions yet. For example, the use cases for Pooled AVD and Personal AVD are usually fundamentally different. But in order to provide a holistic, standardized and reproducible solution, we believe that the use of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) is a necessity.
IaC and Terraform for AVD Foundation
Similar to our Azure Foundation, we also use Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) based on Terraform for the deployment of the AVD Foundation. This allows us to quickly build the perfect-fit AVD environment in a standardized way, depending on the customer specific setup. During a parameterization workshop, the needs and wishes are determined, the existing infrastructure is analyzed and the required parameters for the deployment are compiled. In this way, we can provide an AVD Personal Host environment for productive deployment at the customer’s site within a few days. With the Pooled AVD approach, we also offer an automated solution together with Image Factory, which implements image management on a code basis as well as enabling the management of the AVD environment itself.
For personal hosts, which are treated similarly to users’ physical workstations, the AVD Foundation focuses primarily on providing the necessary infrastructure in Azure. In a multi-layered approach, not only monitoring solutions are implemented, but also hosts, pools, workspaces and applications are provided. The Windows image directly from the Microsoft Marketplace serves as the basis.
Software installation and configuration on the provisioned hosts is done via a client management solution, in our case Intune and RealmJoin, which is strongly oriented towards autopilot deployment of physical clients. For cost-optimized operations, we also provide the ability to idle hosts using Azure Functions to reduce infrastructure costs - a feature not yet offered by AVD’s current scaling plans. This can significantly reduce the cost of personal hosts without having to rely on reservations.
The Pooled Hosts approach is more closely aligned with the classic terminal server approach. In order to fully exploit the flexibility and scalability of AVD compared to legacy desktop virtualization solutions, we rely on so-called golden images for Pooled Hosts. These make it possible to deploy standardized hosts on demand in the least amount of time. The fully automated creation of these golden images is done with the help of our Image Factory, where the image can be parameterized and configured.
Especially interesting is the automated software installation during the imaging process by RealmJoin. The manual creation and storage of software packages is no longer necessary; instead, a pool of over 1,000 ready-to-use software packages can be accessed or individual packages can be used. The simultaneous use of RealmJoin for standard clients and AVD hosts enables particularly large synergies.
The customized images are then stored in a compute gallery and used to deploy the pools. This process can be parallelized for multiple host pools with different images as well as performed as often as required to always create an up-to-date version.
From the customer AVD workspace to the profile shares and the hosts themselves, everything is created completely automatically using Terraform code in pipelines. The profile shares can be created without direct line-of-sight to the ADDS, and no management client/server is required. Everything is done directly during the automated code deployment, with no manual steps required.
When adjusting pool sizes later on, our AVD Manager takes over the automated management of AAD and Intune objects.
If you are tired of semi-automated AVD environments or semi-productive states, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to present our sophisticated AVD Foundation solution in detail and show you how it can revolutionize your everyday work.