Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI now available!
Published Feb 01 2024 09:12 AM 20K Views
Microsoft

Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI—now in general availability—extends the capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud to your datacenters.

IT pros face a complex and challenging environment as they help their organizations move to the cloud, especially when the cloud isn't the best option for every workload. Managing hybrid cloud migrations while meeting the needs of today's distributed workforce takes a comprehensive approach that balances performance and accessibility with security and control. For organizations that need desktop virtualization for applications that must remain on-premises for performance, data locality, or regulatory reasons, Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI may be the right solution.

Organizations like Commvault, a global leader in data management, also echo these benefits:

At Commvault, we have a unique environment where thousands of employees need hyper-local access to data with the lowest latency possible. Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI checked all the boxes and met our needs with its ease of deployment and management, network and storage performance, and its security integrations allowing for governed access policies. 
Ernie Costa, Business Cloud Operations Manager, Commvault  

Azure Virtual Desktop and Azure Stack HCI each deliver their own value, and with Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, organizations can experience both. Read on to learn more about each solution and how Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI brings both together.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop is a cloud VDI solution designed to meet the challenges of remote and hybrid work​. It enables a secure, remote desktop experience from anywhere, providing employees the best virtualized experience with the only solution fully optimized for Windows 11 and Windows 10 multi-session capabilities. It has built-in security to help keep your organization's applications and data secure and compliant. Azure Virtual Desktop can simplify deployment and management of your infrastructure, gives you full control over configuration and management, and reduces costs by optimizing through existing virtualization investments and skills, as well as consumption-based pricing where you only pay for what you use.

What is Azure Stack HCI?

Azure Stack HCI is a Microsoft infrastructure solution powered by hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) that hosts Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs) or containerized workloads and their storage. It's a hybrid product by design that connects on-premises systems to Azure for cloud-based services, monitoring, and management. Azure Stack HCI gives organizations the agility and cost-effectiveness of public cloud infrastructure while meeting the use case and regulatory requirements for specialized workloads that can't live in the public cloud.  

The new feature release of Azure Stack HCI is now in general availability. It brings cloud-based cluster deployment and management together with Azure Arc infrastructure, providing centralized management of workloads. Learn more about Azure Stack HCI.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI?

Bringing the benefits of Azure Virtual Desktop and Azure Stack HCI together, Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI lets organizations securely run virtualized desktops and apps on-premises at the edge or in their datacenter. For organizations with data residency requirements, latency-sensitive workloads, or those with data proximity requirements. Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI extends the capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud to your datacenters.

With Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, you can:

  • Improve performance for Azure Virtual Desktop users in areas with poor connectivity to the Azure public cloud by giving them session hosts closer to their location.
  • Meet data locality requirements by keeping app and user data on-premises. For more information, see Data locations for Azure Virtual Desktop.
  • Improve access to legacy on-premises apps and data sources by keeping desktops and apps in the same location.
  • Deliver the full Windows experience while retaining cost efficiency with Windows 11 and Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. 
  • Unify your VDI deployment and management compared to traditional on-premises VDI solutions by using the Azure portal.
  • Achieve the best performance by using RDP Shortpath for low-latency user access.
  • Deploy the latest fully patched images quickly and easily using Azure Marketplace images.

How to get started

Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI is generally available with the new feature release of Azure Stack HCI. After you deploy an Azure Stack HCI cluster, it will be available as a resource location for Azure Virtual Desktop host pools.

To run Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, you first need to make sure you're licensed correctly and understand the pricing model. There are three components that affect how much it costs to run Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI:

  • User access rights. The same licenses that grant access to Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure also apply to Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI. Learn more at Azure Virtual Desktop pricing. Note, per-user access pricing for external users is not supported on Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI.
  • Infrastructure costs. Learn more at Azure Stack HCI pricing.
  • Hybrid service fee. This fee requires you to pay for each active virtual CPU (vCPU) for your Azure Virtual Desktop session hosts running on Azure Stack HCI. This fee is active once the preview period ends. The hybrid service fee is $0.01/vCore/hour of consumption. Billing for the service begins on April 1, 2024.

Want to learn more?

Watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode to see a demo of Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI.

Read the Azure Stack HCI blog to learn more about its general availability details.

Your feedback makes our features better

For customers who have already experienced Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI in our preview phase, your feedback has been invaluable, and we thank you. We continue to integrate your requests and ideas into future releases, and your feedback helps our development teams prioritize new features, address missed opportunities, and ensure the product better meets your needs.

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‎Feb 01 2024 10:57 AM
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