While this post will focus on new Microsoft Azure tools that will help you migrate Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments to Windows Virtual Desktop, I’d like to start by thanking everyone that has adopted Windows Virtual Desktop since we announced general availability on September 30, 2019!
At Microsoft Ignite in November, we announced new features as well as new Azure capabilities that enable you to migrate existing virtual desktop workloads to Microsoft Azure—as part of Windows Virtual Desktop. Whether you are working with a greenfield scenario (i.e. building a new environment from the ground up) or a brownfield scenario (i.e. transforming existing RDS resources and Windows 10 single-session virtual machines), I hope you find that the information and links in today’s post help you kickstart (or progress) your Windows Virtual Desktop implementation. Here’s what I’ll cover:
The transformation from a traditional RDS and VDI environment to Windows Virtual Desktop offers several benefits:
Azure Migrate is a free Azure service that helps you leverage Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) most efficiently. While you might recall reading about Azure Migrate in relation to server, database, and application workloads, Azure Migrate now also supports virtual desktop workloads.
While Azure Migrate is not required for RDS and VDI migrations (you can use your own assessment and migration tools), it does offer:
For guidance on how to use Azure Migrate for your (Windows) Virtual Desktop workloads, see Add assessment tools.
Our Windows Virtual Desktop partner ecosystem is very broad. To accelerate your VDI migration to Azure, we rely on our partner Lakeside, an independent software vendor (ISV) and known name in the VDI monitoring and analytics industry, who is integrated into our Azure Migrate process.
Lakeside uses their SysTrack diagnostic data to provide a scoring assessment for your virtual desktop workload before you begin migrating your workloads to Azure. During this process, you receive detailed information about the suggested resources (and costs) to use per user session for Windows 10 Enterprise and as well as Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session scenarios.
To learn more about the integration of Azure Migration with Lakeside, see Digital experience monitoring for Windows, or watch our Microsoft Ignite session, Accelerate your RDS and VDI migration to Windows Virtual Desktop, where we also demonstrated the integration with Lakeside SysTrack.
As noted above, Azure Migrate is a migration service that provides a smooth “lift and shift” option for Azure, much of which is accomplished via Azure Migrate: Server Migration. Officially, this service on Azure was used as Disaster Recovery (as-a-Service) solution to support failover workloads to Microsoft Azure so that you can failover to Azure and not failback.
Server Migration uses a management server that remains a replication server in your on-premises, physical, or AWS/Google Cloud environment. The management server replicates the specific drives of the virtual machines to your Azure storage blob account. After you start the migration process, virtual machines in your Azure IaaS environment will be created.
Before we can jump into how to transform your existing RDS or VDI images for use with Windows Virtual Desktop, I want to outline some important steps you first need to take to ensure a successful migration to personal and pooled desktops in Windows Virtual Desktop.
User and application data
Client (end user) endpoint capabilities
In November 2018, Microsoft acquired FSLogix. After the acquisition, Microsoft decided to make the Profile Container product the default for Windows Virtual Desktop. To provide a good migration path between your existing profile solution and Profile Container, we have created a migration script that is currently available as a Private Preview. To gain access to the Private Preview, complete this registration form.
The migration script will allow you to perform mass conversions of user profiles from various (specified) types to FSLogix based Profile Containers at scale. Here are some details about the tool code base and structure of the code with the commands to be executed, as well as detailed examples
Once you have the migration script, \fFollow the steps below.
Convert-UPDProfile -ProfilePath "C:\Users\UserDisk1.vhd" -Target "\\Server\FSLogixProfiles$" -MaxVHDSize 20 -VHDLogicalSectorSize 512 -VHD -IncludeRobocopyDetails -LogPath C:\temp\Log.txt`
After you successfully “lift and shift” your existing hosts with Azure Migrate: Server Migration to your Azure environment, you are ready to prepare your virtual machines. This process makes the virtual machines ready for Windows Virtual Desktop.
You can use existing images as base image for the Azure Marketplace host pool enrollment process after performing the steps below:
Now that you have performed all the required steps, the virtual machine is ready to use as base image for your Windows Virtual Desktop host pool(s) enrollment.
Once you have prepared your image as a managed image and want to use it as a base image for your host pool, you will use your image name as image source during the process of provisioning a host pool.
Note: Ensure that the managed image is both in the specified Azure subscription and in the Azure location you select in step two of the Windows host pool enrollment process.
Now your image is being used as base for all your virtual machines as part of your Windows Virtual Desktop host pool! You can start assigning desktops or remote apps to users, or performing other tasks.
I hope you have found this post useful for your Windows Virtual Desktop project. Please feel free to share your feedback or post question in the Comments section below!
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