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Azure Virtual Desktop: Your Office, Anywhere

Work Anywhere with Azure Virtual Desktop
Work Anywhere with Azure Virtual Desktop

Summary: Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) presents an essential solution for IT managers, business owners, and technical professionals aiming to facilitate remote work while ensuring a high level of security and efficiency. As a desktop and app virtualisation service from Microsoft, AVD offers the ability to work from any location, adjust resources according to demand, easily manage applications, and secure data with advanced protection features.

Looking to understand Azure Virtual Desktop? This guide is for you.  This blog will equip you with essential knowledge about Azure Virtual Desktop, outlining its benefits and application in business settings.  

By focusing on the practical aspects of AVD, this introduction aims to offer clear insights into how Azure Virtual Desktop can be integrated and utilised within your IT framework.  

What is a Virtual Desktop?

A virtual desktop is a digital workspace that mimics the experience of using a physical desktop computer, but it’s hosted on a remote server rather than local hardware. This technology enables users to access their desktop environment with applications, files, and settings from any device with an internet connection. The concept is central to desktop virtualisation—a process where the desktop environment is separated from the physical device used to access it.

Azure Virtual Desktop, previously known as Azure Windows Virtual Desktop, is a powerful example of virtual desktop technology. It leverages Microsoft’s cloud services to offer scalable, flexible, and secure virtual desktops. Users can access these desktops anywhere, providing a consistent work environment without being tied to a single device or location. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for remote work scenarios, allowing IT professionals to efficiently manage and deploy virtualised desktop infrastructure. 

Virtual Desktop

The main benefit of using a virtual desktop, especially with a service like Azure Virtual Desktop, is that you get the best of both worlds: strong security from Microsoft and the ability to access your work from anywhere. This helps you get more done and keeps your information and programs safe. It also fits well with plans to keep businesses running smoothly, even when unexpected events happen.

What does a Virtual Desktop do?

A virtual desktop lets you use a computer online just like you would with a real one, allowing you to use apps, access files, and change settings in a secure online space. It’s designed to let you work flexibly and on the go, without losing out on how well your computer works or how safe your information is. Azure Virtual Desktop takes this further, offering a smooth and effective online workspace.

Cloud Computing Services

Azure Virtual Desktop makes it easier and more efficient for people to use virtual desktops, with some great features:

  • Work from Anywhere: It lets employees get to their work online from any place, which is great for those who work from home or in different locations.
  • Easy to Manage: IT teams can handle apps and security settings all in one place, making things simpler and smoother.
  • Flexible Size: Companies can change their tech setup to match how much work they have, which can help save money and adjust to busier or quieter times.
  • Keeping Data Safe: With Microsoft’s security, everyone’s information stays protected, meeting strict safety standards, even when using personal devices.
  • Works Well with Microsoft Tools: It’s built to work smoothly with Microsoft 365 and Azure Active Directory, making everyday work tools better and user-friendly.

Benefits of Azure Virtual Desktop

Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop is a tool that lets businesses set up online desktops that are easy to adjust, safe, and flexible.

Here’s what it offers:

  • Choose What You Need: You can set up a complete desktop online or just some specific apps, depending on what your business needs.
  • Familiar Windows Environment: It gives users a Windows 10 or 11 setup that feels familiar and can handle multiple users at once.
  • Works Well with Microsoft 365: It makes work easier by fitting perfectly with Microsoft 365 apps for businesses.
  • Keeps Data Safe: It uses Microsoft’s secure system to protect data and follows strict safety rules.
  • Saves Money: You pay for only what you use, which helps keep costs down. Plus, you can easily make changes to match your needs.
Microsoft Azure - Cloud Solutions for Small Business
Microsoft Azure

Why use Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop is a great option for companies that want to improve their computer systems, make things more secure, and allow their employees to work more flexibly.

Here’s why it’s a good choice:

  • Better Security: It’s built on a very secure system, which includes extra security steps like multi-factor authentication and controls over who can access what, keeping company data safe.
  • Saves Money: It cuts down on the need for physical servers, and with its pay-for-what-you-use pricing, it can help keep costs manageable.
  • Work from Anywhere: It makes it easy for employees to access their work from any device, which is perfect for today’s mobile workforce.
  • Works Well with Microsoft Products: It fits smoothly with Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, giving employees the tools they need in a secure setting.
  • Customisable: IT teams can set up the virtual desktops just the way the company needs, making managing apps and updates easier.
  • Flexible for Everyone: It’s designed to work well for all kinds of employees, including those working remotely or on temporary contracts, giving everyone secure and flexible access.

How does Azure Virtual Desktop integrate with other Microsoft Services?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) seamlessly integrates with key Microsoft services to enhance IT management and user experience. Key integrations include:

Microsoft ServiceIntegration Benefit
Microsoft 365 and Office AppsProvides access to essential Office apps in a virtualised environment, optimising for multi-session use.
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)Enables secure, single sign-on access and supports multi-factor authentication, streamlining access management.
Microsoft Endpoint ManagerAllows IT administrators to manage virtual and physical devices uniformly, ensuring consistent policy and security management.
Azure Security CenterOffers advanced threat protection to proactively safeguard the virtual desktop environment.
Azure MonitorEnables comprehensive monitoring and analytics for usage, performance, and health, aiding in proactive management.
OneDrive for BusinessEnsures files are accessible and securely synced across devices, facilitating efficient remote work.

Why consider Azure Virtual Desktop for your business?

Choosing Azure Virtual Desktop can help manage costs wisely:

  • Pay for What You Use: Your business pays only for the online resources it actually uses. This means you can adjust how much you’re using based on your current needs, helping keep costs down.
  • Check Your Subscriptions: If your business already uses Microsoft 365 or Windows 10/11 Enterprise, you might not have to pay extra for Azure Virtual Desktop. It’s a good idea to check what your current plans cover to save money.
  • Storage and Online Costs: The cost can change depending on how much storage you need and the type, plus how your online systems are set up. Choosing the right options can help control your budget.
  • Keep an Eye on Data Use: If you’re sending or receiving a lot of data, it can add to the cost. It’s important to watch how much data you’re using to avoid surprise charges.
  • Ongoing Management Costs: Even though you might not need as many physical computers or servers, you’ll still have costs for managing the online desktops, including paying IT staff or for certain tools.
  • Prices Vary by Location: The cost of using Azure can differ depending on where you are. Using the Azure Pricing Calculator can give you a better idea of what it might cost specifically for your business.

To keep costs down with Azure Virtual Desktop, businesses should:

  • Keep a close eye on how much they’re using Azure services and plan accordingly.
  • Ensure they only use what they need for their virtual desktops and apps.
  • Consider paying ahead for services if they know they’ll use them a lot, which can be cheaper.
  • Check regularly to see if they can change anything to save money.

How does Azure Virtual Desktop compare to other Virtual Desktop solutions?

How Azure Virtual Desktop stands out from other virtual desktop options:

  • Easy to work with Microsoft tools: It works really well with Microsoft 365, Azure AD, and Teams. This is great for businesses that already use a lot of Microsoft products, making teamwork and productivity smoother.
  • Strong security: It uses Azure’s security tools to keep data and apps safer than many other options. This means better protection for your work.
  • Saves money: You only pay for what you use, which can help businesses save money. There’s no need to spend a lot all at once.
  • Grows with you: Azure’s big network means you can scale up easily, serving users all over the world without losing quality.
  • Performs well: Designed to work well with Windows 10 and 11, and Office 365 and Teams, offering a great user experience.
  • Easier to manage: Microsoft handles much of the setup and maintenance, making it less complicated than traditional setups.
  • Customisable: You can adjust it to fit exactly what your business needs, giving you a lot of flexibility.

When you look at Azure Virtual Desktop compared to other virtual desktop options, it stands out because it works really well with Microsoft tools, is very secure, can grow with your business, and is easier to manage. If your business uses a lot of Microsoft products, or you need a safe, flexible, and affordable way to give people access to their work computers from anywhere, Azure Virtual Desktop is a great option.

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Support and Maintenance for Azure Virtual Desktop

Keeping Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) working well involves a few key steps:

  • Watch How It’s Doing: Use tools to check on AVD’s performance and usage to keep it running smoothly.
  • Keep It Safe: Regularly update your security settings and control who can access what to protect against threats.
  • Help Your Users: Have a way to help users with any problems or questions they might have.
  • Update Regularly: Make sure all your software is up to date to keep things secure and working well.
  • Back Up Your Data: Use backup tools to keep your data safe and be ready for any emergencies.
  • Watch Your Costs: Regularly check how much you’re spending on AVD and adjust to save money.
  • Train Your Team: Keep everyone up to date on how to use AVD effectively.
  • Ask The Excellence IT Team: Ask your Cyber Security Experts! Our outsourced cyber security team are always happy to help.


Even though AVD makes a lot of things easier, staying on top of these areas is crucial for getting the most out of it.

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Conclusion

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a big step forward in making computer desktops available over the internet, giving companies a flexible, safe, and affordable way to manage their computer needs. It works really well with Microsoft’s other services, offers strong security, and is a top pick for businesses wanting to use this kind of technology.

With AVD, companies can make their online desktops just right for what they need, helping them work better and save money. They can choose the right size for their virtual computers, set up their systems just how they like, and use Azure’s ability to handle big or small demands and automate tasks. AVD gives businesses all the tools they need to set up a really efficient online desktop system.

Ready to elevate your IT and cyber security with Azure Virtual Desktop?

As a Cardiff-based managed service provider focused on IT and cyber security, we’re here to guide your transition. Contact us now to see how our tailored AVD solutions can boost your business’s productivity and security.

Contact us today.

Email: marketing@excellence-it.co.uk

Tel: 029 2088 7362

Azure Virtual Desktop FAQs

Why should I switch to Azure Virtual Desktop if my team can work on physical desktops?

Physical desktops limit your team’s ability to work flexibly and remotely, which is essential in today’s dynamic work environment. Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) enables your workforce to access their desktops from anywhere, at any time, enhancing productivity and accommodating modern work styles.

Our company is new to virtual desktops. How easy is it to integrate AVD with our current systems?

AVD is designed for seamless integration with existing Microsoft products and services, including Microsoft 365 and Azure Active Directory.

We specialise in guiding businesses through the integration process, ensuring a smooth transition without disrupting your operations.

How does Azure Virtual Desktop help in reducing IT costs?

Traditional desktop infrastructures require significant capital investment in hardware, along with ongoing maintenance costs. AVD operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, dramatically reducing the need for physical hardware and lowering both initial and operational expenses. This scalability and efficiency can lead to substantial cost savings.

Is security a concern with virtual desktops like AVD?

Security is a top priority for AVD, built on Microsoft’s secure Azure platform. It offers advanced security features, such as multi-factor authentication and Azure Security Center integration, providing a more secure environment than many traditional desktop setups. This ensures your data and applications are protected against modern threats.

Additionally, Excellence IT are a cyber security first Managed Service Provider. We have cyber security at the heart of everything we do.

Calum Edwards

As the Digital Marketing Lead at Excellence IT, I write content, create guides, and infographics on IT Support, Cyber Security, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for business.

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