Making the Case: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

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December 3, 2020

The past year brought many changes to the way we work, and with changes come challenges. Microsoft’s October 2019 release of its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) platform is a solution that meets businesses in the middle of those challenges and enables a secure remote environment that is familiar, cost-effective, and easy-to-use. However, as timely as the solution may be, some companies still hesitate to consider shifting from traditional hardware to a virtual solution. While WVD may not be best for every business, it offers many benefits and should be considered as part of your technology planning.  

What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

WVD is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service that runs on Microsoft Azure. It provides a user-friendly Windows 10 experience and the ability for users to access their desktops anywhere, on any device, at any time. Deployment takes minutes and security, and compliance is built-in. WVD is the only virtual desktop infrastructure that delivers simplified management for IT and admins, along with multi-session Windows 10 and the best Microsoft Office 365 experience for end-users.

Why Make the Switch? 

When it comes to evaluating the Windows Virtual Desktop solution for your workforce, there’s no doubt about it; the platform checks many key boxes, which we outline below.

Modern User Experience

WVD provides users access to their desktop from almost any device and provides the same Windows 10 experience across platforms without sacrificing valuable speed or performance. Users can work in their familiar WVD environment just like they would from their local laptops.

Simplified Management

The WVD platform shifts the responsibility of many traditional management responsibilities from your technical staff to Microsoft, freeing up significant time to focus on supporting other areas of your organizations. The platform also includes built-in troubleshooting and advanced diagnostic tools to quickly address errors and further simplify your infrastructure’s maintenance. Taking advantage of the WVD platform gives you the flexibility to manage users in the familiar Azure portal and minimizes the administrators’ learning curve when they make the switch.  

Enhanced End to End security

Today, security is paramount, and WVD takes it seriously, allowing you to take advantage of Microsoft security capabilities like Azure encryption, Azure Firewall, Azure Security Center, and Microsoft Defender to secure your infrastructure and store your data safely. Within the platform, you can leverage other key security features like: 

  • Secure sign-on – multi-factor authentication can be enabled
  • Role-based access protects data.
  • User sessions are isolated – even in Windows 10 multi-session

Optimized Costs

Whether you currently have on-premises infrastructure and hardware or you’re already leveraging cloud resources, WVD provides a potential for savings. Multi-session Windows significantly reduces compute costs if you’re utilizing cloud infrastructure. When it comes to licensing, you can bring you’re existing licenses with you and take advantage of Windows 10 licensing that may already be included in your Microsoft 365 subscription. 

Whether you’re leveraging Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or maintaining on-premises hardware, Windows Virtual Desktop can also offer maintenance labor savings. Additionally, WVDs also present the opportunity to shift towards Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to save costs without sacrificing security. 

Does it make sense for my company?

Once you understand the WVD platform and the benefits it has to offer, it’s important to evaluate it against your specific business circumstances, needs, and goals. Consider the following when deciding if the WVD platform is right for you. 

Existing On-Premises Virtualization

If you’re already working in a virtualized environment, moving to Windows Virtual Desktop might be a better solution. Migrating your workloads to the cloud creates a potential for not only simplified management and flexibility, but also cost savings over time. If you’re considering an upgrade to your current virtual infrastructure, taking the time to compare that upgrade with moving to a modernized WVD solution could provide you with a better set of options when it comes to your IT investment. 

Benefits for Remote & Mobile Employees

With 58% of the workforce working from home some or all of the time, remote work seems to be here to stay. As a result of the pandemic, many organizations moved to remote work out of necessity, without the opportunity to fully evaluate their options. Now that remote work is the new normal, it’s worth evaluating options to find the best solution for your organization moving forward. WVD allows employees to work on company hardware or directly from their own devices (BYOD) without compromising security. They also provide an easy to implement and maintain desktop solution for call centers and branch workers. 

Elastic Workforce Solutions

Maybe it doesn’t make sense for your organization to use WVD across your entire environment. Regardless, there may be situations where WVD will be a better solution than making hardware investments. If you’re facing any of the below scenarios, WVD could be the best short-term solution to meet your need while remaining secure and maintaining the control you require.  

  • Mergers and acquisition
  • Short term employees
  • Contractor and partner access

Security & Regulatory Concerns 

Certain industries face significant security, regulatory, and compliance concerns. WVD allows you to leverage Azure’s built-in security and compliance features to ensure your data is handled appropriately, whether you in financial services, healthcare, government, or other highly regulated industries.  

Next Steps

As you can see, Windows Virtual Desktop has many benefits and makes sense for many businesses. Change is a big deal, and we understand that you may have questions and concerns before you make a decision. Please join us for our upcoming webinar where we’ll not only go into much more detail about WVD but are available to answer any questions you have. 

Phil Keeney - Stambaugh Ness