By Davis Merrey
May 9, 2024

Is Windows Virtual Desktop right for you?

Explore whether Windows Virtual Desktop is the right cloud solution for your business needs.

Windows Virtual Desktop, or WVD, is a cloud-based service allowing users to connect to their virtual desktops and applications from various devices. The computing resources (CPU, operating system, RAM, data storage, and applications) run on remote servers that are accessed by the Internet from a variety of devices. 

It’s important to note that the user experience and performance may vary based on the device used, the network conditions, and the specific requirements of the virtual desktop and applications. Microsoft continues to enhance and expand the capabilities of WVD, so it’s advisable to check for the latest updates and device compatibility information on the official Microsoft documentation.

Devices that WVD works with

Users can utilize a wide variety of devices to access WVD, allowing the flexibility of a mixed-device environment. Following is a list of devices that you can use with WVD.

Windows PCs: Users can access WVD using the Remote Desktop Client on Windows-based computers, including desktops, laptops, and 2-in-1 devices.

MacOS Devices: WVD supports access from Mac computers using the Remote Desktop Client for macOS. This enables users with Apple devices to connect to their virtual desktops and applications hosted on WVD.

iOS Devices (iPhone and iPad): The Remote Desktop Client is available for iOS, allowing users to connect to WVD from their iPhones and iPads. This provides mobility and flexibility for users who prefer Apple’s mobile devices.

Android Devices: Android users can utilize the Remote Desktop Client for Android to connect to WVD from their smartphones and tablets. This extends accessibility to a wide range of Android devices.

Web Browsers: WVD also provides a web-based client that allows users to access their virtual desktops and applications directly through supported web browsers. This is particularly useful for scenarios where installing a dedicated client is not possible or convenient.

Thin Clients: WVD is compatible with a variety of thin client devices. Thin clients are lightweight, cost-effective devices that rely on a remote server for processing and storage. They can be suitable for organizations seeking to deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure.

Linux Devices: Microsoft has extended support for Linux devices, enabling users on Linux-based operating systems to connect to WVD using the Remote Desktop Client for Linux.

Smart TVs: In some cases, users can access WVD using smart TVs with web browsers that support the web-based client. However, the user experience may vary, and this scenario is typically less common.

Potential benefits to WVD

Due to this unique architecture of WVD, there are many benefits, such as:

Lower Infrastructure Costs: WVD eliminates the need for organizations to invest in and maintain on-premises hardware for hosting virtual desktops. Instead, they can leverage the scalability and flexibility of the Azure cloud, paying only for the resources they consume. This can result in significant upfront cost savings and ongoing operational savings.

Reduced Capital Expenditure (CapEx): With WVD being a cloud-based service, organizations can shift from a capital expenditure model (significant upfront hardware investments) to an operational expenditure model, paying for resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. This can lead to improved financial flexibility and reduced financial risk.

Scalability and Elasticity: WVD allows organizations to scale their virtual desktop infrastructure based on demand. During periods of increased user activity, resources can be scaled up, and during periods of lower demand, resources can be scaled down. This ensures that organizations only pay for the resources they need at any given time.

Optimized Resource Utilization: WVD supports Windows 10 multi-session, allowing multiple users to share a single virtual machine. This can lead to better resource utilization than traditional VDI solutions, where each user might require a dedicated virtual machine.

Management Efficiency: The centralized management capabilities of WVD through the Azure portal can lead to operational efficiency. IT administrators can easily monitor, manage, and update virtual desktops and applications from a single interface, potentially reducing the time and effort required for maintenance tasks.

Flexible Licensing Models: WVD integrates with Microsoft 365, and organizations can take advantage of existing licenses for Windows and Office applications. This integration can result in cost savings for organizations already invested in Microsoft’s productivity suite.

Reduced Downtime and Business Continuity: WVD’s cloud-based nature enhances business continuity by providing remote access to virtual desktops and applications. This can reduce downtime during unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or disruptions to physical office spaces.

Energy and Environmental Impact: By leveraging the cloud and reducing the reliance on on-premises data centers, organizations may see energy savings and a smaller environmental footprint. Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure often implement energy-efficient practices in their data centers.

While WVD is an attractive opportunity for many businesses, it is, to some extent, a new way of working and accounting for IT expenditures and ROI. It is essential for organizations considering WVD to engage an IT professional to assess the current environment and the goals of the business to determine if WVD is appropriate. 

An IT professional should conduct a thorough cost analysis based on the specific needs and circumstances. While WVD offers potential cost savings, factors such as data transfer costs, network bandwidth requirements, and ongoing management, expenses and user training should be considered in the overall cost-benefit analysis.

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About Davis Merrey

Davis, is Owner/CEO of TeamLogic IT of Oklahoma City, part of an international network of franchisees providing IT support for businesses. He brings many years of experience in a variety of technology related industries, leading teams in providing technical solutions that respond to critical customer needs. The company culture is defined by its Mission Statement: “To help our fellow employees and clients be successful”.

Davis earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He serves on several business related and non-profit boards of directors.