How to create a Windows Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure


Creating a Windows Virtual Desktop using the Azure Portal requires a number of steps, some of which are less than intuitive. This tutorial shows you how to navigate the various configuration screens.

In an era when millions of employees in the global workforce have been compelled to work from remote locations as a safety precaution, the ability to establish readily accessible cloud-based virtual machines has been vital. Platforms like Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop, administered through Microsoft Azure, can give employees access to consistently configured and significantly more secure virtual workstations, eliminating the need for personal devices.

SEE: Virtualization Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Businesses already subscribing to Microsoft 365 or Windows Enterprise have access to Windows Virtual Desktop at no additional charge per user. Once an enterprise establishes an administrative level Microsoft Azure account, they can use the Portal to create a virtual machine for each of their users. However, there are a number of steps to follow to complete the process.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to create a Windows Virtual Desktop using the Microsoft Azure Portal.

How to create a Windows Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure

Before you can take any steps toward creating a Windows Virtual Desktop you have to first establish an administrative account for Microsoft Azure. Those credentials will allow you to use the Azure Portal to allocate resources for your virtual machines and provide the framework for allowing access to those instances to your employees.

Creating a Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure requires four distinct steps:

  1. Create a host pool of virtual machines.
  2. Create application groups.
  3. Create workspaces.
  4. Designate users.

Host pools are a collection (or just one) of identical VMs that exist as part of the Windows Virtual Desktop Environment. Each host pool can contain an application group which provides the tools users will have access to once logged into the VMs.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

Log in to the Azure Portal with administrative credentials and use the search box to navigate to Windows Virtual Desktop, as shown in Figure A. Click the Create a host pool button to get started.

Figure A

created virtual machines in Azure before, this should be familiar. Many of the default answers will work just fine. Click the Virtual Machines button to move to the next tab.

Figure B

Remote Windows Desktop Client and follow the connection prompts to enter their login credentials.

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