AZ-140 Configuring and Operating Windows Virtual Desktop on Microsoft Azure Topic: Create & Configure Host pools, Session hosts & Application groups
December 16, 2022

1. Create a Pooled Host Pool

In this lecture, we will use the Windows virtual desktop to create our pool host pool. Before I do that and show you how it’s done, I’d like to do a quick recap because we’ll need to review these concepts quickly because we’ll be using them right now. In the previous sections, we have explained the compute deployment options. One of them is the personal desktop, and the other is the pool desktop. In this section, we will create a pulled-host pool so that we can use pulled desktops. For this option, we know it is ideal for multisession, which means more than one user can use one virtual machine. And this is beneficial for personal savings. It’s going to be in the other section, and it is one person or one user’s virtual machine, and it is good for performance. So this is one of the concepts I wanted to review with you. If you need to remember more, you can review the lectures for that topic. As for the second option or deployment option decision, which we will also need to make right now once we create the host pool, there is the load balancing option.

So if you go with the pooled option, you will need to select a load balancing option. There are two options: depth first and breadth first. The depth-first load balancing option is ideal for cost-conscious organisations that want more granular control over the number of virtual machines. They allocate for the host pool. This method selects the session host with the highest number of sessions. So, if the session host one has the maximum session number of four, it will ensure that all new connections are directed to the session host one until it reaches the four connections, and then it will go to session host two, host two, and finally session host three. Unlike the first load balancing attempt by the British, So this method is ideal for organisations that want to provide the best experience for users connecting to their post-virtual desktop environment. It tries to select the session randomly with the fewest number of sessions.

So it gives one user for session host 1, one for session host 2, one for session host 3, and so on and so forth. The last thing I wanted to review with you is what’s going to be created once we create the host pool using the Windows virtual desktop service. Three things we will see in the environment of the WVD are the host pool, the app group, and the workspace. The host pool is the collection of Azure virtual machines, and the app group is the logical grooming of the applications installed on session hosts. So there’s a default app group that will be created for us, which is the app group so the users can use their desktops, and the workspace is a logical grouping of application groups in the Windows virtual desktop. So we can have more than one application group, and we can group them under one workspace. So once the user logs in, he sees everything in his workspace. So let’s go and create our first host pool. This is the Azure Portal, and I will go to the Windows virtual desktop service. I will create a host pool. I will have a new resource group to be a new one. So I’ll refer to this as a resource group. Okay, what is the host’s name and the location? I will keep it in East Texas.

Because everything I have is in the East US. And for the host pool type, this is where you want to make your compute deployment decision. It’s either personal or pulled. The topic of this section has been pulled. In the other section, we will go with the personal. So let’s go with pulled. What is the maximum session limit you want for the machine or the virtual machine? So let’s have it for five. And what about the load-balancing algorithm? Do you want breadth first? Which is more cost-effective? Or do you want sorry? The breadth first is more performance effective, and the depth first is for cost optimization. So I’m going to go with the depths first and then virtual machines. So you have to make your decision about the virtual machines. So host pools are a collection of one or more identical virtual machines, and you need to create them if you want to have the compute power. So of course I want to create a resource group. What is a resource group? I’m going to leave it as the same one. What is the size? Let’s go with this size.

Keep it as is. How many VMs do you want to have? And because this is a multi-user session and I have only two users in the group I’m going to test, I will go with one machine for now. For the personal, I will go with more. Now, what is the name prefix? So every virtual machine you create is going to have a prefix name prefix. So you can say “pole VM.” So it’s going to be pole VM zero, pole VM one, and so on. What is the gallery? And in the previous section, we created our custom image. So now is the time to use it. So you have image type and image, a storage block and gallery, and you can choose the image you want. So let’s browse the images we have. And these are the images available in the Azure Marketplace. But if you go to my items, you shall find the image that you have customised and created, which is called the WVD image, if you remember from the previous lectures. So this is the one I will go with because this is the one I have customized. It runs a multisette image of Windows ten. and I have installed FSLogix.

So it’s great for our scenario. I will keep it standard on SSD. No, actually, let’s go with the premium SSD so we can have it faster and with more performance. It will also question you about the network and its security. It’s going to detect what networks are in the same region, and preferably for our domain control scenario and for the identity scenario we went with, they must have connections. And for this demonstration, I will use the same network. What about the subnet? I will use this subnet, which is the host pool subnet. Do you want to have a public IB? And this is one of the great features of the WVD. No, I don’t want to have the public IB because with the WVD services that Microsoft takes care of and the ones that we have discussed in the what you manage and what Microsoft manages lecture, you don’t need a public IP for the end users to connect to their desktops. Microsoft will take care of that for you, as well as the network security and everything else. I would keep it as the default. Now, this is a very important section of this dialogue. It wants the ad domain to join UPN. So it says it’s an Active Directory user that has permissions and will be used to join the virtual machines to your domain.

If you remember from our previous sections, we created a WVD admin user, and that user is synchronised with our Active Directory, and he is a member of the domain admins group. So this is the one we need to use. And that was a requirement to create that account in the previous sections. So let me just grab that username so I can use it. So this is the username, and you will need to provide the password and provide it again, and then go to Workspace. So do you want to register a workspace? Yes, I want my users to use this to see a workspace. What is the workspace? Okay, I’m going to make a new one called Workspace. And reviewing so that we can create it will validate that everything is in order. And it best expresses validation. Everything is fine. You can review the last two sections. The compute is full, and we go with the depth first, so it’s better for the cost and for the demonstration purpose. And the maximum number of sessions is five. Everything is good. We used our own customised image, and let’s create the WVD host pool. Now the deployment is in progress. It usually takes some time to create the virtual machines and domain-join them. So I will pause this video, stop at this video, and continue in the next lecture so we can explore what has been created and what we can do next.

2. Use a friendly name for the Pooled workspace

So the host pool was created. Now we can navigate to our Windows virtual desktop host pools, and this is the one pulled host, as we called it. So, what is the size of the host pool? How many session hosts are there? How many application groups are created by default with the session host? Which is the desktop? For now, we only have the desktop. If you go to RDP properties, you can see some interesting options for the RDP connection information. What is the nature of the connection bandwidth, so that you can check the connection options and session behaviour for the reconnection? Auto-detect network, auto-detect video playback, auto-detect compression—everything.

You can control it from here. the device redirection as well as audio and video, local devices, and resources. There are many, many options you can control as well as the display settings, for example, if you allow multidisplays or not, selected monitors, and so on. So you can control this. What are the desktop size, height, width, scale, and advanced features? If you want to have RDB properties here, what about the other properties? If you come back, we are in the hospital and have gone to Properties. So here you can control the load balancing algorithm;

you can change it, the maximum number of sessions, and so on. And you can give it a friendly name as well. If you scroll down, we will go to application groups. Here you will see the application group that was created by default. We’ll look into it right away. The session hosts if you want to add more, logs tasks, and so on. If we go to the application group, this is the one created by default. If you go to applications, you can see the desktop, which is the default desktop application. If you go to Properties, let’s see what options we have once we go to Properties, so you have the information and you can assign it a friendly name as well.

 If you go to Workspaces, you will see the workspace that we created after we created the host pool. And from here you can also have some options and you can assign it a friendly name. So once the end users sign in, they can see a friendly name, and from there they can select whether they want to go with the desktop or with the applications. Once we add the remote applications, which we will do in another section, So let’s give it a friendly name to try it out. So this is a friendly name for the workspace, and let’s say, “My great workspace” and be done. So we have explored the setup and what was created once we created the host pool in this lecture.

3. Assign an Azure AD group to the Pooled Application group

Now we need to assign an Azure Active Directory group to the pooled application group so the users can access their desktops and remote applications. We can do that by going to Windows Virtual Desktop and then to the application group. We have this application group that is associated with our pooled host fool. It says “Host fool.” This is the one, so click on this one. And if you go to Assignments, you can add assignments from here. The group we created was called Desktop Users. So this is the group I wanted to add. It has two user names. One of them is Bill, and the other is Pop. I will select this one. So once the assignment is done, we can actually start testing our WVD setup to see what the users will see and how we can manage decisions so it is successful. So this is how you assign a security group to your application group in the WVD.

4. Explore the Pooled setup and Connect to AVD

Let’s test our setup by using a remote desktop client. In one of the lectures, we have listed the clients supported for the remote desktop with WVD. And I’m going to use the whip in this lecture. So if we open this link, it’s going to take you to this URL, which is the Remote Resources feed. If you click on this one, it will ask you to sign in. Now, this is what your end users can use to sign in so they can access their resources. So for this example, I’m going to use one of the assigned users, and it’s going to be Bob and password. So this is what Pop will see once he signs in to the Web client. As you can see, this is the workspace name, which we gave it in previous lectures as friendly name migrate workspace. And right now, only a desktop is available for Pub, which is a multi-session desktop. So what happens if you click on this desktop? It asks you what you want to give it access to. Let’s go with the clipboard for now. And it’s going to connect Bob to the Disturb.

This may take some time the first time because it’s going to set everything up for him. It’s going to create a VHD file for the FSLogix container. So I will post this video, and let’s pause it after I actually enter the username and password. Now, for the username and password, once it’s related to the desktop, you will need to enter the user name as it is in the domain controller, which is in this case, the email address of Pop, which is his username, and he will need to enter the password for his desktop and submit. And now I will pause the video and come back later once it’s done.

So Bob’s desktop is already ready, and he can start using it as if he’s using his own personal laptop. So this is the experience we were talking about. Now he can, of course, have it on full screen. So this is the full-screen view, and yeah, let’s check some things together. So if we go to the start menu and we go here and we go to this PC, what we can see here is that it is already the main joint “California Clouds Local,” and the computer name is using the suffix we gave it. So Paul VM zero. So it’s already within his purview. And if you go to the users page, we can see that the user name is Pop. So what happens if we go right now and check the domain controller? We will be able to see the computer there. So let’s minimise this and go to our domain controller.

So this is the domain controller, and let’s go to computers, and yep, here it is. We can see it here. So if we go back, this is the session for Bob. What will happen if we try to join the other user, Bell, on the same machine? If we go back to our Azure Portal and we go to the host pool, and then we select the pooled host, which is the one we are utilising at the moment, then we can see that the total number of active sessions is one. And if we scroll down and go to the session hosts, just take a minute and appear here. So this is the session host. We have one active session, and if I click on that, it says the name of the virtual machine and the users. So I have only pop at the moment. So let’s try and join the other user at the same time on this virtual machine. So this is another browser I’m using, and I have already signed in as Bill. And this is the default desktop.

So I will click on it and try to sign into the same virtual machine. Now, because I’m using the multisession image, everything will go smoothly up to five sessions. And this is the limit we have set once we have created the host port. So it’s opening the remote port, establishing the secure connection, and it asks me for the username and password, which is the email for this user, Bill. and he tries to log in. So let’s see, it’s going to take some time again to prepare the desktop for Bill. And here is the desktop for Bill. He has the full experience; he can do whatever he wants; he can open whatever application he wants; and he’s on the same machine. If we go here and Oops and try to see what the name of this machine is, we’ll see that it’s the pool VM zero, ball VM zero California Clouds. And if I go to Bob again, it will be the same machine but a different, isolated experience.

And if we try to see the name, it’s going to be the same again: bowl VM zero. So this is the multisession experience. Even if we go back to our Azure Portal and let’s refresh the session hosts, it now shows two active hosts, and if I click here, it’s going to show Bob and Bill. So I have the two users signed in to the session host on the same virtual machine. I’ll sign out the users, close the desktop connection, and sign out Bob and me. I will do the same for Bell as well. So now if we go back to our domain controller and we want to check if the FSLogix is working fine, we shall be able to find two new folders under “Profiles.” And we can see there is one for publishing and one for building.

So the Logic setup is working fine. You can see that the user profiles are being saved on the Azure file share. We’ll be able to see the same thing if we go to our Azure Portal. and then to the storage account and into the file share. Here is our Azure file share associated with the FSLogix. And here are the profiles. And we can see the two new directories here. So everything is working fine. The host pool was created properly. The users are able to sign in and use their desktops. And they were both able to log in to the same virtual machine using the Windows 10 multisession experience. You.

5. Create a New Application Group

We will create a new application group and add it to an existing hosting pool. So I’ll go to the Windows Virtual Desktop, then to application groups, and add a new one. Let me select the same resource group where I have my host pool. What is the host pool? Do you want to associate this one with it? So I will also have it with the pool host. The location is selected, and the application group type is going to be “Remote App.” As a result, I want to make remote applications available to users. Next, you can go to the application. I will leave that for later, and then you can go to Assignments.

So to whom do you want to grant access to this application group? I will add the same users, Bell and Bob. I’ve added two new sections: “bold resource group” and “bold desktop users group.” So this is the one select. As for the workspace, I’m going to also have it registered with the same one, which is the bold workspace. And I will review and create if there’s something I need to review or I didn’t give it a name. So the application group name is going to be My Great Apps. So let’s review now, and once the validation passes, we can create it. So I have created the application pool, and in the next lecture we will add some remote apps so we can actually system you using the users we have.

6. Add Remote Apps to the Application Group

Let’s add some applications to our Remote Apps application group. Let’s go to Windows Virtual Desktop and then to application groups. And here is the one we created in the previous lecture, “Migrate Apps Application Group.” This was the default one created to hold the desktop experience. So this is the application group for the desktop experience, which is created by default. It says Desktop, and both of them are joined to the same pool. If I click on this application group, the one I created, we will see it is joined to this host pool.

We can see what is in the east pool host pool, how many session hosts there are, and how many active sessions there are if we go look at it. Currently zero. And we have only one machine as a session host at the moment, and if we go back, it belongs to the workspace, the bold workspace. And this one actually has many things we can change, and we gave it a friendly name. So the user, once he logs in, will see my great workspace, and under that, he will see the applications assigned to desktop and the ones we are going to assign in this lecture. So if I go back to my application group, my Great Apps application group, and I go to manage applications and I click on Add from here, I can add the applications so the user will see them once he uses the remote access client.

Now you have two options: either you add them from the Start menu or specify a file path. If you select the file path you will need to specify the application path and It says Windows Application Local Drive, Absolute Path. You give the application a name, and you give it a display name and the icon’s information and description as well. And if it requires a command line, let me just for the sake of simplicity say that I don’t have any business applications or any line of business applications installed on my machine. Let’s just get some applications from the Start menu and let’s see the list of what we have: we have Excel, we have Access, we have other stuff; you can see OneDrive and so on. So I will add, for example, Paint, and you can see that it features the information for the past, and I will click Save, and I will also add other applications.

So, from the Start menu, I’ll get PowerPoint, for example, and I’ll also add this one, and let’s add another one just so our users can see a variety of applications for demonstration purposes. So let’s go here, and what else? We could add something; let’s add the word “Save” so you can see the list of applications is being updated whenever we add any new applications to the application group, and let’s add just another one so we can see how they will look. At this time, I will use Internet Explorer, for example, and Safe. Yes. So I think this will be enough. We have added four applications to the remote app application group. And let’s see the updated list.

So this is the updated list. Internet Explorer, Paint, PowerPoint, and World So now I have these four applications. So what shall the user see once we do the testing in the next lecture? First, let’s see which group this is assigned to. It is assigned to the pooled desktop users. So these users, who, I believe, are Bell and Bob in our example, will be able to access these remote applications. Also, the same are added to the desktop, so they can also access the desktop if we go to assignments. I believe we use the same in group. So you can see, yes, the rights are assigned properly, and those users shall be able to see the applications we have assigned to them under the workspace, my Amazing workspace, or my Grid workspace. We gave it a friendly name. So this is what we are going to do in the next lecture.

7. Connect to the Remote Apps

So now that we have added the applications to our application group, how would the users assigned to that application group see those applications? In this lecture, we will connect to the virtual desktop applications using one of the users assigned to see and test the experience. So right now we have these four applications added, and the way we are going to use them is to use one of the supported remote desktop clients. I will go with the whip one, and if I click on this link, it’s going to open this one for me, which is basically a URL to be used. I have already logged in using one of the users, Bell, and this is the browser. So this is the link, and Bell Smith is logged in, and he can see the workspaces assigned to him. Right now, we have the migrated workspace, where we have the desktop and the applications added to this workspace.

We can have different workspaces, of course, and we can have different app groups of applications under each one of them. But for now, for simplicity, I have these in one application group and these four in another application group. and he is able to see all of them. He has access to all of them. So just like that, he can actually open any application he wants. So let’s try to open the PowerPoint and ask you if you want to allow access to these things. Allow for the clipboard, and it is currently opening remote ports. Usually the first time, it takes some time to establish the connection, and now it asks for the username and password. So this is the user name and the password, and I will submit. So this is my PowerPoint application. You can work with it as you would work with the actual PowerPoint. And if you go ahead and choose Let’s Open Paint as well, So I have the Paint application open. You can have them on full screen, and you can close the tab so you can see it has been closed. So this is the web client. Of course, you can have the Windows client or one for Linux, macOS, and so on. Each has a different experience, but all of them will give you access to your applications and your desktop. And if I return to my Azure Portal, I’ll see that the active sessions are only one for this user right now. So this is how you add applications to your application groups, and we were able to test them using one of the users.

8. Create a Personal Host Pool

In this lecture, I will use the Windows virtual desktop service to create a personal host pool. A personal host pool is ideal for single-session users with heavy performance requirements. So you will need to choose the right VM size to run business applications like CAD and SAB. And you need to keep in mind that this could be an all-on-one experience with single-state retention. This is typically used for teams that require a VM for themselves.

They need to install applications or uninstall applications, and they should feel free to do whatever they want. Or they need some powerful virtual machines. So the relationship here is one user pair and one machine. Let me go back to the Azure Portal, and let’s go and create the host pool together. I’ll make a host pool or go to Hostpool here. I have one created already for the pooled host pole. So let’s create another one. This one is going to be a personal pool. I will use a new resource group. Let’s call it the personal host resource group, okay? The host pool name is going to be Host. I’ll keep it in the East US, where all of my other resources and the host pool type are. This is where we select.

We want personal If you want to select the pool, you will have to select the pool and specify the maximum numbers for the virtual machine and what the load balancing is. You can review the other section about the host pool. But for now, this section is about the personal host pool, and after that, it will ask you about the assignment type. If we look at the options, we have automatic and direct. So what do they mean by that? If you go here, it says “Automatic assignment.” The service will select an available host and assign it to a user in an automated fashion. During the direct assignment, you, as an administrator, will select a specific host to assign to a user. So this is the distinction between the two. I will go and take the direct assignment. So I will try testing the direct assignment for you, and I will click on go to the virtual machines. So do you want to add the virtual machines? I will say yes. I will keep the default region and resource group, the default ones. Also, I will keep the size for now because I have no heavy applications to be running. Actually, I’ll keep the number of virtual machines to a minimum. So I will have two virtual machines.

So we can get the chance to see the options we have and the name prefix, let’s say. So it’s going to be personal, WVD, zero, one, and so on. Let’s keep it short or even. So this is the name I’m going to use for the VMs. As for the image, you can select whatever image you want. This is a single user per virtual machine. So let’s look at Windows 10. I will not use any custom images. I will just use one of the images available in the Azure Marketplace and go with this one. I’ll keep it on an SSD. And for the network, I will keep the default ones. For the subnet, I would select the host pole subnet. And for the IPS, no, I will keep it private because the WVD service will actually connect the users without using the public IPS using its hidden services. And this is the important section, which is about the administrator account.

You need to have an Active Directory domain-joined user account. And this is the user to whom the domain administrator role has been assigned. And actually, this user is also synchronised with our Azure Active Directory. You can go back to our lectures to learn more about this in the pre-request section. So this is the user name and the password. I will need to type it in carefully. So this is the password. So this username is going to beused to domain join the virtual machinescreated in this process, or Domain Control.and I will go to the workspace. So this is like a logical grouping for the application groups. And I’ll use Workspace, albeit a new one. I will call this my personal workspace. and I will click okay. So personal. Okay. and I will go to review and create. Okay, so the validation is the best. Everything is fine. I will click on “Create.” And it usually takes some time until the creation is done and the virtual machines become the main joint. So I will stop this feed you here, and we will continue in the next lecture to check the setup and what has been created and the options that we will have.

9. Assign an Azure AD group to the Personal Application group

In this lecture, we will assign an Azure Active Directory group to the personal application group so the users in that group can have access to their desktops. Let’s go to the Windows Virtual Desktop and then to the personal host pool. And if I scroll down, I can see application groups. So this is the application group with the default desktop application.

This is one way to do it. Alternatively, you can navigate to Applications > Application Groups from the left navigation pane and select your application group. So this is the one. You have the applications, which in this case is the desktop, which is created by default, and you have the assignments. So let me assign access to one of the groups we created in the first sections of this course, which is, I believe, called Bearsonald Desktop Users. We have Mary and Jack as the end users in this group. So we can test using these usernames, and I will select them. So it is adding that group right now to this application group success. So it shall be done. We can now see the users, and it says Assign VM 0. So in the next lecture, we will start assigning hosts to users, and we will test the connection by using the username and password of one of the users so we can see how that will reflect in our WVD service and how we can track changes and make management decisions.

10. Explore the Personal Setup and Connect to AVD

So now that we have assigned a security group to our application group for the personal desktop under assignment, we can see there is the personal desktop user group. Now we can actually go to our host server and do the assignment, so how can we do that? This is the personal setup, not the pool set up.The pool had a different approach, which uses a load balancing method. either prints or dips. So it is a different story. Please refer back to that section. to that related section so you can understand more about it. But this is a personal setup. It has an assignment. It can be automated or assigned. It’s a VM or a session host. pair, one user.

It’s a one-on-one situation. One relationship. So how can we assign a virtual machine if we go back to the properties here for the host pool and have already created the method we have selected for the assignment? type is direct. So we have to do the assignment. We can change it from here, of course, but let’s keep it direct and go to the session hosts. We created two session hosts under this hostpool during the creation process, and you can add more if you want. But for now, let’s see what we have. If we click on the name of the session host, we will see some information there, like the name, the size, and the users there. There are no users within this session. Host and Raymode, we will get back to this later. So let’s assign the virtual machine. If I click on “assign,” it shall fetch the user names from the group security group I have assigned to this application. And I can see that I have Mary and Jack. I will assign this one to Mary.

 So from now on, this session host is going to be Mary. It says, “VM assignment is for a single user and cannot be reverted.” Only this user will be able to access the VM. Would you like to continue? So you say, “Okay,” and now it’s doing the assignment for me. So let’s see what it’s going to show. Right now, it says the assigned user. So, from now on, this machine belongs to Mary, aka WVD zero. And you can see that there are no active sessions because no one logged into that machine. Drain mode allows you to choose whether to allow new connections to any session host or not. So if you mark it as on, the session host will not allow any new connections. So the “Drain” mode is for this, hence the name “Drained.” But right now, let’s keep it like this and assign the other machine to the other user. So I will do the assignment process again; just as we did for Mary, we will do it for Jack. And I select, and the assignment is on. Both of the machines are available. So, while this is being processed, I’ll go ahead and try to access using Mary’s account. But it seems it didn’t pick up my assignment. Let me just try again. Assign. Yes, I can still see Jack. Oh, now that it has provided this dialogue form, we are going fine.

And it successfully assigned it to Jack. So we have both machines assigned to users. So let’s do the testing. So this is the list of supported remote desktop clients. Windows Desktop, Web, macOS, and other operating systems are available. You can choose the one you want. We have explained this in another lecture in the previous sections. Please feel free to refer to that if you want more information. But the web one is like the simplest one; it requires no client installation, and I like using it for testing. So this is the link; I have already used it and signed in using the username Mary. And you can see the workspace I have assigned, which goes by the friendly name of “Personal Windows 10.” And all the user has to do is click on his default desktop. It’s going to ask you for the permissions to access the clipboard or the printer or whatever you want, and you can click Allow. Then it will start the session for you. It will configure it for the first time. So it usually takes some time the first time. To access Mary’s desktop, you must now enter her username (Mary) and password. It provides the username and password, submits those, and opens the desktop. As you can see, the session has started with My Windows 10 for Mary, and Mary has her own full desktop experience right now. This is the machine for her.

She can use it wherever she wants; she can install, uninstall, and do whatever she wants with the applications. If we go to the start menu, it’s like a normal Windows 10 with full access. And if we go to this PC and then try to see the properties of this machine, we can see it is a domain joint with Kelly Cloud. We can have it on full screen if we want. So now let’s go to our WVD management console to see what we can see right now, now that Mary is active. So, if we go to the session hosts and select Mary’s machine, it says there is now an active session. So if I click here, I shall be able to see Mary under users, and yes, we have Mary; she is active. I have the option to log off all users if needed, whether for personal or for pulled reasons, and to send a message to the user or to remove the session host itself. So this is what you have with the personal desktop, and these are the options. You can see the session hosts, you can connect to the end user, and you can follow up and track what is happening. You can log out users, see who is active and who is not, and assign machines as you see fit. 

11. *NEW* – Create Host Pools with Azure Active Directory Domain Services Identity

If you have used the Azure Active Directory Domain Services as your cloud identity option, as we have discussed in the Identity section of this course, then there is a small difference in the host pool creation process. And this lecture is actually to point it out for you. So in case you are using Active Directory Domain Services as your identity option for testing or for your company project or whatever, you know how to actually go through the host pool creation as well.

So in our previous lectures, we created Azure Active Directory Domain Services, and that was the domain we used. So let me copy it, and let’s just go straight away to the Windows Virtual Desktop. Let’s go to the host pool. It is the same process, with only one small difference. So I will show you—actually, let’s go here, and I’m sure you are familiar right now with this process. So let’s just use any dummy information for the moment. So maybe or something, and let’s leave the location as it is. Let’s go with personal or pulled for the time being. So let’s go to the virtual machines. So up to this point, it has been the same process. Now, do you want to have virtual machines? Yes. And the only difference is here.

It’s not in the Resources group or the name or the image. It’s all the same. So, in order to save your time, I will not explain the same things over and over again. I will point out the difference right away if you scroll down, not only on the network but also on security. The only difference is related, of course, to the identity section. So in the normal process, when we use option one of the Cloud Identity, which was Domain Controller installed in an Azure Windows Virtual Machine, we used to come up here, use the admin, the user with the admin privileges on the domain, and just input the username and the password, and that’s it.

Once the host pool is created, it will use this username to join the machines to the domain. However, if you are using Azure Active Directory Domain Services as your identity provider, you must come here and select the specified domain or unit. And up here in the domain to join, you specify your custom domain, and this is the only difference that you need to make. Then you scroll back again and go to the Domain Administrator account. You put it in, and this is the one that is added as a member to the Domain Administrator’s group, while you have already created the Azure Active Directory Domain Services and everything else would actually be the same. So again, you will specify the username and passwords, and so on. So this is the only difference that we have.

12. *NEW* – Implement Autoscaling in Host Pools

There is a tool by Microsoft to help you reduce your total Azure virtual desktop deployment cost by scaling your virtual machines, and that is by shutting down and reallocating session host virtual machines during off-peak usage hours and then turning them back on and reallocating them during peak hours. This tool is a script by Microsoft. It manages only poll session host VMs, so you cannot use it for personal sessions. It is only for the polling sessions. It requires the creation of the Azure services, the Azure automation, and the Azure logic. App. It is used in different scenarios, and it can do the following for you: It can schedule virtual machines to start and stop based on peak and off-peak business hours; it can scale out virtual machines based on the number of sessions per CPU core; and it can scale in virtual machines during off-peak hours to leave the minimum number of sessions. Hosts VMs. In order to use this tool, I will provide you with the GitHub script repository and the deployment guide in the Resources section of this lecture.

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